Supreme Court dismisses Woyome’s application for stay of proceedings

Alfred Agbesi Woyome

The Supreme Court on Tuesday by a unanimous decision dismissed an application filed by Mr Osafo Boabeng, Counsel for Mr Alfred Woyome, for a stay of execution of proceedings.

Mr Woyome, filed the motion praying the Ghanaian Court to put on hold, his oral examination and all other processes by the state to retrieve the GH¢51 million unlawful Judgment Debt paid to him.

He wanted the Ghanaian Court to suspend hearing until his appeal at the African Court for Human and Peoples Rights, based in Arusha, Tanzania was determined.

Giving the ruling of the five member panel of the Ghanaian Supreme Court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse; Justice Anim Yebaoah said the application has been dismissed based on the fact that it lacked merit.

He said the Ghanaian Supreme Court has a sole jurisdiction, which it does not share with any other court both locally and internationally, and as such the Ghanaian Court cannot suspend hearing as requested.

The Ghanaian Court was also of the view that Counsel for Mr Woyome was not able to prove to it, that its decision would infringe on the applicant’s human right.     

Earlier when the case was called on Tuesday morning, Mr Boabeng prayed the Ghanaian Court to move a motion to arrest the ruling of the African Court on the application for a stay of execution.

He said based on developments that came to his notice on Monday from the African Court for Ghana to suspend all efforts to retrieve the GH¢51.2 million Judgment Debt paid to Mr Woyome, until the Ghanaian Court determines an appeal filed by him arguing that his human rights were being abused by Ghana’s Supreme Court, he filed the motion to arrest the court’s ruling.

He moved the motion relying on their affidavit in support of the order from the African Continental Court which is directed at the government of the Ghana, who was represented by the Attorney General, who is party in this matter and who is executing the judgment of July 24, 2014 on behalf of the government.

However the Deputy Attorney General, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame opposed the application, saying the Ghanaian Court has already proven that the provision of an international treaty that comes to Ghana as a party,  would only be binding on the Ghanaian Court only when they have been incorporated into the laws of Ghana.

He said the practical of the African Court has not been incorporated into the laws of Ghana; saying even though the treaty was rectified by the Parliament of Ghana on July 15, 2004, there has not been further incorporation in the laws of Ghana by an Act of Parliament.

Mr Yeboah Dame argued that the decision emanating from the African Court was not part of the laws of Ghana and cannot be upheld.

The international obligation of Ghana as spelt out in the 1992 Constitution, requires the government to promote and protect the interest of Ghana, and this would require that, the decision of the Ghanaian Court in exercising of its sole jurisdiction to enter into international treaties should be respected.

He further argued that the request of the applicant to arrest the ruling should be dismissed because the Ghanaian Court does not share its jurisdiction with any other courts when it comes to Constitutional matters.

The Ghanaian Court then ruled that there was no factual legal basis to arrest the ruling, and also it does not share its jurisdiction with any other court, and as such dismissed that application and went on with its ruling.

At the last sitting both counsels argued for and against the application for stay of execution and the Court adjourned the matter for ruling.

Mr Woyome has filed a number of legal proceedings in court, with this application being the seventh since the start of the legal battle to determine his ability to pay the debt owed to the state.

All his legal attempts have proved futile as the court keep dismissing his applications for various reasons. 

The court on October 21, dismissed an earlier application filed by Mr Woyome, to halt the valuation of his property by the State as part of efforts to retrieve the money, the court at the time was empanelled by a single judge.

Mr. Woyome is praying the court to put on hold all processes to reclaim the money from him until a determination of another related case being heard at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The Attorney -General was expected to continue with the oral examination on how, Woyome intends to re-pay the amount, however, he was not in court on Mondayas his counsel explained that he was unwell.

Ghana News Agency legal news bulletin indicates that previously, the Counsel for Mr Woyome, Mr Osafo Boabeng, had filed an application arguing that the writ of execution that the Attorney General used for the valuation was illegal.
He argued that the AG failed to seek consent from the apex court to renew the writ of execution and, therefore, any action based on that writ was a nullity.

The court, presided over by, Justice Alfred Anthony Benin, on October 20, dismissed the application saying the AG did nothing wrong because the writ of execution had not expired and was effective.

He said the first writ of execution which was filed on January 9, 2015 was still in effect when the AG filed for another one on January 6, 2016 and, therefore, the issue of renewal did not arise.

The court subsequently, adjourned the matter to October 30, for continuation of the oral examination of Mr Woyome by the AG.

On October 30, Lawyers for Woyome, told the court that he was still ill and was unable to attend court.

Mr Buabeng presented yet another excuse duty document to the single Justice handling the case in his chambers to support the request of his client to be given more time to make himself available for his oral examination to continue. 

Source: GNA

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