The Court of Appeal has thrown out contempt proceedings embattled businessman Alfred Woyome brought against Citi FM, the Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide newspaper Kwaku Baako and the Multimedia group.
The rest are the Despite group of companies – owners of Peace FM and New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Deputy Communications Director Anthony Karbo.
Lawyers for Citi FM, Anthony Karbo, Despite group of companies and Kwaku Baako argued that the Court of Appeal did not have jurisdiction to hear the contempt proceedings.
They were represented by Nii Apatu Plange, Egbert Faible Jnr and Thadeus Sory.
[contextly_sidebar id=”S4pOXqcXniR3KON608odsMVSysPnjh4V”]According to them, if anything at all, the case should be heard at a High Court which has original jurisdiction to hear this particular contempt application.
But Counsel for Woyome, David Annan had earlier argued that the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction because the statements that amounted to the contempt were made after his [Woyome] acquittal from the same court.
The court however upheld the arguments of lawyers of Citi FM and the rest, struck out the case and subsequently awarded a GHc9,000 cost against Mr Woyome.
It also went ahead to determine the propriety of joining the Despite group of companies and others to the application since they were corporate bodies.
According to the court, where a contempt is against a corporate body, the directors of those companies are supposed to be cited for contempt and not the companies.
The Court of Appeal however struck out the contempt application and awarded a cost of Ghc3,000 each against Woyome.
Woyome case adjourned to December 1
The Court also adjourned to December 1 hearing of the application brought before it by Woyome to put a hold on an earlier permission granted anti-corruption campaigner, Martin Amidu to orally examine him.
The adjournment according to the judge was because the application was served on the Attorney General and Martin Amidu late.
Mr. Woyome was earlier ordered by the Supreme Court to appear in court for an oral examination over the controversial judgement debt saga.
The order followed an application filed by Mr. Amidu, praying the Supreme Court to allow him to orally examine Woyome, after the Attorney General (AG) discontinued the process to examine him.
Justice Anin Yeboah, who gave the ruling argued that the applicant had the right to do that because he personally came to court to get a judgment to have Mr. Woyome pay back the GHc51 million cash he received as judgment debt.
The judge also indicated that the application was granted because there was no evidence of execution before the court by the AG presently.
Mr. Amidu’s action followed a move by the Attorney General’s (AG) office, led by the Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, to discontinue an oral examination of Mr. Woyome, despite serving an earlier notice to do same. The notice of discontinuance stated that “please take notice that the 1st Defendant Judgment Creditor [Attorney General] herein has this day [26th Day of October 2016] discontinued the present application to orally examine the 3rd Defendant Judgment Debtor [Alfred Agesi Woyome] with liberty to reapply.”
This forced Mr. Amidu to file the application in court, in which he even alleged that President Mahama had ordered a discontinuation of the case because Mr. Woyome had threatened to expose officials of government and the NDC who benefited from the amount.
The AG’s office arguing against Mr. Amidu’s application in court questioned his right to examine Mr. Woyome over the matter.
The ¢51 million judgement debt Alfred Woyome was paid ¢51 million after he claimed that he helped Ghana to raise funds to construct stadia for purposes of hosting the CAN 2008 Nations Cup.
The Supreme Court in 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the amount, after Mr. Martin Amidu challenged the legality of the judgment debt paid the businessman, Waterville, and Isofoton.
Following delays in retrieving the money, the Supreme Court judges unanimously granted the Attorney-General clearance to execute the court’s judgment ordering Mr. Woyome to refund the cash to the state.
Woyome prevents officials from valuing residence
But Mr. Woyome in April 2016, prevented officials of the Attorney General’s Department and the Lands Commission from securing access to his Kpehe residence for valuation claiming it was illegal.
The move was part of a directive from the Supreme Court to retrieve monies illegally paid to him. Mr Woyome however, resisted the move, saying the planned valuation was illegal.
Mr. Woyome had earlier won the criminal prosecution that sought to imprison him for the offence.
By: Nana Boakye-Yiadom/citifmonline.com/Ghana