Saturday, February 4, 2012 (Lead Story)
A businessman, Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome, was On Friday, February 3, 2012, arrested by the police for questioning in connection with his alleged receipt of GH¢51.2 million judgement debt by fraudulent means.
His arrest, according to a Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, followed a directive by President John Evans Atta Mills as part of a series of actions to deal with the Woyome judgement debt saga.
The interim report released by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) on Thursday concluded that Mr Woyome was not entitled to the GH¢51,283,480.59 that had been paid to him by the government for the abrogation of contracts in respect of the construction of stadia for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN 2008).
It said Mr Woyome manipulated documents and information, and riding on the negligence and/or complicity of public officials, managed to receive money which he was clearly not entitled to.
Barely 24 hours after the report was made public, sources said Woyome was picked up for questioning by armed policemen in traffic around 1 p.m.
The Head of Operations at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Superintendent Frank Kwofie, confirmed Mr Woyome's arrest.
He said it was true that Woyome had been picked up for questioning but declined to give further details. He also declined to say whether or not other persons implicated in the EOCO report would be picked up for questioning.
Mr Woyome’s lawyers were frantically trying to secure bail for him as of 6 p.m.
The entrance to the Police Headquarters was a silent statement of a “no-go area”, as armoured vehicles blocked the place, while scores of armed policemen in helmet patrolled the pavements near the headquarters.
Another group of armed men was spotted sitting in an armoured vehicle, while reporters and members of the public were refused entry to the premises which, until 1 p.m. yesterday, had been opened to the public.
Armed men kept an eye on reporters who had earlier been politely turned away. Only the lawyers for Woyome were allowed entry.
The National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Kwabena Adjei, was spotted entering the Police Headquarters in a Toyota Land Cruiser at 3.44 p.m.
Some Woyome sympathisers expressed disappointment at his arrest.
Asked why they were there, they said they had gathered to give moral support to the businessman.
Passers-by looked towards the Police Headquarters as if it was possible to catch a glimpse of Mr Woyome.
A taxi driver loudly informed a colleague driver who was driving in the opposite direction that he had heard Woyome was in the police building for fraud.
Vehicles were searched and drivers interviewed before they were allowed entry onto the premises. Others were turned away.
Scores of Woyome sympathisers who had earlier trooped to the Police Headquarters to demand his release were thrown out.
A crowd gathered at a nearby bus stop and waited for new developments. They stood at bay to avoid being picked by the police who had earlier arrested a few people who had thronged the Police Headquarters a few minutes after Mr Woyome had been picked up.