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General News
Martin Amidu Grabbs $47m From Woyome Friend 6/16/2013

Supreme Court has ordered Waterville Holdings Limited to refund all monies it illegally received from government following claims it made against the state in 2009 regarding work done in the rehabilitation of stadia for the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
This follows the one-man crusade waged by former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Martin Amidu, who took the matter to court.
The nine-member panel, presided over by Justice Date-Bah, unanimously held that Waterville had no contract with government to have made that claim and that it did not deserve the payment.
The governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) paid Waterville about €25million.
The court ordered the company to refund the said amount to the state.
The judgment was in respect of a case brought to the highest court of the land by Mr. Amidu against Attorney-General, Waterville Holdings (BVI) Limited and Alfred Agbesi Woyome seeking a refund of all monies paid to the two latter parties.
The court upheld arguments raised by Mr. Amidu, concerning Waterville but denied the argument against Woyome and the Attorney-General on jurisdictional grounds after observing that the issues were not within the ambit of the court.
Woyome is facing criminal charges at the High Court over the alleged fraudulent payment made to him by the NDC government under Betty Mould Iddrisu who was Attorney General at the time.
They observed that Woyome was not part of the agreement between Waterville and government and therefore could not be a subject matter in the case before the court.
Accordingly, the court declined jurisdiction on issues raised against Woyome concerning a refund of his judgment debt of GH¢51.2million as it did not want to prejudice the ongoing civil and criminal cases against him.
The court asked the plaintiff to wait for the determination of the case at the Fast Track High court.
Mr. Amidu had indicated that the AG acted negligently in the case but the court said it did not find any issue concerning the AG’s conduct which needed interpretation.


In his suit, the former AG sought 15 reliefs but the court granted five reliefs including a declaration that the Agreement entitled, ‘Contract for the Rehabilitation of a 40,000 Seating Capacity Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana’, entered into on April 26, 2006, is an international business or economic transaction under Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution that could only have become operative and binding on the Government of Ghana after being laid before and approved by Parliament.
Also, a declaration that the Agreement entitled ‘Contract for the Rehabilitation of a 40,000 Seating Capacity Ohene Djan Sports Stadium and the Upgrading of the El Wak Stadium in Accra, Ghana’ entered into on April 26, 2006, between the Republic of Ghana and Waterville is an international business or economic transaction under Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution that could only have become operative and binding on the Government of Ghana after being laid before and approved by Parliament.
The court held that the two agreements, which were not laid before and approved by Parliament, were inconsistent with and in contravention of Article 181(5) of the Constitution and consequently null, void and without operative effect whatsoever.
The court granted that the conduct of Waterville in making a claim for and securing payment through mediation on an alleged breach of contract of the said two Agreements between it (a wholly foreign company) and the Government of Ghana when it knew that the agreements had not been approved, was inconsistent with and in contravention of the Constitution.
Waterville had argued that there was a legal obligation on government to pay for work done at the stadia after abrogating the contract since it went through all the necessary bidding process and won.
The court, however, established that government never engaged Waterville for that purpose but rather Vamed Company which later sold its rights to Waterville.
However, Waterville could not meet the condition precedent for the contract between it and government to materialize leading to Consar and Micheletti being awarded the contract.
Mr. Amidu made a complaint against the conduct of the lawyers in the case, stating that they acted unethically.
According to him, the lawyers knew Woyome and Waterville had no claims against government, yet they defended them.
The court, in its ruling, stated that it was not the right forum to deliberate on the issue and therefore forwarded the matter to the General Legal Council.
It therefore ordered the court’s registrar to furnish the council with a copy of the judgment for it to decide the next line of action.
The judges lauded Mr. Amidu for the bold step he took in bringing the matter to court.
The other justices were Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose Owusu, Jones Victor Dotse, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Anin Yeboah, Sulley Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto Bamfo.
By Mary Anane


 
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