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The Court of Appeal has today, Thursday, 8 March ruled in favour of businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome setting aside the findings of the Judgment Debt Commission chaired by Justice Yaw Appau which made adverse findings against him as far as the state’s quest to retrieve some GHS51.3million paid him illegally is concerned.
The three-member Supreme Court bench presided by Justice Victor Ofoe held that the Sole Commissioner, now a Supreme Court judge, breached the rules of natural justice by not allowing Mr Woyome an opportunity to appear before the commission.
It also made an order for the findings to be expunged from the whitepaper dated 18 November 2015 and the Report of the Sole Commissioner on the findings and decision pertaining to the businessman.
The Judgement Debt Commission was set up by former President John Mahama to look into judgement debt payment since 1992 in the wake of many judgement debt scandals that rocked the country.
It completed its work in 2016. It found among other things that some payments made to Mr. Woyome were fraudulent including the GHS51.2million.
As part of the findings, it emerged that the state prosecutor’s wife also received some GHS400,000 from Mr. Woyome to facilitate the payment of the judgement debt to him.
Mr Woyome in June 2016 headed to the Court of Appeal to set aside those portions of the Sole Commissioner’s report arguing that he was not given an opportunity to appear before the JDC to respond to the issues raised. The court agreed with the businessman and proceeded to quash those portions of the Sole Commissioner’s report.
Justice Ofoe, however, said that ruling of the court does not affect the substantive matter as far as the same court’s earlier ruling that Mr Woyome refund the GHS51.2million is concerned.
Mr Woyome was not in court on Thursday but some relatives of his were.