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03 August 2017

ICC rejects Woyome’s petition over judgement saga

The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has rejected Alfred Woyome’s petition concerning the GHc 51 million judgment debt saga.

A document sighted by Citi News revealed that court decided that the petition would not proceed per Article 6(4) of its Arbitration Rules.

The article in question says:

In all cases referred to the Court under Article 6(3), the Court shall decide whether and to what extent the arbitration shall proceed. The arbitration shall proceed if and to the extent that the Court is prima facie satisfied that an arbitration agreement under the Rules may exist. In particular:

(i) where there are more than two parties to the arbitration, the arbitration shall proceed between those of the parties, including any additional parties joined pursuant to Article 7, with respect to which the Court is prima facie satisfied that an arbitration agreement under the Rules that binds them all may exist; and

(ii) where claims pursuant to Article 9 are made under more than one arbitration agreement, the arbitration shall proceed as to those claims with respect to which the Court is prima facie satisfied (a) that the arbitration agreements under which those claims are made may be compatible, and (b) that all parties to the arbitration may have agreed that those claims can be determined together in a single arbitration.

Article 6(4) also notes that the “Court’s decision pursuant to Article 6(4) is without prejudice to the admissibility or merits of any party’s plea or pleas.”

Cries of persecution

Mr. Woyome petition came around the time he had come out publicly to say he felt he was being persecuted by the Supreme Court in the matter of the judgement debt.

This came on the back of the Court’s approval, at the time, for him to be orally examined by former Attorney General, Martin Amidu.

Arguing this point, Mr. Woyome further noted that after an earlier judgment served him to pay the GHc 51 million, the Supreme Court rejected his mode of payment.

According to him, he had wanted to pay GHc4 million and spread the rest over a period of time but his appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court.

The embattled business is once again in court and has appeared to be orally examined by the Attorney General’s office on issues pertaining to whether he owes any debts, whether he has property to satisfy the debt, and the manner in which he used the judgment debt money paid him, among others.

This appearance saw Mr. Woyome reveal he had been out of business since 2012 as he lost all his businesses after his arrest in 2011 and subsequent trial.

The document sighted by Citi News

The document sighted by Citi News

Background to saga

Mr. Woyome was paid the GHc 51 million after claiming he helped Ghana raise funds to construct stadia for the hosting of the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

However, an Auditor General’s report released in 2010, held that the amount was paid illegally to him.

Subsequently, the Supreme Court in 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the money, after Martin Amidu, challenged the legality of the payments.

Following delays in retrieving the money, Supreme Court judges unanimously granted the Attorney General clearance to execute the court’s judgment, ordering Mr. Woyome to refund the cash to the state.

There had been previous attempts to orally examine Mr. Woyome, with Mr. Amidu himself, in 2016, filing an application at the Supreme Court to find out how the businessman was going to pay back the money. This came after the Attorney General’s office under the Mahama Administration, led by the former Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, discontinued a similar application.

In February 2017 however, Mr. Amidu withdrew his suit seeking an oral examination, explaining that the change of government and the assurance by the new Attorney General to retrieve all judgment debts wrongfully paid to individuals, had given him renewed confidence in the system.

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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