National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier Alfred Agbesi Woyome has admitted the involvement of some key government appointees in the infamous judgment debt saga, in spite of attempts to extricate members of the Atta Mills administration from the imbroglio.
In his statement, given to the police shortly after his arrest, Mr. Woyome related how some officials in the Mills government supported his claims that resulted in the $26.56m judgment debt payout.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that in the police statement, Mr. Woyome mentioned names of government appointees including former Attorney General Betty Mould Iddrisu, the two Deputy Chiefs of Staff at the Castle Alex Segbefia and Valerie Sawyerr, as well as the Chief of Staff, John Henry Martey Newman, as persons he had discussions with, on the alleged judgment debt.
In one of the statements, which was copiously read on Joy FM News File programme on Saturday, editor-in-chief of Crusading Guide and radio commentator Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako stated: “The political executives appeared to have conceded to everything that was presented to them as part of pursuing his [Woyome] claims”.
In the statement to the police, Mr. Woyome wrote: “I wish to state that before I went to court [in 2010], I caused to be written by my Lawyer, Chris Coker Esq., to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning with copies to high officials in the Castle which I delivered personally.
“When we filed our writ of summons issued on the 19th of April, 2010, the Attorney General [Betty Mould Iddrissu] called me and demanded I write to her to clarify my capacity. I did so, and I suggested, per my clarification to her, that the clarification did not compromise my writ of summons”.
According to Mr. Woyome, “Two days after, I was summoned to the Castle to meet Mr. Alex Segbefia. I met him with my counsel- Chris Coker, and the capacity document was discussed. In the conversation, he indicated that he was going through the documents with Dr. Valerie Sawyerr upon the basis of the clarification document.”
Interestingly, the government of Ghana, based on the initial discussions held with Mr. Woyome, decided not to contest the claims of the NDC financier. Rather, government officials gathered at the negotiation table decided to bargain with the businessman on the amount to be paid to him.
“The government of Ghana did not contest the default judgment, but chose to negotiate it down from over GH¢105million to $26.56m, which negotiations were concluded by the Minister of Finance and his committee,” said Mr. Woyome.
“My Lawyers then put down the decision arrived at on paper for the Attorney General to sign. In my presence, the Attorney General called Mr. Neequaye Tetteh to come and witness it for her after she had signed”.
This statement, apparently lent credence to the call by critics for the heads of all the persons involved in the judgment debt negotiation and its subsequent transaction. They insisted that Mr Woyome could not have singlehandedly creamed off $26.56m on the blind side of the State without accomplices in high places.
So far, no charge had been leveled against anybody, except for a few public officials at the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney Generals’ department, described by critics as “small fishes” who had since been discharged.
Several pressure groups were peeved with the apparent attempt to shield the real accomplices.
Groups like the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) had given government an ultimatum to bring Betty Mould-Iddrissu and others to book, or face the wrath of protestors planning to hit the streets soon.