I Didn't Instruct Ministry To Pay Woyome - Witness


Photo ReportingI Didn't Instruct Ministry To Pay Woyome - Witness

23 June 2012

A prosecution witness, Mrs Mangowa Ghanney, has told the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court that she did not instruct the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to pay GH¢51.2 million to Alfred Agbesi Woyome.   



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According to Mrs Ghanney, who is the Deputy Director, Legal at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), she did not have the authority to instruct the minister to effect payment, adding that she wrote a memo summarising a letter from the then Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, to her sector minister for consideration.

The said letter from Mrs Mould-Iddrisu, had recommended payment to Woyome because, according to Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu, Woyome had justification to be paid his claims.

Woyome is facing two counts of defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the state.

Woyome, who has denied any wrongdoing, is alleged to have made fraudulent claims to the government, resulting in the payment of the GH¢51.2 million to him.

Answering questions under cross examination from Mr Sarfo Buabeng Friday, lead counsel for the defence, the witness told the court that the accused person was paid the GH¢51.2 million after he had been awarded the judgement debt.

Earlier, Mr Buabeng sought to tender a letter which recommended payment of the judgement debt to Woyome and signed by the Director of Legal at the MoFEP, Mr Paul Asimenu, through Mrs Mangowa but a Chief State Attorney, Ms Cynthia Lamptey, objected.

According to her, it was inappropriate for the defence team to tender the document through the witness because the latter had not stated categorically that the signature on the document was that of Mr Asimenu.

Ms Lamptey also argued that apart from the letter being a photocopy, its author was alive, available and could be invited to testify.

Responding to the objection, Mr Buabeng contended that the original letter was in the custody of the government while the witness had admitted that Mr Asimenu was the head of her department.

He also argued that relevant evidence was admissible in court and questioned what was more relevant than a document coming from the legal division of the MoFEP?

In its ruling, the court, presided over by Justice John Ajet-Nasam, said Mrs Ghanney did not deny categorically that Mr Asimenu’s letter was not from her office and rather chose to use phrases like “it looks like, it appears to be” during her testimony.

Justice Ajet-Nasam ruled that the witness could have been more forthright with her answers and subsequently admitted the letter into evidence.

Continuing after the court’s ruling, Mrs Ghanney said the Budget Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, gave her a photocopy of the memo she authored and further pointed out that herself, the sector minister and another signatory, whom she assumed to be the Director of Budget, minuted on her memo.

According to Mrs Ghanney she had minuted on the memo urging the Director of Budget to follow up on the issue while the signature which she was not sure whether or not belonged to the Director of Budget said “process for payment”.

Asked to read what Dr Duffour had minuted on the letter, Mrs Ghanney told the court that Dr Duffour’s comments had been cancelled out on the memo.

The case has been adjourned to July 3, 2012.

Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana



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