By Diana M. Kodie .
Justice Alfred A. Benin, a Supreme Court Judge hearing the case involving the defunct UT Bank claiming ownership of some properties identified by the state as belonging to a businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, has set January 21, 2019 for judgement.
Mr Woyome was paid GH¢51 million for ‘helping’ Ghana secure funds to construct stadia to host the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
Nonetheless, an Auditor General’s report released in 2010, disclosed that the amount was illegally paid to him.
The Supreme Court, in 2014, ordered Mr Woyome to pay back the money, after a former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, independently challenged the legality of the payments, and subsequently granted the state the go-ahead to execute the court’s judgement.
The state identified five substantial properties supposedly owned by Mr Woyome, estimated at $1.5 million each ($7.5m) that could prove vital in retrieving the GH¢51.2 million judgement debt he received from the state.
However, Mr.Woyome has so far paid GH¢4.6 million out of the GH¢51.3 million owed the state, the Controller and Accountant General, Eugene Ofosuhene, had earlier revealed.
According to him, the payments were made into two tranches.
He made the disclosure in Parliament during a Public Accounts Committee sitting, where the 2016 Auditor General’s report on the Consolidated Fund was scrutinised.
However, the non-operational UT Bank claimed some of the properties identified by the state belonged to it.
The properties in contention include two executive buildings located at Trassaco, a suburb in Accra, and a mining quarry in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
According to them, Mr. Woyome, used the said properties as collateral for loans at the bank which he failed to offset, hence the ownership of the properties, based on the failure to defray the loans, had been transferred back to the bank.
The state, according to the Attorney General, intends to sell the properties to offset the over GH¢51 million wrongfully paid to Woyome.
The state, represented by a Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, had argued that there is no evidence to show that the said properties were used as collateral by Woyome to secure loans from UT Bank.
The state insisted, the properties belonged to Mr. Woyome, and is, therefore, praying the court to declare same as true, to give the state the go-ahead to sell them.
Justice A Benin has, since, instructed the parties in the case to file their written addresses within fourteen days.