The Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court Monday ordered Alfred Woyome to report himself to the police later in the day to enable them to take further statements from him for the trial on Tuesday of the case of fraudulent payment of GH¢51.2 million to him.
The case was to have gone ahead Monday but the fact that the police needed further statements from Mr Woyome hindered any step forward in the work of the court in the matter, forcing an adjournment to Tuesday.
Mr Woyome was expected to appear before police investigators last Friday for further statements to be taken from him but he failed to do so.
At the court’s sitting Monday, a Principal State Attorney, Ms Cynthia Lamptey, told the trial judge, Mr John Ajet-Nasam, that Mr Woyome was scheduled to meet the police last Friday to provide some valuable information to enable the prosecution to take “a legal step” for the trial to proceed but that had not been done.
She stated that following Mr Woyome’s failure to do so, the prosecution could not proceed with the trial and, therefore, prayed for a short adjournment.
But counsel for Mr Woyome, Mr Robertson Kpatsa, disagreed with the prosecution, saying his client had been reporting himself regularly until the police investigator had advised him (Woyome) to report himself only when asked to do so.
That statement appeared to have drawn the ire of the trial judge, who sought to find out from the investigator why he had reviewed the order of the court, and asked Mr Woyome not to report himself to the police only when called, to which the investigator replied that he had never asked Mr Woyome to report himself only when called.
Mr Kpatsa also told the court that Mr Woyome had been called last Saturday by the investigator to report himself on that same day but Mr Woyome could not and had intended to report to the police Monday after court proceedings.
The investigator, however, rejected that, saying he had called Mr Woyome to avail himself on Friday but the accused had replied that he could only do so on Saturday. Therefore, it was not true that he (investigator) had invited Woyome on Saturday.
While all that back and forth was going on, Mr Woyome quietly shook his head, as if to reject or suggest that the statements being made by the investigator were false.
Mr Sarfo Buabeng, another counsel for Mr Woyome, said the legal team had advised Mr Woyome to avail himself to the police only when in the company of at least one of his lawyers, adding that members of the entire team of lawyers had been out of town during the weekend and that explained Woyome’s failure to turn up at the Police Headquarters.
The trial judge, after listening to both parties, adjourned the case and ordered Mr Woyome to report himself to the police to enable them to take those vital statements from him.
Woyome is standing trial with three others — a Chief State Attorney, Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, who is facing two counts of conspiracy and corruption of public officer; the Director of Legal Services of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Paul Asimenu, and Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh, Nerquaye-Tetteh’s wife, each facing one count of abetment of crime.
They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges. Nerquaye-Tetteh and Asimenu were granted bail in the sum of GH¢6,000 each, with two sureties each.
Mrs Nerquaye-Tetteh is on a GH¢5,000 bail.
The three were also ordered to report themselves twice a week to the police.
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