NPP Walks Into Contempt Landmine

…With Dawn Raids on Woyome Homes, Despite Pending Case At African Court

An invasion of the homes of Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome yesterday by a combined team of policemen, soldiers and valuers from the Land Valuation Board has set concerned observers wondering why the NPP government carried out this action, even though it is totally extra judicial, coming in the wake of Mr. Woyome’s case with the state at the African Court on Human and People’s Right (ACHPR).

There are fears that the action by the ruling party will entangle the Attorney General and, for that matter, the government of Nana Akufo-Addo in a contempt of court net soon.

The African Court on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), on Monday, 18th September, served notice to the state of a supplementary affidavit that businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, has issued to the court to nourish his case, titled “Woyome V The Republic of Ghana.”

In a 12th September letter signed by Dr. Robert Eno, the registrar of the court, the Attorney General was asked to submit a reply to Mr. Woyome’s supplementary affidavit within 30 days.

“The Registry hereby forwards a copy of the Applicant’s second supplementary affidavit of the applicant in support of the application for interim measures in the above mentioned application,” the letter read.

That same 12th September letter, which communicated an update on “Alfred Agbesi Woyome Versus The Republic of Ghana,” had acknowledged a response by the state to Mr. Woyome’s Statement of Claim filed earlier.

According to the letter, that response by the AG, had been, “received at the Registry on 4th September, 2017.”

The ongoing litigation between Mr. Woyome and the State at the ACPHR is in spite of the fact that the NPP government has claimed several times before the case that Woyome had no case whatsoever.

Interestingly, it is in spite of the ongoing litigation that the state keeps staging dawn siege at the houses of Mr. Alfred Woyome in supposed attempts to value his properties over the Ghc51million judgment debt paid him by the state.

Early dawn yesterday, a team of police and soldier men stormed the Trassaco Valley in Accra to value a house belonging to Mr. Woyome there. The raid is a repetition of a similar raid by the state in July, this year.

Upon approaching the main gates of the walled Trassaco Valley neighbourhood, security men at the gate had refused entrance to the team, which comprised gun wielding military and police personnel, and one Ernest, from the Attorney General’s Department.

Allegedly acting on the instructions of the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, the team had overpowered the Trassaco security guards and forced their way through to where Woyome’s house is located, valuing it.

From Trassaco, the team had beaten a second path to the Kokomlemle home of Mr. Woyome and forcibly invaded the property to value it. A protestation by Mr. Woyome’s wife in the Kokomlemle valuation attempt, had allegedly led to one of the military personnel, leveling his gun at Mrs. Woyome.

Interestingly, demands for evidence of entry order from the court had led to the team dilly-dallying. A document was eventually released turned out not to be a court entry permit, upon close inspection.

Titled “Request for valuation” and dated 13th September, 2017, the document was a copy of a letter to the Regional Land Valuer from the Registrar of the Supreme Court, requesting for a number landed properties to be valued.

Attached to the letter was a copy of ex parte decision by the High Court in the Isofotone case dated 5th November, 2014 between The Republic and Anane Agyei Forson.

As the document did not constitute a search order from the court, it was pointed out to the team that the documents they were holding were inappropriate, but the team still went on to value the house.

Interestingly, both houses at Trassaco and Kokomlemle are partly in the name of the UT Bank, which has long filed interpreders over them.

It has since become wonderment as to why the NPP government carried out this action, even though it is totally extra judicial, coming in the wake of Mr. Woyome’s case with the state at the ACHPR.

Yesterday’s invasion of Mr. Woyome’s homes happened in the wake of the ACHPR asking the AG to respond to supplementary affidavit that Mr. Woyome has filed before the court in “Woyome V The Republic of Ghana.”

Insightfully, yesterday’s siege at the two houses of the businessman was not the first. At 4:30 am on Thursday, 7th September 2017, a combination of seven policemen and five National Security operatives, armed to the teeth, along with five people who claimed to be from the Land Valuation Board, had besieged the home of Woyome.

Along with a man who claimed to be a bailiff from the Supreme Court, the group had crept on to Mr. Woyome’s Kokomlemle home in two cars, one with registration number –NR 2347 – 09.

As part of the siege, they had tried to force their way into the house, while the whole neighborhood was asleep.

However, the apparent tip-toe woke people, including Mr. Woyome up. A confrontation that subsequently ensued led to the group of well-armed dawn creepers announcing that they had been sent by the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo.

Woyome was to hear, also, that their attempt to clandestinely enter his house under the cover of darkness was to execute a Supreme Court order to value the house in preparation for auction on account of the Ghc51million judgment debt.

How a Supreme Court order to value a house to be auctioned had to be carried out at dawn by a team of Police and National Security personnel armed like Rambo, sounded suspicious enough. The narrative had however gone south, when Woyome demanded for essential documents authorizing the operation and the team could not produce any.

Under the suspicious eyes of onlookers and Mr. Woyome, the team rather took to a fanciful and officious placing of calls, before eventually standing down.

By the time they were leaving, Alfred Agbesi Woyome had, rather, showed the group a document that the defunct UT Bank had filed long ago over the house.

A shaken Alfred Woyome had later pointed out in a social media post that the supposed attempt to carry out the Supreme Court valuation order at dawn happened at a time that the Supreme Court was on legal holiday.

The so-called Supreme Court bailiff, who accompanied the team on that mission to ostensibly enforce an order of the court which is on legal holiday, is said to have given his name as Prince Eli.

Later, Mr. Woyome had written to the Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police and the Chief Justice, to protest the extra judicial siege at his home, warning if it happened again he would complain to the ACHPR before which he had the case against the state pending.

It was in spite of those complaints that the team of heavily armed police and soldiers invaded his Trassaco and Kokomlemle homes again yesterday, in a similar fashion.

In yesterday’s second siege, Prince Eli did not turn up; rather, it was one Ernest from the AG’s Department who had followed the heavily armed men.

Mr. Woyome is very likely to officially notify the ACHPR of the extra judicial assaults by the state on his rights.

The NPP government, in carrying out these extra judicial actions, have only incurred more potential loss to the state as Alfred Woyome litigates from a strong position at the ACHPR.

Earlier, the International Court had given judgment in a case Mr. Woyome had filed there, making nonsense of the conjoining of Mr. Woyome’s case against the state to that of Waterville Holdings, on the basis of which Ghc51million paid to him was supposed to be returned to the state.

The guerilla tactics that the NPP government has adopted seems to be coming from pressure to inconvenience Woyome on account of its campaign promise in 2016 to collect the judgment debt by hook or crook.

But as the NPP government uses these guerrilla tactics, it is instructive that Mr. Woyome had not stolen from the State.

He had presented documents to back his claims that the state owed him over the illegal abrogation of a contract that had led to him losing 4% on over 1billion Euros that he is entitled to as financial engineer.

The money had duly been paid by state officials, including former Attorney General, Martin Alamisi Benz K. Amidu, who has now turned ally of the NPP, in spite of the fact that he used to be a member of the NDC.

As things shape up now, if Woyome wins the case at the ACHPR, the state would be made to suffer penalties for all the extra judicial hounding that the businessman is being subjected to.




Source: Fiifi Samuels

The Republic News Online

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