Embattled businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, has strongly denied media reports that his lawyers have been referred to the Ghana Legal Council for disciplinary action to be taken against them.
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered construction firm Waterville Holdings to refund all sums paid it in the controversial GH˘51 million judgement debt case to the Government of Ghana.
The decision followed a suit by former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Martin Amidu against the company and two others, businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome and Austro-Invest Limited to recover huge sums he said were illegally paid to the respondents. Austro-Invest was later struck out of the suit following a revelation that the company was liquidated in Switzerland on July 26, 2011.
Waterville Holdings, one of the companies which spearheaded the construction of some stadia in Ghana ahead of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, was paid the award after dragging the Government of Ghana to Court in 2009.
In a unanimous decision by a nine-member Bench presided over by Justice Professor Date-Baah, the Court ruled that Waterville Holdings was not deserving of the judgment award.
The court held that the payments involved contracts that required parliamentary approval, a process it said was side-stepped and therefore rendered the contract unconstitutional.
The court also indicted lawyers for Waterville and Alfred Agbesi Woyome for failing to do due diligence in their clients’ cases and consequently referred the conduct of the lawyers to the General Legal Council for disciplinary action.
According to the court, though the law firm was right to defend their client, they should have considered their ethical obligation in the matter.
This was after Mr. Amidu raised an issue that “they [lawyers] knew very well the case was not a very good one yet, they went ahead to defend the defendants.”
But Mr Woyome claims the reports are inaccurate.
At a hurriedly arranged press conference moments after the ruling, Seth Dogbe, Spokesperson for Mr. Woyome, who addressed the press explained that the former Attorney General, in his law suit “attacked the character” of the Counsel for the accused and in accordance with Article 181 of the constitution, the judges stated that his act “was wrongful” and rather directed him (Amidu) to lodge his complaints with the Ghana Legal Council.
The court, he added, further directed the Registrar to furnish the Legal Council with a copy of its ruling.
He also sought to make some clarifications on the court ruling, saying “the Supreme court did not find the claim of Alfred Agbesi Woyome to premise on any agreement between Waterville and Government of Ghana…The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision declines any decision on whether Alfred Agbesi Woyome’s claim is based on any contract or whatsoever. Any such decision have been deferred to the Higher Court for decisions to be made in their ongoing trial which will be evidence-driven”
He therefore warned the media to desist from distorting the facts of the case simply to discredit the personality of Mr. Woyome.
“We cannot determine the editorial policy of the media house but if it’s about twisting and reporting negatively about my person, I’m compelled to react in equal measure in hope that the authorities of the multimedia take a cue from the consequences of such behaviours…Myjoyonline has changed its headline on this issue for the third time and must be aware of what they cause by such conduct to people who are protagonist…
“We are equally appalled by the myjoyonline website about the prepared write-up;…who was not even at court which was uploaded on the multimedia website as we were walking out of the Supreme Court. This is clearly an agenda setting item which has failed,” he asserted.
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