Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chronology of the criminal case at the High Court against Woyome

Woyome had sued the state for a breach of contract relating to the construction of some stadia for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Ghana and was awarded a default judgement to that tune because the state failed to put in a defence.
He was arrested on February 3, 2011 after the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), which was commissioned by the late President John Evans Atta Mills to investigate the matter, had implicated him for wrongdoing.

Three others
Three people suspected to have aided Woyome were also arrested. They were a Chief State Attorney, Mr Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh; his wife, Mrs Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh, and the Director of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Paul Asimenu.
Woyome was initially charged with conspiracy, defrauding by false pretence and corrupting a public officer, while Mr Nerquaye-Tetteh was charged with conspiracy and corrupting a public officer. Asimenu and Mrs Nerquaye-Tetteh were charged with abetment of crime. 
Woyome was alleged to have paid GH¢400,000 to the couple but they and Mr Asimenu were, on June 5, 2012, freed, following the state’s declaration of filing a nolle prosequi.
Woyome was, however, re-arraigned and charged with two counts of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence.

Indictments, resignations and dismissals
The interim report of EOCO, which was presented to the President on February 2, 2012, also indicted two former government officials under whose watch the procurement process was carried out. 
They were Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports at the time, and his deputy, Mr O. B. Amoah. But Mr Osafo-Maafo secured a court order which declared EOCO’s investigation of him as illegal.
He also testified as a prosecution witness and ended his examination-in-chief on July 30, 2012.
A fallout from the Woyome scandal led to the dismissal of the then Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mr Martin Amidu, who later managed to secure judgement against Woyome at the Supreme Court.
It also led to the resignation of the Minister of Education, Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, who, as Attorney General and Minister of Justice, had recommended that the money be paid to Woyome.
February 3, 2012 – Woyome arrested.
Feb 6, 2012 – Woyome put before court, along with Mr Nerquaye-Tetteh, Mrs Nerquaye-Tetteh and Mr Asimenu.
February 6, 2013 – Woyome remanded in custody by a court presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam.
Feb 13, 2012 – Woyome granted bail in the sum of GH¢54 million.
February 20, 2012 – Woyome’s bail reviewed and reduced to GH¢20 million. 
June 5, 2012 – Woyome and three others discharged. Woyome was, however, re-arrested and charged with two counts of causing financial loss and defrauding by false pretence. 

Prosecution witnesses
The prosecution, which has since closed its case, began calling its witnesses in June 2012.
Persons who testified on behalf of the state were Mrs Mangowa Ghanney of the MOFEP; Mr Osafo-Maafo; a former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu; Ms Yvonne Quansah of MOFEP and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Mr Lionel Van Lare Dosoo.
Ms Lesley Dodoo of the Public Procurement Authority; Mr Andrea Orlandi, then Managing Director of Waterville Holdings, and Mr Ahmed Sulemana, the acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Justice, and the investigator in the case, Assistant Superintendent of Police Mr Odame Okyere, also testified.

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