Court documents available to Joy FM indicate that the Attorney-General instructed the state to pay NDC guru Alfred Woyome, GHC42 million, in total disregard of a court order to pay him GHC17 million.
Mr Woyome brought a case against the state on April 19, 2010, claiming he was wrongfully denied a contract to build stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament and in lieu of that claimed GHC51,283,480.59 in damages.
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice filed a notice of appearance but neglected to pursue a defence and to that extent Mr Woyome secured a default judgement of GHC51,283,480.59.
The Attorney-General, in accordance with the law, and in respect of the judgement, mutually agreed with the plaintiff, Mr Woyome, to pay the money in three equal installments.
According to the terms agreed on by the plaintiff and the A-G, “The defendant shall pay to the plaintiff the sum of GHC51,283,480.59 in three equal monthly installments in the sum of GHC17,094,493.53 beginning June 2010 and ending August 31, 2010, in full and final settlement of the judgement debt.”
The agreement added that “The terms of settlement shall be entered as consent judgement subject to the usual default clause.”
To strengthen the agreement terms, the Finance Ministry wrote a letter to the court to confirm “the contents of the terms of settlement as per the advice of the Defendant who is the principal legal advisor of the government of Ghana.”
While Mr Woyome was expecting the first installment of GHC17 million to be paid in June 2010, a Principal State Attorney, Mr Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, acting on behalf of the A-G, on July 28, 2010, filed a writ in court stating “That the failure of the Applicants to file a defence was not deliberate or in disrespect of the court but …were of a mistaken belief that there was no defence to the claim and therefore did not file a statement of defence.”
The writ added, “It has now come to the knowledge of the Applicants that there is a defence to the action.” The writ that there was even a mistake in the amount to be paid, insisting the amount was GHC41,811,480.59 million and not GHC51,283,480.59 as stated by the court.
The A-G subsequently filed a stay of execution to “enable them defend the claim on the merits of the case.”
The judge, Justice I. O. Tanko Amadu, granted the stay of execution albeit in part and conditionally.
He said since the Defendants filed their writ and the stay of execution after due date for the payment of the first installment of GHC17 million to Mr Woyome, the A-G should pay that money with the interest accrued subject to the Plaintiff also filing an undertaking to return the money in full should the A-G succeed in his defence and should the Plaintiff lose his case.
Despite this directive by the court, the state, it appears has gone ahead to pay the entire sum of GHC42 million to the plaintiff.
The state also does not seem to be confident in the defence processes it initiated for only Monday morning Deputy A-G, Ebo Barton-Oduro, told Joy FM not pursuing any defence saved the state money.
He argued if the state chose to pursue the case, it would have taken some time to conclude and that would mean more interest payment. As far as he was concerned any defence was bound to fail.