The Fast Track High Court trying Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a businessman, for defrauding by false pretense and causing financial loss to the state, acquitted and discharged him on Thursday.
At the premises of the Cocoa Affairs Court, where judgement was pronounced, Ghana News Agency observed a heavy security presence with police armoured cars parked outside.
Delivering his judgment, the presiding judge Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam said the state woefully failed to prove the guilt of the accused person beyond reasonable doubt.
He said the prosecution ought to prove that the accused person made a representation either spoken or in written words.
Justice Ajet-Nasam said the prosecution did not prove that the accused person defrauded or cause financial lost to the state.
He said there were no contradictions to the documentation evidence on the two per cent agreement for compensation claimed by the accused person.
The judge was of the opinion that the documentary evidences provided by the state weaken its case, indicating that evidence of all the prosecution witnesses and various correspondence from the Attorney-General (A-G), Local Olympic Committee of the CAN 2008 tournament supported Woyome’s Claims.
Mr Ajet-Nasam said: “I don’t think the accused person fraudulently obtained consent from all these correspondences.”
The judge said the prosecution had not been able to convince the court on how the accused person misrepresented himself in receiving the amount paid to him.
He said the accused person submitted a petition to the former A-G, in which he indicated that he performed financial engineering to the state in the construction of stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament.
He said he did not understand why personalities, such as former A-G Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu and her Deputy, Mr Ebo Barton Oduro, who confirmed the payment of the two per cent for financial engineering money to the accused person, were not called to testify in the trial.
Mr Ajet-Nasam said on causing financial loss to the state, the accused obtained a default judgment from the law court before he was paid the money.
“Evidence adduced during the trial did not lead to any evidence to provide a charge of causing financial loss to the state, nothing incriminating was said about the accused person.
“It was a waste of everybody’s time to invite some of the prosecution witnesses to testify and there are contradictions in the narrations of some of the witnesses,” he added.
The judge said the evidence by the investigator that the accused person has no contract with the state was untrue.
Mr Woyome was arrested on February 3, 2012 after the Economic and Organised Crime Office, which had been commissioned by former President John Evans Atta Mills to investigate the payment to Woyome, had implicated him for wrongdoing.
He was first arraigned together with Mr Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, Chief State Attorney and wife Mrs Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh, and Mr Paul Asimenu, the Legal Director at the Ministry of Finance.
Mr Woyome was among other things charged for fraudulently receiving GH¢51.2 million as a judgment debt payment. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and has since been on a GH¢20 million bail.