New Patriotic Party [NPP] Member of Parliament [MP] for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong as given the strongest indication yet that former Attorney General and Minister for Justice Madam Betty Mould Iddrisu, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ebo Barton-Odro and others who facilitated the payment of Ghc51 million judgement debt to businessman Alfred Woyome will face the full rigours of the law when his party comes to power.
He cited the former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, who is now a Second Vice Chairperson of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), for causing financial loss to the state by giving the go-ahead for the money to be paid to Mr. Woyome some years back.
The controversial payment was made under the tenure of Mrs Mould Iddrisu as Attorney General.
“She [Betty Mould Iddrisu] has caused financial loss to the state. She is now a national executive member of the National Democratic Congress [NDC] thinking that she can’t be charged…that is a big lie. If the NPP comes to power, ‘One touch’ we will arrest her. She will face it…and tell us [Ghanaians] why the money was paid,” he said in an interview with OKAY FM’s "Ade Akye Abia" morning show.
Mrs Mould-Iddrisu’s name surfaced when Mr Woyome – a businessman and a financier of the ruling NDC party – presented letters written by her to then Finance Minister, Kwabena Duffuor.
The letters essentially directed Dr Duffuor to pay Mr Woyome the controversial GH¢51 million judgement debt.
However, state prosecutors maintain there was no contract between the government and Mr Woyome in the first place for him to have received any such judgement payment.
Critics say Mrs Mould-Iddrisu did not do due diligence in urging Mr Woyome to be paid the judgement debt.
They base their argument on a document from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, in which the then Sector Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor asked Mould-Iddrisu to do due diligence in the authorization of the payment of 1,106,470,587.00 Euros to Alfred Agbesi Woyome.
The six-paragraph caution letter said by inference that due diligence was necessary for audit purposes.
It was revealed that the payment of the GH¢58 million to Alfred Woyome was upon the insistence of Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu as the Attorney General and Minister for Justice.
Mr Woyome was arrested on February 3, 2012 after the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), which had been commissioned by President John Evans Atta Mills to investigate the payment to him, had implicated him for wrongdoing. He was first arraigned on February 6, 2012, together with three others.
The High court on Thursday March 12, 2015, presided over by Justice John Ajet-Nassam acquitted and discharged Mr. Woyome who was facing a charge of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding the state by false pretenses.
The Judge, before acquitting and discharging Woyome on the two counts is said to have lambasted the state prosecutors for failing to call key witnesses to testify.
Justice Ajet-Nasam’s criticism was hailed by the majority of Ghanaians who felt the AG’s department may have deliberately lost the case.
It is perehaps on this premise that the NPP fire brand warned Alfred Woyome to pay back the money “if he knows what is right”.
“Woyome was paid the Ghc51 million on current rate of the dollar and we [NPP] will calculate that for him to pay. It’s just common sense that we will apply. The law exists,” he noted.
He however told OKAY FM’s morning show host, Kwame Nkrumah "Tikese" that, “If the NPP fails to charge Betty Mould, I [Kennedy Agyapog] will personally take her to court to tell us the motive behind paying that money to Mr. Woyome”.
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