Former Attorney General Martin A.B.K Amidu has expressed grave concern about the decision of the Africa Court on Human and People’s Rights to grant a stay of execution to embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome who is being chased by the government to refund GH¢51.2 million he fraudulently took from the state.
According to Mr Amidu, Woyome deliberately sidestepped him in his latest antics to avoid the payment of the GH¢51.2 million he grabbed from the state.
“The African Court has no obligation to independently find out the facts apart from those presented by Woyome and his co-defendant (Ghana) now turned defendant at the Africa Court,” he said in his criticism of the continental court’s order to Ghana.
He insisted that when Woyome was filing the case he should have made the court aware that he (Mr. Amidu) is the initiator of the whole action which resulted in the Supreme Court’s decision that the NDC businessman should refund the huge amount to the state then the continental court could make a fair ruling.
The former AG said, “Because I am a private citizen and plaintiff in the case and therefore not directly amenable to the jurisdiction of the African Court, the case will be heard and completed without me having the opportunity to defend my hard won judgment, before the African Court.”
“The problem with Woyome’s case at the African Court is that substantially, the impression I get is that Woyome’s case is in the nature of an appeal against a judgement and orders I obtained in the Supreme Court in that case, in which I was the plaintiff in my capacity as a private citizen of Ghana pursuant to Article 2 of the 1992 Constitution and Woyome was the defendant in his private capacity as a citizen of Ghana. The Government of Ghana represented by the Attorney General was also a nominal defendant in the case.”
He said the case he initiated against the Attorney General and Woyome “was a purely civil constitutional case” and not a criminal one, insisting that “the fact that the Supreme Court granted leave to the Republic of Ghana represented by the Attorney General to execute my judgement for the benefit of the public does not turn the case into a civil action between the Republic of Ghana against Woyome or a criminal case against Woyome.”
He said the government “purporting to speak for me as a defendant at the Africa Court will be tantamount to the two defendants in the civil case in the Supreme Court using a stratagem to become opposing parties in the Africa Court to compromise the judgement legally obtained by me in the Supreme Court as a private citizen.”
According to Mr. Amidu, until execution is completed “I am still the plaintiff and the case continues to be a civil case between two private citizens, Woyome and me, each with fundamental human rights under the 1992 Constitution and the African Charter.”
“The Government of Ghana which was a defendant in the substantive civil case between Woyome and me cannot speak for me in any forum, including any appeal to the African Court on the substantive case,” he added.
The former AG said the African Court does not have the jurisdiction to hear appeals or applications in purely civil cases between a private citizen and another private citizen in which the Republic was also a defendant with the defending private citizen and said Woyome cleverly went to the African Court suing Ghana and leaving him behind just to avoid a lack of jurisdiction by the court.
He said in the current situation, “Ghana then loses the benefit of the judgement I obtained at the Supreme Court with the excuse that the decision was given at the African Court. It is nobody’s fault. Blame the African Court.”
The former AG said “the paradox will come when through Woyome’s present scheme of using the side door to eliminate me from the case at the Africa Court, he procures sweet victory under the regime of President Nana Akufo Addo,” adding “Woyome’s mentors with whom he is waging this clever stratagem are waiting in the wings for that day to come.”
“Let’s see who bears the blame for compromising or losing the case by usurping the position of the plaintiff without even the courtesy of a notice,” he added.
In a related development, Central Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Bernard Allotey Jacobs, wants Woyome to stop wasting time and pay back the judgement debt.
He said Woyome is only seeking to delay the enforcement of the court’s ruling after perhaps, squandering the GH¢ 51.2 million he fraudulently received as judgement debt.
“If he has squandered the monies, he must pay up as simple as ABCD. He should also mention names if he disbursed some to other people,” Allotey Jacobs said on Peace FM.
By William Yaw Owusu