By: Ivy Benson
Mrs. Georgina Wood, Chief Justice of Ghana
An Accra Financial Court yesterday rescinded a bench warrant for the arrest of two accused persons, implicated in the saga of the controversial GH¢51 million judgement debt paid to Businessman and ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome.
The court, presided over by Justice John Ajet-Nasam took the decision and issued a stern warning to Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, a Chief State Attorney and his wife, Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh, following pleadings from their lawyers, after the court issued an arrest warrant against them, for being absent from court.
Both accused persons arrived shortly after the court had issued the warrant. Meanwhile, the Chief State Attorney, Ms. Cynthia Lamptey has pleaded with the court to give the state ample time to generate enough evidence to prosecute the case before it.
According to her, investigations are still on-going and would need more time for its completion. The court, therefore, adjourned hearing to March 5th, 2012, for continuation.
The two accused persons are in the dock with Alfred Woyome and Paul Asimenu, Director at the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on corruption charges.
Woyome is facing three counts of conspiracy to commit crime, defrauding by false pretense and corruption of a public officer, while his accomplices -Samuel Nerquaye Tetteh is charged with an offence of corrupting a public officer, Paul Asimenu faces one count of abetment of crime and Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh faces one count of abetment, in addition to a count of conspiracy to commit crime.
All accused persons had pleaded not guilty to all the charges leveled against them before the court.
Mr. Woyome is currently on a GH¢20Million with three sureties to sureties, while Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh and Paul Asimenu are on a bail of GH¢6,000 with two sureties each to be justified.
The fourth accused person, Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh is on a bail of GH¢500,000 with two sureties to be justified.
Additionally, all accused persons are expected to report at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters twice a week – on Mondays and Fridays at 9:00 a.m.
The facts of the case as indicated by the Prosecutor were that during 2009, Woyome made a false representation to the then Attorney General, Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, that he had a contract with the government of Ghana, regarding the construction of five sports stadia, but the contract was unlawfully abrogated.
She said Woyome filed a writ at the High Court claiming that he was owed an amount of GH¢41 million, to which he added interest to make it a total of GH¢51 million.
“The amount was paid in tranches, that is on February 2010, he was paid GH¢17,094,493.53, the second tranche was on January 27, 2011, which he was paid GH¢10 million, the rest of the tranche was on April 18, 2011 with GH¢10 million and September 12, 2011, GH¢14188987.06,” the prosecutor told the court.
The Chief State Attorney noted that investigations had shown that government does not owe him any money, with further investigations also revealing that the second accused person, Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, in charge of the case, drafted to the Ministry of Finance a letter concerning the payment, as he failed to defend his actions before the court.
She said it was also found out that Woyome transferred GH¢400,000 into the account of the wife of second accused person, Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh.