Ministry of Finance dragged their feet in paying me-Woyome

Alfred Agbesi WoyomeMr Alfred Woyome, a businessman, on Monday told the Financial Court that the Ministry of Finance (MOF)was initially “dragging their feet” in paying the two percent of the total arranged funding to him.

He said even though attempts were made by government to make payment to him and that warrants were issued to the Controller and Accountant Generals Department and the Bank of Ghana the ministry dragged its feet.

According to Mr Woyome, when he tried to collect the cheque from the Ministry of Finance, he was asked to provide an account number rather for onward transfer of the money.

He said he (Woyome) instructed his lawyer to provide the account number for the transfers to be effected.

“It is around the same time that the audit section of the Ministry, said they were confused whether to pay all the amount to me (Woyome) or Austro-Invest Management Company Limited,” he added.

He said it was in the midst of the confusion that the MOF wrote to the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General for confirmation as to whether the amount should be divided between Woyome and Austro-Invest.

He said the response from the Ministry of Justice to the MOF indicated that the money should be paid to him not Austro-Invest.

Mr Woyome told the court that after all these, he together with his lawyer wrote to government, telling them that if the amount was not paid, he would take them to court.

“The amount is not paid, so we headed to the Commercial court,” he said.

He said when the Attorney-General was served with the summons, they wrote a letter demanding documentation from the MOF to file a defence in court, which Woyome said they did not do.

Mr Woyome said he obtained a default judgment against the state, after he had amended the two per cent to four per cent of the total arranged amount.

He said the Attorney-General contacted him and said government was desirous of understanding his role in the contract, after which he was asked to write a detailed cost incurred, which he did.

He said the A-G organized a meeting, where, he was informed that a committee was formed at the Castle with the authority of the former Chief of State.

Mr Woyome said, he got to know that the head of the committee as Mr Alex Segbefia, former Deputy Chief of Chief, who he actually met later.

He said afterwards, Mr Segbefia called him indicating that he (Woyome) should go back to the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General for negotiation on the default judgment on the orders of late President John Evans Atta Mills.

“When l met the Minister of Justice and l was told that government can only pay the two per cent and nothing else but l told the Minister l took loans from two local Banks, where interest was accruing,” he added.

He saidhe had lost a property on the Potomac River and because of that he decided to amend the percentage to four per cent, if not he could not pay his consultants.

After that, he said, the Minister of Justice agreed that an amount of ₡54 million should be let go to the state and government represented by the Minister signed an agreement with him.

Sadly, the A-G filed a process in the Commercial court division, saying anything done to that stage was a mistake, according to Woyome that was strange and a bad taste.

Mr Woyome is standing trial for defrauding by false pretences, and causing financial loss to the State.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is on a GH₵ 20-million bail.

The case had been adjourned to June 25. GNA

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