President Akufo-Addo’s nominee for the position of Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu, is still insisting that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, should not go down alone in the infamous GH¢51.2 million judgment debt scandal that rocked the nation in 2011.
Mr. Amidu maintained, “If we are going to prosecute, we should prosecute everybody involved and not Woyome alone.”
The NDC bankroller, who fraudulently walked away with GH¢51.2 million for no work done, was said to have been aided by some staff of the Attorney General’s Department under Betty Mould-Iddrisu.
Some of the payments went into bank accounts of some staff at the Department and their wives, as well as NDC gurus.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP), ahead of the December 7, 2016 elections, released a list containing the alleged beneficiaries of the Woyome payout.
The GH¢51.2 million was fraudulently paid to the NDC man in 2010 by the government on the instructions of then Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrisu, and her deputy, Ebo Barton-Odro.
Some of the beneficiaries were the late Professor Kofi Awoonor, who was the Chairman of the Council of State.
He was said to have received a cheque for GH¢75,000; Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the NDC, GH¢20,000; Ade Coker, Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the party, GH¢30,000 and Koku Anyidoho, Deputy General Secretary, GH¢113,000.
“On 8th February 2011, the NDC Greater Accra Regional Chairman, in a receipt, penned in his own handwriting, Mr Ade Coker was given GH¢30,000 by Woyome. The handwritten receipt reads, ‘Received from Consul Afred Woyome an amount of GH¢30,000.00,’ Signed Ade Coker 8/2/11. Asiedu Nketia is also listed as a beneficiary of the Woyome cash. For example, on 2nd September, 2011, he personally received GH¢20,000 from Mr Woyome. It was a cash cheque with serial number 727292,” the NPP stated.
The rest are Kwesi Pratt, Managing Editor of Insight newspaper, GH¢2,000; Steve Kpodzi, former Managing Director of ADB, GH¢60,000; Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini of Radio Gold, GH¢8,000 and Jewel Ackah, a musician, GH¢60,000.
Woyome also gave GH¢15,000 to the NDC office in Hohoe; GH¢42,000 to the party for the purchase of motorbikes; GH¢30,000 to renovate NDC party office and another GH¢1 million to the same party.
“On 15th February, 2011, a one-million Ghana-cedi cheque was paid into the Unibank Ghana Ltd account of the NDC. We have a copy of the exact ADB cheque, which carries the No. 230051. Woyome’s bank statement shows that that cheque was cleared the very next day,” the party claimed.
“On May Day (May 1, 2011), Koku Anyidohu received from Woyome personally a cash cheque of GH¢13,000, with No. 809093. A few days after, on 10th May, 2011, Woyome again gave Koku Anyidoho an amount of GH¢100,000 and the purpose is stated as ‘Koku’s Trip With President (Mills).’
“There is also payment of GH¢60,000 from Woyome to Steve Kpordzie, who was at the time the Managing Director of ADB. This raises serious questions over propriety. What did the Bank Manager do to deserve a cash payment of that colossal amount?
“In fact, the Speaker of Parliament, Doe Adjaho, is also listed as receiving GH¢10,000 from Woyome, from cheque No. 727745,” the NPP stated.
It said Woyome made the payments to the people and the NDC in 2011.
It was Mr Amidu’s efforts that led to the declaration by the Supreme Court that Mr. Woyome should be made to refund the huge amount he unlawfully took from the state during the erstwhile Mills/Mahama NDC administration.
Bizarrely, a criminal trial mounted against Mr. Woyome collapsed after the high court judge, John Ajet-Nassam, acquitted and discharged him for lack of evidence.
It was also in the course of delivering the Supreme Court judgement that a member of the panel – Justice Jones Victor Dotse – described the deal as a case of ‘create, loot and share,’ which became a negative political mantra used against the NDC ever since – to connote the supposed corrupt deals of the party.
During his vetting in Parliament House in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Amidu, a former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, said, “As Attorney General, I had said that Woyome cannot be prosecuted alone and that all his accomplices must be prosecuted.”
Mr. Amidu, who did not name the supposed ‘accomplices,’ told parliament’s Appointments Committee that as the AG when he met his staff to deliberate the Woyome issues and “they all agreed that part of the fault is from this house (the Attorney General’s Department).
“That is one of the reasons why the hoodlums hounded me so that they would not be prosecuted. So Woyome alone was prosecuted and if you remember, in the judgement, the judge said that Woyome could not be prosecuted alone and that those who acted with him were not brought. So (John) Ajet-Nasam, who was proven to be a corrupt judge, later acquitted Woyome.”
In fact, his description of some NDC bigwigs as hoodlums attracted the attention of the Committee’s Chairman, Joe Osei-Owusu, who asked Mr. Amidu to retract the statement, which he did immediately.
Mr. Amidu said “If I had prosecuted that case, together with the accomplices, the result would have been different and my perception is that the prosecution was bundled to get that guy out.”