Fight over Woyome properties; SC sets Oct 15 for hearing

Fight over Woyome properties; SC sets Oct 15 for hearing
Source: Ghana| | Joseph Ackay-Blay |Joy News
Date: 19-07-2018 Time: 01:07:36:pm
Embattled Mr Woyome's property is being fought for to defray debts owed him

The Supreme Court has ordered U.T Bank and one Abena Akyea to show proof that some properties the state say belong to businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome, are actually theirs.   

The properties in question include a quarry in the Volta Region and residential facilities at Trasacco and Tesano in Accra.

The state has so far earmarked the properties among others it hopes to get the Apex Court's backing to sell off to defray an amount of ¢51.2 million the Supreme has asked Mr Woyome to refund to the state.

Deputy Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, on Thursday asked sole judge, Justice Alfred Benin, to determine one of two matters before - order Mr Woyome to return to the witness box for his oral examination to continue or determine the dispute over Woyome's properties.

The oral examination which commenced months back is aimed at helping the state to identify Mr Woyome's assets.

Woyome lawyers ask for an adjournment

Lawyers for the businessman led by Petrina Defia asked that the court halts proceedings due to pending cases involving government and the businessman at various international courts.

However, Justice Benin turned down the request saying the external courts can only order the government and not the Supreme Court.

U.T Bank case

Lawyers for the defunct UT bank urged the sole judge to address their claims to the property instead of dealing with the oral examination.

U.T Bank maintained they had no interest in that matter since it bothered on all properties belonging to Mr Woyome.

They added that the bank owes the Bank of Ghana and needs to sell off the quarry in order to make the payments.

They claimed Mr Woyome had taken a loan from them but had defaulted in making payment forcing them to focus on selling the quarry which had been used as collateral.

Private individual

Lawyers for Abena Akyea, led by Opoku Amponsah also told the court they own the residential facility in contention. They said they had only rented it out to Mr Woyome for a period which has long elapsed.

State alleges collusion

Deputy AG Godfred Yeboah Dame, however, disputed the claims made by Mrs Akyea, saying the state had reason to believe some form of collusion is taking place to prevent the state from retrieving the funds.

Court Rules

Justice Benin ruled that it was important for the court to deal with the claims concerning the properties.

He explained the oral examination will achieve nothing if it proceeds and later the court concludes those properties don't belong to Mr Woyome.

He ordered UT Bank and Mrs Abena Akyea to file evidence of ownership by August 31.

The AG's office is to file evidence challenging the claims by October 5, 2018. The court intends to hear oral arguments on October 15.

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