The Supreme Court has rejected a plea by businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome to pay the Gh¢46million he owes the state in instalment.
The legal team of Woyome told the Supreme Court Wednesday morning that their client was ready to pay Gh¢10million now and Gh¢4milllion every three months. Counsel for Woyome, Muda Adelawal, therefore moved an application for the court to halt the execution of its judgement in 2014 which ordered Woyome to pay the money. A five-member panel of the court presided over by Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, however, rejected the application, describing it as without merit.
In a ruling, the court held that Woyome had made similar promises in the past to pay the money in instalment but had failed to fulfil such promises. The court was of the view that given such luxury to Woyome would not be fair since the order for him to pay the money was given in 2014.
The other Justices on the panel were Justices Sule Gbadegbe, Anthony A Benin, Samuel Marful- Sau and Agnes Dordzi. The Supreme Court, on July 29, 2014, ordered Mr Woyome to refund GH¢51.2 million to the State on the grounds that he got the money out of unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the State and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008.
The court held that the contracts upon which Mr Woyome made and received the claim were in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which requires such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.
On March 1, 2016, Mr Woyome prayed the court to give him three years to pay back the money but the court declined to grant his wish. He, however, refunded GH¢4 million in November 2016 and promised to pay the outstanding balance by quarterly installments of GH¢5 million, commencing April 1, 2017.
That did not materialise after the businessman initiated a litany of legal cases at the Supreme Court to support his case, which were all dismissed. Apart from fighting his cases in the country, Mr Woyome also sought relief from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) based in Paris, France and the African Court of Justice based in Arusha, Tanzania.
In August 2017, the ICC threw out his case on the basis that he failed to properly invoke its jurisdiction. His case at the African Court of Justice was also dismissed in June, this year.