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Woyome loses appeal in fraud case

The Court of Appeal on Thursday upheld the decision of the Commercial Court to allow the state to introduce evidence of fraud in the payment of GHS 51.2 million to Alfred Woyome, a businessman.

Woyome had appealed against the Commercial Court’s February 29, 2012 decision to allow the state to introduce evidence of fraud on the grounds that the trial judge erred in law in granting the state the permission almost two years after the state had filed suit to retrieve the money paid Woyome.

The state, on July 20, 2010, filed an application claiming that an agreement it reached with Woyome regarding the payment of 51.2 million was a mistake.

But according to Woyome, the state “went to sleep until January 16, 2012 when it filed a motion on leave to amend by substitution the amended writ of summons and the accompanying amended statement of claim”

In a unanimous decision on Thursday, the court presided over Justice S.E. Kanyoke, said the agreement reached with Woyome over the payment of GHS 51.2 million was not sacrosanct and could be set aside.

The Court held, among other things, that the amendment could be done once it was not going to bring injustice to the other party.

The Commercial Court Division of the East Track High Court, presided over by Ms Justice Barbara Ackah-Yensum, had on February 29, 2012, granted permission to the state to introduce allegations of fraud against Woyome and awarded costs of GHS 2,000 against the state for delaying the case.

Dissatisfaction with the Commercial Court’s decision, Woyome filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal on March 13, 2012 challenging the decision of the Commercial Court to grant the state its request.

According to Woyome, the state could raise the issue of fraud but argued that it could not raise any other issue of relief which would reopen matters concluded in the consent judgement resulting in the payment of the GHS 51.2 million to him.

He said it was therefore wrong in law for the court to allow the state to reopen issues which had already been tackled in the consent judgement.

The Attorney-General, Marrieta Brew Appiah Opong, is currently in court seeking an order for the refund of the judgement debt of GHS 51,283,480.59 paid to Woyome because it was procured by fraudulent means.

Source : Daily Graphic

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