February 15, 2013 (Front page)
The Court of Appeal has ordered the Economic and Organised Crime
Office (EOCO) to de-freeze the accounts and assets of the businessman,
Alfred Agbesi Woyome, who has been accused of defrauding the state to
the tune of GH¢51.2 million.
In a unanimous decision Thursday, the court, however, held that the
Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) account into which the alleged
payment was made should be frozen until the final determination of the
criminal case against him.
The court held that it was wrong for the High Court to have granted EOCO's request for the freezing of Woyome's accounts.
further ruled that the reason for the freezing of all Woyome's assets
was a "nullity" because that action was contrary to Section 34 of the
EOCO Act 804.
The court gave the order after Mr Woyome’s lawyer,
Mr Osafo Buabeng, had appealed against the High Court's 2012 order which
froze Woyome's accounts and assets.
The court was presided over
by Mrs Justice Henrietta Abban, with Mr Justice F. Korbieh, who read the
order, and Mr Justice Senyo Dzamefe as panel members.
Woyome is facing two counts of defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the state.
accused, who has denied any wrongdoing, is alleged to have made
fraudulent claims to the government, resulting in the payment of GH¢51.2
million to him.
The three prosecution witnesses who have
testified in the matter are the Deputy Head of the Legal Department of
the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), Mrs Mangowa
Ghanney; a former Minister of MoFEP, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, and a former
Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu.