Jun 07, 2012 at 2:16pm
The Woyome Saga
COMMENTARY ON THE WOYOME SAGA
The 51 million cedi judgement debt saga involving businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, has taken twists and turns since government decided to prosecute the case.
Yesterday the Fast Track High Court trying him and three others for the alleged fraudulent payment of the judgement debt discharged the four only for Woyome to be re-arrested and slapped with two fresh charges, defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the state.
Government has been under intense pressure both within the NDC caucus and opposition NPP, circle for the money to be retrieved from Woyome.
Even though the case is subjudice, comments on its ramifications have not ceased.
Recently at the June 4 rally at Aflao in the Volta Region, Former President Rawlings went beyond bounds to prejudge the case by calling Woyome a crass criminal.
Legally a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
It is perceived that government is bending backwards to shield Woyome but yesterday's turn of events proved this to be unfounded.
The trial of Woyome which started around December last year had suffered many adjournments without any meaningful work in the trial and on many occasions the judge registered misgiving over the inability of the prosecution to prosecute the matter speedily.
It is generally believed that government is trying to buy time in furtherance of its agenda to protect its protege and prevent Woyome from mentioning names of other government officials involved in the alleged deal.
The wheel of justice is said to grind slowly but will, by all means come to a halt.
It is better to free thousands of guilty people than to jail one innocent person.
It is not immediately known what the fate of the other alleged accomplices, Mr.
Nerquaye Tetteh and the wife Gifty as well as Paul Asiemenu are.
The three were discharged but not acquitted.
This means the Attorney General's Department can choose to revisit them with fresh charges later or they could be used as witnesses against Woyome.
It is sad how the NDC has allowed the Woyome case to divide its ranks.
The stance taken by former Attorney General, Martin Amidu virtually attacking everybody for complicity is not helping the party's cause.
Scandals are bound to occur in any human endeavour but the way it is handled makes a regime score full marks.
Sometime in January 2005 the government invited bids for the rehabilitation of the Accra and Kumasi Sports Stadium and the construction of two more stadia in Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale.
At the end of the bidding process a number of companies were shortlisted and invited to submit proposals for the projects.
Among the companies was M-Powapak/Vamed Engineering.
At the end of the evaluation process, the finance and evaluation committee declared M-Powapak/Vamed Engineering as the most responsive and recommended the company to the tender review board.
However, before the tender could receive final approval, the then government terminated the process and it was this that led to the payment of the judgement debt after Woyome had sent the case to court on an ostensible misrepresentation following the regime change and was awarded the amount.
As things stand now the Attorney General's Department has to be forthright in handling the case.
People are taking advantage of this year being an election year to tilt the case their favour.
Political parties are using it as a campaign tool and government must not be seen as condoning and conniving with the wrong doers.
Probity, Accountability and Transparency are the hallmarks of the NDC.
It will therefore be at variance with its manifesto pledge if government should be seen to be interfering with the case.
Wrong is wrong and right is right no matter who does it.
The Woyome judgement debt case is a landmark trial which will definitely be a litmus test to the NDC's claim to good governance, transparency and accountability and they dare not fail.
BY: JUSTICE MINGLE, A JOURNALIST.