The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has accused the NDC administration of attempting to cover up the Woyome scandal which they described “as the biggest corruption case in Ghana?s history by not showing any interest in the case”.
At a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, AFAG said ?based on both intelligence gathered and the prosecution?s own unprofessional approach to this matter, it is clear that the government has no intention and, indeed, no appetite to go ahead with the prosecution of the man that has been accused of defrauding the state of some GHC51 million” adding that ?as a public interest case, the long-suffering people of Ghana will not tolerate any attempt by this government to frustrate the prosecution of this case?.
Read below the full statement issued by AFAG
WOYOME?S PROSECUTION: ?ZERO TOLERANCE? TO FUTHER DELAYS
Good Morning ladies & gentlemen of the Press!
AFAG has invited you here this morning to focus public attention on an important national issue, which has become the next in a long line of events on the part of the President JEA Mills government to cover up the biggest series of corruption cases in Ghana?s history, the dubious payment of some GHC642 million in judgment debts, with about half of them being tainted with corruption.
Today, we want to focus on the ?criminal trial? against businessman and self-confessed NDC financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome. We sense something very suspicious about the way government is dealing with this matter. Our suspicion, based on both intelligence that we have gathered and the prosecution?s own unprofessional approach to this matter, is that the government has no intention and, indeed, no appetite to go ahead with the prosecution of the man that has been accused of defrauding the state of some GHC51 million.
The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) wishes to state un-equivocally that, as a public interest case, the long-suffering people of Ghana will not tolerate any attempt by this government to frustrate the prosecution of this case.
We do not accept the excuse by the prosecution that the case needed to be returned to the police for further investigation. It is just the next in a series of delay tactics that government intends to deploy between now and the end of 2012.
What else is left for the state to investigate? All the documents connected to this case are available. Our checks with the police show that neither Woyome nor anyone else connected to this case has been since invited by the police for any investigation to be undertaken.
EOCO was instructed by the President to investigate this matter and this was even after the Attorney-General had concluded, based on all the evidence available, that Woyome had defrauded the state. EOCO came to the same conclusion.
So what is it that is left to be investigated?
Ladies & gentlemen, it will be re-called that the former Attorney General, Mr. Martin A.B.K Amidu, on the 16th of January 2012, filed an affidavit to amend an earlier writ, praying the court to set aside a consent judgment awarded to Woyome, in which the A-G alleged the negotiated judgment payment by his predecessor to Mr Woyome was procured through fraud. Indeed, the fact that Mr Amidu was forced to resign after revealing that there was a grand scheme to cover up this ?gargantuan crime? against the state, adds to the suspicion that President Mills has no intention to prosecute his financier for stealing from the state.
Is it not strange that since EOCO finished its investigations, some names have been mentioned as people who allegedly benefited from Woyome?s tainted millions and yet not a single one of these names is connected to the ruling party, the party that Woyome admits to funding?
What accounts for this? Is it, as some intelligence has it, that the concealment of the names is serving as a bargaining chip? Could it be true, as published some months back that Woyome has threatened to release names of top people in government that he has given money to if the state goes ahead to prosecute and convict him?
We are of the strong belief that President Mills has no appetite to see to the end of the prosecution of Woyome. If that is the case then the Woyome case is bigger than Mr Woyome. It adds to the suspicion that Woyome was used as a mere pawn to steal money from the state.
The decision by the prosecution to ask more time to investigate this matter is unacceptable. We are appalled by this development. The A-G appears simply to be delaying justice to deny the people of Ghana justice on this unprecedented alleged theft of state money.
AFAG will like to caution the AG?s office that, there the people of Ghana will not accept any cover up in this case. AFAG would wish to advise the lawyers in the A-G?s Department not to allow themselves to be used as instruments to cover up this alleged fraud and shield the perpetrators from justice.
Indeed, Mr Woyome should not be the only person on trial. He ought to have been joined by Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, Dr Kwabena Duffour and Hon Ebo Barton-Oduro, to mention but a few.
AFAG will therefore urge the AG?s office to stop dragging its feet, as the threshold of public tolerance to the opening of the case and the commencement of this trial, is already out-stretched. Ghanaians are running out of patience with this government in the way it is taking the people of this country for granted and the way it has taken corruption to new heights.
June 4, 2012, the case returns to court. There is no reason for the prosecution not to continue with the case on that day.
In this regard, AFAG will like to advise the lethargic and un-willing Attorney General to take some lessons from the wise words of the under mentioned statesmen in relation to this case:
Former A-G Martin A.B.K Amidu on the 29th of February 2012 stated: ?Time is of essence now otherwise the Republic would be perceived as unnecessarily delaying the case?.
The trial judge, Mr Justice Ajet-Nassam on March 26th 2012, said, ?throw in the towel or get serious ?,as an advice to the prosecution.
The President must certainly get serious as the continuous stay in office of Hon Ebo Barton Oduro, Dr Kwabena Duffour and Mr Henry Martey Newman only adds more salt to the growing perception that he is neck deep in this payment debt corruption scandal. We repeat our earlier call for them to be fired. It is only their questioning by the police that can be justified. But, sadly that has not happened and may never happen under President Mills.
On this note, AFAG will like to salute the President of Tanzania for his firm commitment to the fight against corruption, as promised in November 2011. His commitment to the present day fight against corruption in Africa south of the Sahara is unprecedented, and his colleagues including our President must be willing to gather such courage in the fight against corruption especially on the Woyome scandal.
President Mills, according to your colleague, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania who last week sacked 6 cabinet ministers on an allegation of corruption, he stated ?it is not enough for a minster to take responsibility alone, but the new approach is that, even those who caused the mishap will be to taken task as well?. President Kikwete appears to be up for the fight against corruption. Is President Mills? Unhappily for the Ghanaian people, it appears not.
The AG and his men, are therefore cautioned, that, if their un-preparedness remain at the time of the next hearing on the 4th of June 2012, AFAG will have no option than to press forward a series of actions sufficient to re-assure government and the AG of the public?s keen interest in having this matter prosecuted with all the seriousness it deserves.