Following the dawn siege at the home of businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, last Thursday, September 7, by state operatives, including heavily armed police, Mr. Woyome has written to three head honchos whose minions were involved.
Separate letters were fired to the Chief Justice (CJ) Sophia Akuffo, Attorney General (AG), Gloria Akuffo and Inspector General of Polices (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu, on September 8, the very next day after the siege.
The letters, which protested the invasion, warned that the incident would be brought to the attention of the African Human and People’s Rights Court (AHPRC) where Mr. Woyome’s suit against the state is already pending, if the harassments do not cease.
“I wish to place it on record that I will not hesitate to bring this to the notice of the African Court if these unwarranted actions are not stopped,” the letter to the CJ warned, carrying the same tone of caution in the letters to the AG and IGP.
At 4:30 am on Thursday, 7th September 2017, a combination of seven policemen and National Security operatives, armed to the teeth, along with five people who claimed to be from the Land Valuation Board, besieged House No. 327/7 Comcan Crescent, Kokomlemle in Accra.
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 sieget, they had tried to force their way into the house while the whole neighborhood was asleep.
However, the apparent tip-toe was noticed by Mr. Woyome’s watchman, who woke up his master to report to him.
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.
Mr. 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 paid him.
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 however went south, when Mr. 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, Mr. Woyome had, rather, showed the group a document that the defunct UT Bank had filed long ago over the house.
A shaken Alfred Woyome has since 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 is 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.
“I believe Her Ladyship is quite aware of the case of Alfred Agbesi Woyome v The Republic of Ghana, Case No. AfCHPR/Reg. /APRL.001/2017/001, which is presently before the African Court on Human and People’s Rights. This case has much to do with the violation of my human rights by state agencies including the Supreme Court which led to the Supreme Court review judgment dated 29th July, 2014,” Mr. Woyome stated in his protest letter over the invasion to the CJ.
The letter also reminded that there is an application for interim measure to preserve the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the suit before the AHPRC, which makes the siege of his home on Thursday extra-judicial and clear violation of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
“It is worrying that state agents would invade the privacy of my home at 4:30 AM just to value the property without any court order and under the escort of heavily armed policemen when I have not committed any crime; I do not have private armed security and there is no indication that their lives were at risk. This show of force was unnecessary and uncalled for,” the letter said.
In Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo’s version of the protest letters, Mr. Woyome had expressed surprise that the team which besieged his house had claimed that they had had authorization from the AG.
And his surprise, according to him, was due to the fact that at the time of the siege, the AG had been in Hamburg, Germany, carrying out an international assignment.
“I was aware from media reports that you were at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg and therefore wonder when and how you gave the instruction for this attempted valuation to be carried out.”
In the letter to the IGP, Mr. Woyome emphasized that the heavily armed policemen, including an operative from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), had worn bullet proof vests even though he does not have private security at the Kokomlemle home.
The strange dawn invasion on the 7th of September, 2017, supposedly to carry out a Supreme Court judgment of 29th July 2014, at a time that the case is still pending before court, has left tongues wagging.
Many people believe that the so-called intent to carry out a valuation at 4:30 AM is ostensible and that a more sinister motive was behind the move.
It has not been farfetched for observers to sense that the NPP government had attempted to assassinate Mr. Woyome, whose case before the AHRPC has become a headache for the Attorney General.
After the businessman had filed the suit in January, the Attorney General had been invited by the court to file a response within 60 days, but after the 60 days had elapsed, the AG had begged for more time to file a response.
It is while the court is looking forward to the AG’s filing a response that heavily armed gunmen crept on to Mr. Woyome’s home at dawn, ostensibly to carry out a valuation of his property for sale on account of the same case in court.
Interestingly, the state has long been told that UT Bank has rights to the property which makes it impossible for the state to auction it off, even if Mr. Woyome eventually loses the case.
The three protest letters that Mr. Woyome filed to the CJ, AG and IGP were duly copied the UT Bank, which has now been taken over by the Ghana Commercial Bank.