In view of the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court ordering businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome to refund GH˘51.28 judgment debt to the state and the attendant skewed political spin being put on the ruling of the court to score cheap political points, the DAILY HERITAGE reproduces a letter written to the late President, Prof. John Atta Mills by the then Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor which vividly described how Mrs Betty-Mould Iddrisu authorized all payments of the money.
The letter was first published in the Wednesday, February 8, 2012 edition of the paper and has been reproduced to set the records straight.
FROM: FINANCE MINISTER, KWABENA DUFFUOR
TO: PREZ. MILLS
CHIEF OF STATE
THE CASTLE, OSU
REPORT ON PAYMENT OF JUDGEMENT DEBT TO MR. ALFRED AGBESI WOYOME
*1: I refer to your letter on the above subject matter dated December 15, 2011.
*2: Available records show that Government in conjunction with the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the Ghana 2008 Football tournament advertised for Expressions of Interest in year 2005. The tender was to be awarded on Turnkey basis including the arrangement of requisite financing for the project.
*3: Following the receipt of financial offers, a Finance Sub – Committee with representation from the Ministry of Finance evaluated the financial bids and made recommendations on most competitive bid to the Hon. Minister for Education and Sports. The Committee recommended the bid submitted by Vamed Engineering. The technical bids were evaluated separately by the then Ministry of Education and Sports.
*4: The records also show that the Ministry of Education and Sports entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Waterville Holdings and Micheletti (Gh) Ltd. on November 30th, 2005 for the turnkey, design, construction, fixtures, fittings, and equipping of the Ohene Djan Accra and the Construction of an 8 – Lane athletic track at El- Wak Stadium.
*5: On 26th April 2006, formal contracts were signed between the parties.
*6: In early 2010, the Honourable Attorney General informed this Ministry of a petition filed by Mr. Woyome for payment of compensation for the cost of financial engineering on mobilization of funds for the staging of the CAN 2008 Football Tournament (See Appendix 1).
*7: By letter dated 31st March, 2010 the Hon. Attorney General informed this Ministry that a settlement had been reached with Mr. Woyome and requested the Ministry to pay 2% of amount claimed (c1, 106,470,587.00).
*8: The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning by letter dated 12th April, 2010 asked the Attorney General to clarify the petitioner’s claim of right to the amount. (See Appendix 2)
*9: The Attorney General reverted on 29th April, 2010 with the explanation that Mr. Woyome’s claim was supported by documentation including letters from the Ministry of Education and Sports. The Attorney General specifically advised that the claim for 2% of the total value of the project that Mr. Woyome and Austro – Invest engineered, which they have agreed should be paid to Mr. Woyome, was in order and thus recommended that Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning should pay the amount due. The Ministry was also mandated to negotiate with Mr. Woyome on modalities for the payment of the amount (See Appendix 3)
*10: As a result of this Ministry’s refusal to comply with the above, the Attorney General followed up with letter dated 28th May, 2010 stating that as a result of the position taken by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Woyome had gone to Court and obtained judgment on 24th May, 2010 in the sum of GHC 41,811,480.59 plus interest of Euro 5 million (GHC 9,447,000.00) and cost of GHC 25,000.00, giving a total of GHC51, 283,480.59 (See Appendix 4).
*11: At this stage, Ministry of Finance negotiated with the Solicitors for Mr. Woyome to pay the money in three equal installments as follows:
*1st installment: GHC17, 094,493.53 to be paid not later than the first week of July 2010
*2nd installment: GHC17, 094, 493.53 due by end of July 2010
*3rd installment: GHC17, 094, 493.53 due by end of August 2010
(See Appendix 5)
*12: Even as the Ministry was in the process of paying the first installment as agreed during the first week in July, 2010 the Attorney General surprisingly went to court for a stay of execution which was refused on 9th July, 2010 (See Appendix 6).
The Court ordered as follows:
*Judgment Debt – GHC41, 811,480.59
*Interest from Sept 2006 - April 2010 – GHC9, 447,000.00
*Costs – GHC25, 000.00
TOTAL – GHC51, 283,480.59
*13: Subsequent to the refusal of the stay of execution application, the Attorney General filed a writ and obtained a partial stay of execution of the terms of settlement.
In granting the partial stay, the Judge ordered that the first installment of GHC GHC17, 094, 493.53 that was due Mr. Woyome on 30th June (payable in the first week of July) plus interest thereon be paid pending the final determination of the suit.
The Court also ordered that Mr. Woyome give an undertaking to refund the money paid him should he lose the case (See Appendix 6).
*14: In a letter dated 7th December, 2010 from the Solicitors of Mr. Woyome to the Attorney-General which was conveyed to this Ministry by the Attorney-General on 9th December, 2010 the Ministry was informed that a pre-trial settlement conference had taken place and an understanding reached that the parties should attempt an out of Court settlement (See Appendix 7).
In the letter under reference the Attorney-General asked the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to honour the terms of settlement including the balance of GH˘34,188,987.06.
*15: In view of the heavy burden on public finances, the Ministry negotiated a phased payment of the debt by installments. This was fully settled between January 2011 and September 2011. The breakdown of the installment payments are outlined below:
*1. January 27, 2011 - GH˘10,000,000.00
*2. April 8, 2011 - GH˘10,000,000.00
*3. September 12, 2011 - GH˘14,188,987.
Total - GH˘34,188,987.06
*16: The Ministry has recently been served with copy of a suit on the payment of additional interest on the judgement debt. The suit is being defended by Honourable Attorney-General.
*17: Enclosed are copies of the relevant documents including the report of the finance bid evaluation committee, the MOU and Contract.
*18: Please revert to us if you require any further clarification on matters outlined above.
DR. KWABENA DUFFUOR
6TH January, 2012
cc: H.E. The President, Castle – Osu
H.E. The Vice President, Castle – Osu
Source: Daily Heritage
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