Woyome Appeal Useless Says Emile Short

Francis Emile Short

Francis Emile Short

Former commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Francis Emile Short, says he doubts if the Attorney-General will succeed in her quest to overturn the acquittal of NDC financier Alfred Agbesi Woyome by an Accra High Court.

According to Mr Short, the Attorney-General Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong is ’unlikely to succeed’ because she would not be given the opportunity to produce new evidence to back her claims.

Ms Appiah-Opong is launching an appeal against the acquittal of Woyome by the Accra High Court over the charge of defrauding the State to the tune of GH¢51.2 million in the name of judgement debt.

‘We disagree completely with the judgment of the court,’ the Attorney-General said, adding, ‘We are applying for a copy of the judgment, study it carefully and appeal accordingly.’

The presiding judge, Justice John Ajet-Nasam acquitted and discharged Woyome, claiming that the prosecution failed to provide enough evidence to prosecute the case.

He questioned why the prosecution failed to present key witnesses such as Betty Mould-Iddrisu, the former Attorney-General who authorised the payment of GH¢51.2 million to Woyome, and Ebo Barton-Odro, her deputy at the time, among others, when the judgment debt was paid.

Betty, a National Democratic Congress Vice Chairperson is fighting hard to extricate herself from the Woyome conundrum.

Speaking on Citi FM Friday, Justice Emile Short said the decision to file for an appeal would be an exercise in futility.

He explained that since the Appeal Court would be bound by the evidence adduced in the trial court, which exonerated Alfred Woyome, the case would be dead on arrival.

The former CHRAJ boss could not fathom why state prosecutors failed to produce the material witnesses in court to help their case.

Amoako-Baah’s Conspiracy Theory Meanwhile, head of the Political Science Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr Amoako-Baah, is reading conspiracy into the Woyome saga.

He alleged that the controversial GH¢51.2 million judgment debt paid to the NDC financier between 2009 and 2010 was done conspiratorially by people in Government at the time.

The money was paid to Mr Woyome during the tenure of Betty Mould- Iddrisu as Attorney-General.

Mrs Mould-Iddrisu’s successor, Martin Amidu, who was later fired by President John Mills (late) after raising concerns about the payment which he described as ‘gargantuan fraud’, subsequently challenged the payment of the judgment debt at the Supreme Court.

The panel of justices ruled unanimously that the payment was unmerited since the allegedly abrogated contracts which formed the basis of Mr Woyome’s claims had no parliamentary endorsement.

The Court therefore asked Mr Woyome to refund the money to the state.

On the criminal aspect of the case, Mr Woyome was Thursday acquitted and discharged by an Accra High Court on two counts of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretences.

Dr Amoako-Baah told Starr Fm that the prosecution failed to invite the two critical witnesses because they were party to a grand conspiracy to pay the money to Mr Woyome for the use of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as a whole.

‘The point is, the moment you invite someone like Betty Mould-Iddrisu, it means she too is in trouble because she’ll be implicated in the process and so it was not good for them to call any of these big people…Betty Mould-Iddrisu…canvass[ed] for the money to be paid- all of it. And so this is a conspiracy,’ the political science professor said.

Betty Jittery
In a related development, the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Betty Mould-Iddrisu is jittery about dying with the tag of aiding the self-acclaimed NDC financier to defraud the nation to the tune of GH¢51.2 million.

A day before the ruling of the criminal case brought against Mr Woyome would be given, Betty expressed fears of dying with such a tag hanging around her neck like an albatross.

Host of the programme, Starr Drive, Kwabena Anokye Adisi popularly called Bola Ray, sought to know if she was often hunted by the ‘Woyome tag’ as he put it.

She immediately put up a response, ‘I wouldn’t like to go to my grave with it. I do know Alfred Woyome, yes; and I know that the matter is in court; but I wouldn’t like to go to my grave or to be judged because in law there are many variables.’

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