Legal practitioner Ace Annan Ankomah has punched holes in the Attorney-General’s reasons for abandoning an opportunity to interrogate a businessman who is illegally keeping GH51m state money.
The A-G has said it abandoned the interrogation opportunity because her office had reached an agreement on payment terms for the money yet to be paid back 53 months after a court order Alfred Agbesi Woyome to do so.
But Ace Ankomah says at the time when the A-G had written to the court to discontinue the case, the A-G had reached no agreement on the terms of payment.
A letter from the A-G to the court to discontinue the case was dated 26 October 2016 he said.
But the letter from Woyome indicating an intention to pay was dated 27 October, he pointed out on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday.
Mr Ankomah noted government was apparently satisfied with Woyome’s stated intention to pay and discontinued.
“It meant that by the time the A-G went to court to abandon the case, she had no assurance from Woyome to pay the money. Something does not add up,” Mr Ankomah said.
He explained that at least government could have just asked the court for “some two months” postponement of the interrogation so that if they are dissatisfied with Woyome’s repayment plan, they could gone back to court.
But with the discontinuance, government may have to re-start the whole legal process to orally examine the embattled businessman if the repayment plan is unsatisfactory to government.
In response, deputy Attorney-General Dominic Ayine has explained that government was already in talks with Woyome’s lawyers even before the AG wrote the letter to the court for a discontinuance.
He explained the fact that this discussion did not reflect in Woyome’s letter to government is possibly ‘a matter of style’.
He said government discontinuance of the case was because of its respect for Woyome’s lawyers as both parties had a professional relationship, he said.
If a lawyer writes to another lawyer to ask for a withdrawal of a legal action so they can come to an agreement, professional respect can influence the litigating party to hold on he said.
He said government had done a lot in trying to get back the money although it had only received GHC4 million.
Mr Anyine said attempts to confiscate his assets were not successful because the ownership of these assets and gone to some banks.
“So what should we do? beat up the bank?” he said.
Suggestions that government was being lackadaisical cannot be true, he stressed.