The businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, has pledged to pay GH¢10 million as part of plans to settle the GH¢47.2 million he owes the state.
He has also promised to refund GH¢4 million every 90 days until the judgment debt is liquidated.
In a motion filed on July 31, 2019 for stay of execution of the Supreme Court order that his assets be sold to pay off the debt, the businessman said he had sought the assistance of family, business partners and friends to meet his debt obligation.
“That, as a demonstration of good faith, I am ready to pay a first tranche of GH¢10 million after this application is granted and GH¢4 million every 90 days until the judgment is liquidated,” an affidavit in support of his motion deposed.
“I do hereby state emphatically that I am committed to paying the judgment debt without defaulting,” he said.
The businessman is accordingly praying the court to grant his wish in the interest of fairness and justice.
“That, in the interest of fairness and justice, I pray the court to grant me the opportunity to pay the judgment debt by instalments and that if this application is granted, there is the possibility that my otherwise shattered and dented image as a result of media adverse publications against me could be restored and boost the confidence of my business associates to assist me in paying the judgment debt on and or before the proposed period,” Mr Woyome said.
He said his repayment schedule stalled in 2016 because he was pursuing justice at the international forum and that following the losses he had suffered at that level and home, he was ready to resume payment.
Payments so far
According to Mr Woyome, he paid GH¢4 million and an additional GH¢500,000, while five bank accounts of his containing GH¢966.58, GH¢29,515.95, $98.17, $32,779.68 and €1,226.72 were garnisheed and the moneys in them confiscated to the state following a garnishee order in 2016.
“Unfortunately, it does not appear the amount recovered through the garnishee proceedings has been factored into payments so far made,” he said.
His application will be heard on October 16, 2019.
Meanwhile, the state has rejected a separate proposal of Mr Woyome’s to pay back the GH¢47.2 million he owes the government in instalments.
In a letter dated July 8, 2019, Mr Woyome proposed to pay GH¢4 million in quarterly instalments and also requested for a meeting with the Attorney-General’s team.
However, a Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, on behalf of the minister, rejected the proposal.
A letter dated July 22, 2019 and signed by Mr Dame said: “Unfortunately, the Attorney-General is unable to grant your request, for obvious reasons.”
July 2014 decision
The Supreme Court, on July 29, 2014, ordered Mr Woyome to refund GH¢51.2 million to the State on the grounds that he got the money out of unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the State and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of stadia for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, which Ghana hosted.
The court held that the contracts upon which Mr Woyome made and received the claim were in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which required such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.
On March 1, 2016, Mr Woyome prayed the court to give him three years to pay back the money but it declined to grant his wish.
He, however, refunded GH¢4 million in November 2016 and promised to pay the outstanding balance in quarterly instalments of GH¢5 million, commencing April 1, 2017. That did not materialise.
He then initiated a litany of legal cases at the Supreme Court to support his case, but they were all dismissed.
In addition to fighting his cases in Ghana, he sought reliefs from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) based in Paris, France, and the African Court of Justice, based in Arusha, Tanzania.
In August 2017, the ICC threw out his case, on the basis that he had failed to properly invoke its jurisdiction.
The African Court of Justice has also dismissed his case.
The Supreme Court, on June 27, 2019, ordered the sale of Mr Woyome’s assets to defray the GH¢47.2 million debt he owes the state.
Assets to be sold include two mansions at Trassaco Estate, a house at Kpehe, an office complex of Anator Holdings, a residential building at Abelemkpe and a stone quarry, including its plants and equipment.
The court, with Mr Justice A. A. Bennin as the sole judge, held that the properties belonged to Mr Woyome and that the claim by UT Bank that the businessman had sold the two houses at Trassaco Estate to it was a sham.
The Supreme Court, on July 25, 2019, determined the prices at which two of Mr Woyome’s properties should be auctioned.
The forced sale price of one of his Trassaco properties has been fixed at GH¢8.3 million, while his Kpehe residence is valued at GH¢3.4 million.
Thus the state, through the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, can proceed to auction both properties at a minimum price of GH¢11.7 million.
Additionally, the court directed the valuation of another property at Trassaco and a report submitted to its registry by August 31, 2019.
Mr Dame told journalists after the court’s hearing last month that the valuation report on the office complex of Anator Holdings Limited at East Legon and the quarry, together with its equipment, at Mafi in the Volta Region was ready.
He said his office would officially file the necessary documents before the next hearing.
The case has been adjourned to October 16.