Appeals Court dismisses State’s appeal against Woyome’s acquittal

Alfred Agbesi Woyome
Alfred Agbesi Woyome

The appeal filed by the State challenging the acquittal of Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the businessman who has been ordered to refund GH¢51 million in judgement debt, has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

The three-member panel unanimously ruled that the appeal was unmeritorious, explaining that it could not reverse the acquittal of Woyome as the State failed to prove his guilt.

The panel members are Mr Justice Victor Ofoe, presiding, Mr Justice L.L. Mensah and Mr Justice Francis Korbieh.

According to the Court, the State, during the trial, could not prove the charges of defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the State beyond reasonable doubt.

“The charges levelled against Woyome must be backed with legal evidence and the standard of proof ought to be very high in a criminal matter,” it said.

The Court said, for example, the letters allegedly written by Woyome to support his claims were false but the State failed to demonstrate those claims in court.

Also, the claims by the State that Woyome obtained fraudulent judgement at the Commercial Court could not be proven by the State, explaining that the State in that case, failed to respond.

According to the Court of Appeal, evidence of some prosecution witnesses supported the claims of Woyome , saying, “his claim of right was in good faith”.

The three-member panel was also of the view that Woyome could not be convicted in the case in which the “State had given its blessing all the way.”

Mrs Yvone Attakorah Oboubisa, the Chief  State Attorney, represented the State, while Mr Ken Anku represented Mr Woyome.

On March 12, last year, an Accra High Court presided over by Mr Justice John Adjet Nasam, at the end of Woyome’s trial acquitted and discharged him on two counts of defrauding by false pretences; and causing financial loss to the state.

The State, however, appealed against his acquittal on the grounds that the trial judge erred in law when he freed him.

The State also invited the Court of Appeal to imprison Woyome on the basis that the trial judge did not take a proper look at the evidence adduced by the State.

Alfred Woyome was paid GH¢51 million for alleged breach of contract with the Government, which allegedly contracted him to do financial engineering to raise funds to construct stadia for purposes of hosting the CAN 2008 Nations Cup.

When Woyome was put before a High Court, the State called eight prosecution wit­nesses, but Woyome called none.

Source: GNA

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