Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), a political pressure group, has lashed out at the Attorney General’s Department (AG) for what it describes as the department’s deliberate delay in pursuing the GH¢51.2 million Woyome judgment debt scandal.

At a charged press conference in Accra yesterday which was addressed by the chairman of AFAG, Dr Nana Ayew Afriyie, the group observed with grave concern the inability of the AG to speed up the prosecution process on the matter.

Against this backdrop, the group finds it extremely difficult to understand why judgment has not been passed on the matter even though all the necessary investigations on the matter have been completed.

“Our checks with the police show that neither Mr. Woyome nor anyone else connected to this case has since been invited by the police for any investigation to be undertaken. EOCO was instructed by the President to investigate this matter and this was even after the Attorney-General had concluded, based on all the evidence available, that Woyome had defrauded the state. EOCO came to the same conclusion. So what is it that is left to be investigated?”, the group angrily said.

Quoting Article 14 clause (4) of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana which stipulates that “justice delayed is justice denied,” AFAG therefore slammed President John Evans Atta Mills for conniving with the AG to play double standards in the prosecution of Mr. Woyome.

The group further went on to state that the Mills government seems not to be showing commitment to state its position on the delay in the prosecution process.

AFAG also accused the Mills administration of covering up what it describes as the biggest series of corruption cases in Ghana’s history and cited the dubious payment of a whopping GH¢642 million in judgment debts to unscrupulous Ghanaians, with about half of them being tainted with corruption.

“We sense something very suspicious about the way government is dealing with this matter.

Our suspicion, based on both intelligence that we have gathered and the prosecution’s own unprofessional approach to this matter, is that the government has no intention and, indeed, no appetite to go ahead with the prosecution of the man that  has been accused of defrauding the state of some GH¢51.2  million.”

AFAG stated categorically that as a public interest case, the long-suffering people of Ghana will not tolerate any attempt by this government to frustrate the prosecution of the matter.

According to AFAG, it does not accept the excuse by the prosecution that the case needs to be returned to the police for further investigation.

“It is just the next in a series of delay tactics that government intends to deploy between now and the end of 2012.What else is left for the state to investigate? All the documents connected to this case are available,” the group fumed.

AFAG recalled that the former Attorney-General, Mr Martin A.B.K Amidu, on the 16th of January, 2012 filed an affidavit to amend an earlier writ, praying the court to set aside a consent judgment awarded to Woyome, in which the A-G alleged the negotiated judgment payment by his predecessor to Mr Woyome was procured through fraud.

“Indeed, the fact that Mr Amidu was forced to resign after revealing that there was a grand scheme to cover up this ‘gargantuan crime’ against the state, adds to the suspicion that President Mills has no intention to prosecute his financier for stealing from the state.”

“Is it not strange that since EOCO finished its investigations, some names have been mentioned as people who allegedly benefited from Woyome’s tainted millions and yet not a single one of these names is connected to the ruling party, the party that Woyome admits to funding?, AFAG quizzed.

In the estimation of the group, President Mills has no appetite to see to the end of the prosecution of Woyome.

“If that is the case then the Woyome case is bigger than Mr Woyome. It adds to the suspicion that Woyome was used as a mere pawn to steal money from the state. The decision by the prosecution to ask more time to investigate this matter is unacceptable.  We are appalled by this development. The A-G appears simply to be delaying justice to deny the people of Ghana justice on this unprecedented alleged theft of state money,” AFAG noted.

“AFAG will therefore urge the AG’s office to stop dragging its feet, as the threshold of public tolerance to the opening of the case and the commencement of this trial, is already out-stretched. Ghanaians are running out of patience with this government in the way it is taking the people of this country for granted and the way it has taken corruption to new heights.

June 4, 2012, the case returns to court. There is no reason for the prosecution not to continue with the case on that day.”

In this regard, AFAG will like to advise the lethargic and un-willing Attorney General to take some lessons from the wise words of the under mentioned statesmen in relation to this case:

Former A-G Martin A.B.K Amidu on the 29th of February 2012 stated: “Time is of essence now otherwise the Republic would be perceived as unnecessarily delaying the case.”

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