Alfred Agbesi Woyome

Counsel for Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) bankroller, and the state attorney handling the case in which the state is seeking to claim a GH¢51,283,480.83 judgment debt paid to Woyome, yesterday asked an Accra Commercial Court to adjourn the case.

Musah Ahmed,   counsel for Woyome, and Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, the state attorney, both told the court presided over by Justice Barbara Ackah-Yensu that the Court of Appeal would on May 22, 2012 hear the application filed by Woyome to stop the court from hearing the case till the final determination of the Appeal.

Woyome has also appealed against the decision of the trial judge to grant the Attorney-General the opportunity to file their amended statement of case which the Appeal Court is expected to give a verdict on.

The trial judge had the matter adjourned to May 23, 2012.

The court last week Monday dismissed the preliminary objection raised by lawyers of Woyome that the court did not have jurisdiction to review a GH¢500 cost awarded against the state.

The State is seeking a downward review of the GH¢500 cost awarded against it for failing to prosecute the case in which lawyers for Mr. Woyome had challenged it on procedural grounds.

Arguing against the procedure adopted by the A-G, Osafo Buabeng, counsel for Woyome, said “It is the Court of Appeal that has the jurisdiction to hear the motion and not the Commercial Court.”

Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor

However, the court ruled that it had the jurisdiction to review the GH¢500 cost awarded against the state but would wait for the Court of Appeal.

Justice Ackah-Yensu was not pleased with the conduct of the Attorney-General and awarded cost of GH¢500 against the state.

Woyome, who was dissatisfied with the ruling, filed an appeal challenging the decision of the High Court.

In addition, Woyome filed for a stay of proceedings to restrain the lower court from hearing the matter between him and the AG till the final determination of the appeal.

Counsel for Woyome, led by Osafo Buabeng, challenged the High Court’s jurisdiction to hear the application while there was an appeal pending on the issue.

Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, a state attorney, moved an application for a review of the cost awarded against the state for its inability to commence the case in which it was contesting with Woyome to reclaim a judgment debt of GH¢51,283,480.59 paid to him.

The lawyer argued that per the rules of the court, when an appeal was filed, the court of first instance had to transmit record of proceedings to the appellate court to determine the matter.

In view of that, when there was an application while the appeal was pending, it was the appellate court that had the jurisdiction to hear the matter and not the high court.

The state attorney, who also based her argument on Order 42 Rule 2, argued that the parties did not have the same common grounds in the appeal since the State was challenging the appeal.

According to her, the judge, under that order, could go ahead to review the cost.

Arguing further, Mr Buabeng told the court that it was wrong for the state to have brought her application under the said order, indicating that the appropriate one should rather be Order 74 Rule 12 because it was the proper order dealing with review of cost in civil matters.

By Fidelia Achama

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