Bloomberg News

Ghana Government Supporter Charged With Fraud in Court Debt Case

June 05, 2012

A Ghanaian businessman and supporter of the country’s ruling party is facing a second fraud charge in relation to a 51 million-cedi ($27 million) court award that saw two government ministers lose their jobs in January.

Alfred Woyome will appear on June 12 on charges of defrauding by false pretense and causing financial loss to the state, according to documents at the High Court in Accra, the capital.

Woyome won the court judgment after he said a 2006 contract he had to renovate sports stadiums for Ghana’s hosting of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament was unfairly canceled. The award became known late last year when lawmakers began looking into an auditor-general report for 2010. He didn’t answer two calls made to his mobile phone today.

Earlier today, fraud charges were dismissed against Woyome and three others by the Accra court after state prosecutors decided not to pursue the case, said Cynthia Lamptey, director of public prosecution.

“We studied the docket and realized we had to change and prepare appropriate charges,” she said in an interview. Woyome was charged for the second time about 30 minutes later, according to Accra-based broadcaster Joy FM.

Attorney-General Martin Amidu was dismissed three days after he asked an Accra court to force Woyome, to pay back 51.3 million cedis, according to a copy of the writ. The office of President John Atta Mills said Amidu was fired on Jan. 19 for “misconduct” at a meeting with the leader. Education Minister Betty Mould-Iddrisu, the previous justice minister, quit on Jan. 23, without saying why.

Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa didn’t answer a call made to his mobile phone today seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ekow Dontoh in Accra at edontoh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at ebowers1@bloomberg.net


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