Court Freezes Woyome’s Assets

THE DESIRE of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to get more assets and accounts of Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier frozen, yesterday yielded results.

This follows a ruling by an Accra Fast Track High Court Financial Division presided over by Justice Bright Mensah granting the investigative body the power to freeze more of the accounts and financial assets of Woyome discovered so far.

Mr. Woyome, the man at the centre of the GH¢51.2million judgment debt , who is standing trial at the High Court on fraud charges, already has one of his accounts at the Agricultural Development Bank frozen by EOCO after it obtained an order from the court on January 19, 2012.

An attorney from EOCO, Diana Adu Anane, on February 21, moved a motion for a review of the said order to freeze more of his accounts and financial assets.

In his ruling, Justice Mensah stated that the application by EOCO was proper because Woyome was being investigated for allegedly defrauding the state of GH¢51.2million and that the law had mandated the executive director of EOCO to bring applications to freeze accounts of persons charged with serious offences relating to economic lost.

The judge, who also observed that Woyome, in his affidavit in opposition, did not deny averments in EOCO’s application, indicated that the court had the power to recover money as a result of such serious crimes. He granted the motion sought by EOCO. Osafo Buabeng represented Woyome but the attorney from EOCO was absent.

Diana Anane, moving the motion, had explained that in the course of their investigations, it came out that Mr. Woyome, apart from his account at ADB, had other accounts at different banks as well as financial assets and therefore would need the order to freeze them also.

Woyome’s lawyer had objected to this strongly, on the grounds that the procedure under which the attorney had filed the motion could only be used in civil matters and not in criminal cases.

However, the court upheld the submission of EOCO and granted the application.

On Monday, February 13, attempts by Mr. Woyome to stop EOCO from further investigating him and also freezing his accounts failed as an Accra Fast Track High Court dismissed his application on grounds that there was nothing to restrain EOCO from doing because it had already completed the investigations and submitted a report to the President.

The judge, Justice Ofori Atta, who observed that the report had been the basis for Woyome’s prosecution at another court, stated that he could not stop the High court from trying Woyome once it had already started.

Woyome’s application was for an interlocutory injunction to restrain EOCO and its agents, assigns, workmen, and anybody or any group of persons or person from carrying out investigations relating to the payment of the judgment debt.

In his application, Mr. Woyome challenged the mandate of EOCO to investigate the matter and also to freeze his bank accounts.

He argued that EOCO had no powers to investigate the judgment of a court but for a superior court, describing the grounds under which the investigations were being conducted as “null and void”.

In the criminal case, Mr. Woyome and three alleged accomplices including two top state lawyers are before an Accra Fast High Court, Financial Division, on fraud charges.

The alleged accomplices are Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, the Chief State Attorney who allegedly refused to put up a defence against Woyome in court and was reportedly bribed for his role, Paul Asimenu, Legal Director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning who purportedly quoted wrong figures that paved way for Woyome to access the money and Mrs. Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh, wife of the chief state attorney into whose account the alleged GH¢400,000 bribe was paid.

They have since been granted bail.

By Mary Anane



Posted by on Mar 21 2012. Filed under African News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply