The Controller and Accountant General, Eugene Ofosuhene has confirmed that businessman Alfred Agbsei Woyome has paid ¢4.6 million of the debt owed the State.
The revelation was made at Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee sitting where the 2016 Auditor General’s report on the Consolidated Fund was scrutinised.
Members of Parliament (MPs) on the Committee wanted to know the progress made so far in the collection of the ¢51.2 million debt the national Democratic Congress financier owes the State.
They also questioned why the progress of the payment was not captured in the report.
Joy News ‘ Joseph Opoku Gapko was at the sitting and reports that Mr Ofosuhene in his response said the payment was made in two tranches.
He admitted that the payment was not captured but explained that “we have a letter from the Auditor General’s office to support the payment. Paragraph 4 of the letter dated March 8, 2018, states ‘kindly find below a computation of payments made by Mr Woyome based on the terms of settlement and the proceeds from the garnisheed’.
“Monies collected or recovered from the garnisheed order ¢167,565.62 and monies paid as a result of settlement is ¢4.5 million so the two sum up to the ¢4.667.566.62 million,” Mr Ofosuhene read to the Committee.
But the MPs were unimpressed with the progress made with the repayment of the debt.
In his response to steps being taken to ensure the full amount is recovered, Mr Ofosuhene said a court’s ruling on the issue came with specific settlement terms and his office will contact the Attorney General’s office for details and pursue it.
Alfred Woyome was paid ¢51 million for helping Ghana raise funds to construct stadia for purposes of hosting the CAN 2008 Nations Cup.
However, an Auditor General’s report released in 2010 said the amount was paid illegally to the NDC financier.
The report triggered nationwide controversy with critics accusing government of misappropriating funds. Officials of the New Patriotic Party who were in government during the CAN 2008 tournament said Woyome did no work to be paid that whopping sum of money.
The then Attorney General Joe Ghartey said Woyome was contracted to help in raising money for the construction works but he failed to meet the deadline.
He said the NPP government had no choice than to abrogate the contract with Woyome.
When the NPP left office in 2009, Alfred Woyome proceeded to court claiming his contract was illegally terminated and was demanding a judgment debt well over 2 million cedis.
The government failed to defend the state. Rather the then Attorney General (AG) under the late Mills administration Betty Mould Iddrisu is said to have negotiated with Woyome for him to reduce his demand on government. He did and requested for 51 million cedis instead.
The government went to court with a consent judgement. The court accepted and asked the AG to pay in three tranches of 17 million cedis to the plaintiff. The court was, however, emphatic that only the first tranche be paid until after the trial. The court again asked Woyome to present an undertaking that in the event he loses he would refund the first tranche of 17 million cedis but if wins the state will pay the two other tranches left. Betty Mould Iddrisu, however, decided to pay all the three tranches.
Her Deputy Ebo Barton Oduro later publicly defended the payment to Woyome.
In 2010 Martin Amidu was appointed Attorney General to replace Betty Mould Iddrisu who was sent to the Education Ministry.
That appointment and revelations in the 2010 Audit report changed the dynamics of the Woyome scandal.
Amidu had Woyome arrested and charged for causing financial loss to the state. Two others, including Nerquaye Tetteh, the chief state attorney were also arrested.
Whilst prosecuting the case, Martin Amidu was sacked from government under mysterious circumstances with Marietta Brew Hammond appointed to take his place.
Amidu however proceeded to the Supreme Court as a private citizen and managed to retrieve for the state millions of cedis said to have been paid illegally to Waterville. The judges however stayed a verdict on the Woyome case Amidu brought before them because the matter was pending before the High Court. He later went on a review and had the court rule in his favour. Woyome was asked to refund the 51 million cedis to the state.