The Supreme Court has dismissed an application for review by Alfred Woyome to overturn the court’s earlier ruling dismissing an attempt to have the ongoing legal proceedings in relation to his GH¢47.2 million debt owed the state moved to the High Court.
In a unanimous decision today, a three – member panel of the court , presided over by Mr Justice Julius Ansah, with Justices Agnes A. Dordzie and Professor Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey as members, dismissed the review application, with no reasons for their decision but awarded a cost of GH¢ 6,000 to the state.
Mr. Woyome applied for a review following the sole justice hearing the substantive case Anthony A. Benin’s decision dismissing his application to have his case moved from the Supreme Court to the high court.
Justice Benin in his ruling held that the Supreme Court had the power to enforce its judgement and, therefore, surrendering its jurisdiction to the High Court would be unconstitutional.
Lawyers for Mr. Woyome had raised an objection challenging the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to hear and determine the dispute since it was under the High Court (Civil Procedure Rules, 2004, CI 47).
They argued that hearing the case in the Supreme Court would deny the parties the right to appeal, although CI 47 makes provision for the right of appeal in execution processes.
The current legal battle follows the claim by the defunct UT Bank, through its receivers, that it owns two residential properties that the Attorney-General (A-G) says belong to Mr Woyome and, therefore, wants to sell to offset the debt.
The plaintiffs, Vish Ashiagbor and Eric Nana Nipah, want the Court to cause Anator Quarry Company Ltd. to refund the sum of GH¢9,461,505.81, being the total value of loans granted the company in May 2014.
One Dr. Michael Kofi Amedi of the 37 Military Hospital has also been joined to the suit.
The receivers want the debt paid at a “contractual interest rate of 5% per month, from May 13, 2014, to the date of final payment,” according to the writ.
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 CAN 2008.
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 requires 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 the court declined to grant his wish.
He, however, refunded GH¢4 million in November 2016 and promised to pay the outstanding balance by quarterly installments of GH¢5 million, commencing April 1, 2017 but that has not materialised as the businessman initiated a litany of legal cases at the Supreme Court to support his case, which were all dismissed.