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Prez Mahama’s Lawyer In Trouble
 
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27-Feb-2013  
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The seemingly unbridled greed of outspoken Lawyer, Tony Lithur has landed the President, John Mahama between the rock and the hard place: to drop a member of his legal team in the ongoing Election petition or risk credibility attack on his newly appointed Attorney General.

The company in which the freshly appointed Attorney General, Marrieta Brew Appiah-Oppong has worked as a legal practitioner has been used by Lawyer Tony Lithur for the wrong reason; to pursue his regular prey - the man accused of wrongly receiving Ghana’s GH51 million Cedis in claims as judgment debt, Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

The Supreme Court has directed the General Legal Council and the Ghana BAR Association to prescribe sanctions against the popular Lawyer, (Tony Lithur) who is also a leading member of President Mahama’s legal team in the incredible elections petition filed by defeated NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo Addo, his running mate - Mammoud Bawumiah and party Chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey for his nefarious conduct.

The Court has also recommended to the AG to bring sanctions against the Directors of Austro-Invest and M-POWAPAK Companies, Mr. Raymond Smith and Inge Smith as directors of the company respectively for acts of deception and improper conduct against the state.

The directives followed information provided by former Attorney General and self acclaimed ‘Citizen Vigilante’ to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, February 20 that Astro-Invest had been liquidated in Switzerland since July 26, 2011.

Information gathered by The Republic reveals that whilst Tony Lithur was teleguiding some key officials of late President Atta Mills’ government to embarrass Alfred Woyome under the pretext of retrieving the GH51 million judgment debt obtained by him (Alfred Woyome) from the state, the incredible lawyer was also at the same time soliciting for what he claimed to be his clients’ purported share of the same money from Woyome, in a manner likened to a double agent.

In fact at the time Mr. Tony Lithur went to court in the name of Austro-Invest, the Swiss registered company to pursue ‘their claim’, he was well aware the company had folded up.

The AG’s office has on Dec 9th 2011 been served with an application for preservation and or interlocutory injunction by Tony Lithur, the solicitor for Austro Invest; praying the High Court to compel Alfred Woyome to pay into court the amount of GH5,068,960.08 being its purported portion of the compensation thereby committing fraud on the government of Ghana and the Judiciary as the Company Austro-Invest was at that time, a ‘ghost company’.

Tony Lithur who is noted for ambushing his legal preys with substituted services to enhance his chances of winning cases, had filed a suit against Business Man Alfred Agbesi Woyome in the name of a Swiss-registered company Austro-Invest, soon after the report became rife that Mr. Woyome obtained an amount of GH51million Cedis from the state as judgment debt.

Among other things, Lawyer Tony Lithur sought in relief, an order compelling Woyome to pay to Astro-Invest, the sum of GHC5,068,960.08 being their share in a claim allegedly put forward by the consortium to the Government of Ghana; interest on the said sum of GHC 5,068,960.08 from March 2010 till the date of final payment and a cost including Solicitor’s fees.

Tony Lithur also ridiculously asked for an order to compel Woyome to pay his ‘ghost’ client with interest and an agreed portion of any further sums successfully claimed and received by Mr. Woyome from the government of Ghana.

Double Standard Lithur?

According to Mr. Lithur whose striking conduct has become a subject of discussion along the corridors of the judicial service since the Supreme Court’s directives,” in or about 2005/2006, Woyome and Astro-Invest, “working as a consortium under a company known as Waterville (“the Consortium”), took part in an international competitive bid by the Government of Ghana aimed at sourcing funding for, and the construction of stadia for CAN 2008, an African inter-country football competition, scheduled to be hosted in 2008 in identified regions in Ghana”

Tony Lithur stated in his claim, thus: “The Contract for the funding and construction of stadia was awarded to the consortium, but, subsequently, unlawfully abrogated by the Government of Ghana, and re-awarded to Chinese company”

“The Consortium was nevertheless retained by the Government of Ghana and given another contract to fund and construct some other stadia. The Government of Ghana unlawfully terminated the contracts for those stadia as well”, Lithur further stated.

Ironical evidence emerged that Tony Lithur played a significant role in getting under-performed Economic and Organized Crime ‘investigation’ body, The EOCO to comb for documents to prosecute Mr. Woyome in the controversially coined “Woyome Scandal”.

As it turns out, Tony Lithur and his allies in government were using the state machinery to pursue their selfish interest; i.e to retrieve a share of the moneys paid to Woyome and to share among themselves.

Tony Lithur

Tony Lithur is defending two (2) clients Mr. Woyome has sent to court and one client who has sent Mr. Woyome to court in two suits (a) Raymond Smith and Inge Smith and (b) Austro-Invest. These were in the last four years.

One of the cases in which Tony Lithur is representing the defendants is Mr. Woyome’s case against Intercontinental Bank. This is a case in which, he, Tony Lithur, helped the said bank to divert Mr. Woyome’s new trucks he ordered with the assistance of the same bank to one Mr. Alex Markins.

Tony Lithur is again the lawyer defending the case in which Mr Alfred Woyome has dragged Raymond Archer to court over the ownership of Focal Media, the company that owns the Enquirer newspaper.

The facts of the Austro Invest issue:

Austro-Invest entered into an agreement with Mr. Woyome when the Kufour Government announced an international bid for the CAN 2008 event, after that same Government cancelled forteen (14) contracts signed with various companies by the then Minister for Sports, Rashid Bawa with the approval of the late Kwadzo Baah Wiredu for the same purpose of putting up stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament.

All these agreements were on supplier contract basis, and were with companies Mr. Woyome worked with for the financing of the projects under the CAN 2008 tournament.

The agreement with Austro-Invest was for syndication only.

But Woyome’s claim revealed that Austro-Invest did not do the syndication itself, hence his refusal to give them any amount directly. Instead, he (Mr. Woyome) allegedly paid those who did the syndication directly even before he went to court for the refund of his cost, lost profit, etc, which was duly granted.

After the court had granted the reliefs of Mr. Woyome, Government of Ghana opted to negotiate and signed a compromised agreement with Mr. Woyome of the judgment debt obtained which was filed and adopted as a consent judgment.

In the said agreement which was made available to The Republic, Mr. Woyome gave up GH¢ 54, 000,000.00 (Fifty Four Million Ghana Cedis) which represented his lost profit and interest on the principal to the state.

Martin Amidu and a self-acclaimed ‘Citizen Vigilante’

The Government went to court to set aside the consent judgment, which case they had pursued for more than two years up to the time Mr. Martin Amidu whose memos authorized the Attorney General department to withdraw the same case for further negotiations.

Mr. Martin Amidu later, rather disingenuously, metamorphosed himself into a so-called citizen vigilante changing the statement of the state to include fraud after he came up for criticism from a section of the press for non-performance. It was the only way for him to show he has not failed the people of Ghana in his capacity as an Attorney-General. Furthermore, it was his only way of proving to a ‘powerful clique’ within the NDC against Mr. Woyome that he is useful. No doubt, they found him a willing tool to be used against Mr. Woyome.

Austro-Invest never sued the Government of Ghana, but served notice to the Attorney General’s Department and the Ministry of Finance, that they must be notified before any payment is made to Mr. Alfred Woyome.

In response to the Austro-Invest suit, Mr. Woyome asked Austro-Invest to show proof of any syndication done for him in accordance with the agreement between the two entities.

Tony Lithur Chickens-out

Suddenly, before the Government brought a criminal case against Mr. Woyome, Mr. Tony Lithur went to court to discontinue the suit of Austro Invest against Mr. Woyome, with liberty to come back; meaning the discontinuation was not total and conclusive, but a suspension.
 
 
 
Source: The Republic
 
 

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