The Auditor General has indicted the Finance Ministry and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department for failing to capture three important transactions in their books.
A 3.8 million dollars Judgment debt awarded to the country against Dunkwa Continental Mining Co. Ltd, repayments of GHc51 million judgment debt paid to businessman, Alfred Agbeshie Woyome and over 15 million Euros loan to the National Investment Bank were all hidden from the auditors in 2016.
“I again observed that, three transactions, including two court judgments detailed below, were not captured by the MoF [Ministry of Finance] and the CAGD [Controller and Accountant General’s Department] in their books, as a result, these were omitted in the CF accounts,” the Auditor General report stated.
Meanwhile, appearing before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Monday, Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare and Controller and Accountant General, Eugene Asante Ofosu-Hene, argued that owners of the mining company could not be traced for recovery of the judgment debt after the international court order.
He further stated that Woyome has however paid GHc4.6 million of the debt back to the state.
“We have a letter from the AG’s office to support the payment. The letter dated 8th of March 2018 was written to the Auditor General. And paragraph four says: kindly find below the computation of payments made by the Mr. Woyome based on the terms of settlement and the proceeds from the garnishee. Monies collected or recovered from the garnishee order GHc167, 565.62 and monies paid as a result of settlement, GHc4.5 million. So the two sum up to the GHc4, 667,566.62,” Ofosu-Hene said.
Mr. Woyome was paid GHc 51 million after he claimed that he helped Ghana to raise funds to construct stadia for purposes of hosting the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
The businessman sued the state for a breach of contract relating to the construction and was awarded the default judgement because the state did not put in a defence.
However, an Auditor General’s report released in 2010 said the amount was paid illegally to the Mr.Woyome, who is a known National Democratic Congress financier.
He was subsequently arrested on February 3, 2011 after the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), which was commissioned by the late President John Atta Mills to investigate the matter, had cited him for wrongdoing.
Mr.Woyome was initially charged with conspiracy, defrauding by false pretence and corrupting a public officer.
He was later re-arraigned and charged with two counts of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence.
On June 5, 2012 Mr.Woyome was discharged but re-arrested and charged with two counts of causing financial loss and defrauding by false pretence.
The case unravelled until March 12, 2015, where the Fast Track High Court trying Mr. Woyome, again discharged him.
Delivering his judgment, Justice John Ajet-Nasam, said the State woefully failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Woyome was guilty.
Justice Ajet-Nasam also said there were no contradictions to the documentation evidence on the agreement for compensation claimed by the accused person.
Pay back cash
But in 2014, the Supreme Court ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the amount, after former Attorney General and now Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu challenged the legality of the judgment debt paid the businessman.
Following delays in retrieving the money, the Supreme Court judges unanimously granted the Attorney-General clearance to execute the court’s judgment ordering Mr. Woyome to refund the cash to the state.
But almost four years later, the amount is yet to be retrieved in full as the Akufo-Addo administration is currently examining the businessman in court.
By: Godwin A. Allotey & Duke M. Opoku/citinewsroom.com/Ghana