The Presiding Judge in the trial of businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome, Justice John Ajet-Nasam has pointed out that he is under no time constraint from any institution to finish the case within a particular time frame.
Contrary to suggestions that the High Court Judge was under pressure to handle the case, especially, after his court was moved from the Financial Division of the High Court to the Cocoa Affairs premises, he said, “I don’t have any pressure from the Attorney General (AG).”
Justice Ajet-Nasam said he is not constrained to deal with the case and therefore has “no pressure from any quarters,” adding that, “I treat this case as any other criminal case. In fact, days that I have Woyome’s case is when I sleep a lot. It is not like the presidential election petition at the Supreme Court where the Judges were to sit on particular days. I don’t care ‘Who. Yen Tie Obiaa,” (to wit we will not listen to anybody), provoking laughter from the court room.
His comment came after the chief state attorney, Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa had indicated to the court that she was done for the day and asked for adjournment. This compelled David Annan who was holding brief for Sarfo Buaben, Counsel for Woyome, to aver that the prosecution’s way of cross-examining the witness was “oppressive.”
“...We hope that the prosecution would at the next adjourned date put finality to his cross- examination. My Lord, they have all the time for the next adjourned date to do that.”
Earlier, when Mr. Woyome took to the witness box for continuation of his cross-examination by the prosecution, it was suggested to him that a petition he wrote to the Attorney General in August 22, 2005 claiming that he had incurred huge losses on partial construction was not true, to which he responded in the negative, saying “It is incorrect. The government was fully aware of the facts, but failed to comply with the agreement with Vamed.”
He told the court that, the partial construction work was done by Vamed while he took care of the financial issues; therefore the claim was for “us and not me contrary to the public procurement act.”
When it was also suggested to him that prior to petitioning the AG for huge costs he had incurred, he had never started any construction work to demand any claim, Mr. Woyome said, the costs bordered on professional fees on financial engineering.
“My Lord, this is incorrect. I never asked for construction fees, and I have said this since yesterday, today, and now. And it is not written here ever. This is professional fee for financial engineering. I had not made any claim on construction.”
Again, when the chief state attorney put to the accused person that he deliberately left out in his petition to the AG a 10-key basis for the funding of the CAN 2008 stadia, he replied, “My Lord, I had not left out any 10-key or non-10-key. All these constructions are carried out on the basis of 10-keys I had and I have taken my time to define them here.”
He told the court that he did not also make any false representation in the case to claim money, but rather a concurrent approval issued by tender entity awarded the contract to him so that could not be false representation when asked whether he was aware that all bidders were to show capacity to fund and built on their own.
He said though the tender entity did not communicate the contract terms to him, the minister in charge of Youth and Sports gave him the approval personally.
He said the letter was authored by one Effe Simpson Ekuba and signed on August 5, 2005 and addressed to Yaw Osafo Marfo, the then minister and that the content of the communication was about concurrent approval of the bid to Vamed which “the minister gave it to me personally.”
Mr. Woyome said the Central Tender Review Board did not communicate directly to them and therefore the minister gave it without writing and “it is on record that I had won.”
Mrs. Obuobisa, however, told the court that the only letter after the process that CTRB wrote to Vamed was to inform them that the processes couldn’t continue, but the accused replied that it was partly incorrect, adding that it was on record to parliament.
Asked about an amount of $500, 000 he was claiming from government, he said the amount due me was to be paid to Vamed for other projects and that he has not received it even though such amount was not in relation to CAN 2008, but the AG says it had already been paid to him.
Also, when it was put to him that it was illegal for him to demand 2% offered to government by a Bank of Austria, he said it was incorrect because the AG sought advice from the ministry of finance and from all parties involved and none had issues and said “I should be paid.”
When it was suggested to him that the minister of finance had raised a number of objections against AG’s recommendations that he had no contract for which he was making claims, he replied, “It is incorrect. The ministry of finance never opposed AG’s opinion, but wrote a letter to seek clarification on the mode of payment, parties involved and the quantum upon which AG responded the amount be paid to Woyome only and it is on records here.”
The case has been adjourned to Monday, November 10, 2014.
Source: Daily Heritage
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