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Government yet to recover all GH¢51.2m paid to Woyome years after court ruling – Dep. AG

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In 2014 the Supreme Court unanimously ordered businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome to refund some ¢51.2 million to the state.

This was after the court had ruled that Mr Woyome got the money out of unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the state and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of CAN 2008 stadia.

Subsequently, in 2020 the Supreme Court directed government to purchase some properties belonging to Mr Woyome after then-Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame urged the Apex court to allow the state to take ownership since an auctioneer failed to sell them to offset the ¢51.2 million debt the businessman owes the state.

The properties include two mansions at Trassaco Estate, a house at Kpehe where he resides, an office complex of Anator Holdings, a residential building at Abelemkpe and a stone quarry in the Eastern Region including its plants and equipment.

But years on, the state has yet to recover the money.

In an interview with JoyNews’ Elton Brobbey, the Deputy Attorney General, Alfred Tuah Yeboah said efforts have been made by the state to retrieve the money.

“Recoveries have been made but we have not recovered everything from him. I cannot be specific about what is left but I can say that some monies have been recovered.

“We also attempted to do some execution when it comes to his properties. So we are still in the process but he has not paid everything,” he explained.

Touching on the $170 million judgment debt awarded to Trafigura, the Deputy Attorney General said negotiations are still ongoing.

Trafigura, the majority owner of the power company Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC), secured the award in January 2021 after an arbitral tribunal in London found that Ghana had unlawfully terminated a contract for the installation and operation of two power plants.

The government was ordered to pay $170 million to the company or risk losing its property through auctioning.

But Mr Tuah Yeboah says Ghana’s property is safe since the Finance Ministry is engaging the company.

“We wrote to the Finance Ministry to enter into negotiations again with the judgment creditors and my understanding is that they are talking but where they are now I don’t know the state of it.

“Currently the properties are safe but if we do not pay at the end of the day the creditors may want to find means but I can give the assurance that the Finance Ministry is taking every step possible to ensure that negotiations are made and we agree on how much we are to pay and when and where.”

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