Somtuaka writes to Woyome
Dear Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome,
Since the genesis of your saga, which will win an Oscar when played on screen, I have read a number of articles, news items, and commentaries that tales the circumstances under which you were contracted to raise funds in support of the building of stadia for the CAN 2008, the facts of the judgment debt suit, the court theatrics, the actual payment of all of the money, the rise of Citizen Vigilante, the Supreme Court order of refund without interest, the criminal trial on counts of fraud and false pretense, and now, your acquittal by the High Court.
I have monitored the calculated attempts by government, political parties, the media, civil society, and individuals to paint you black and make you look like the bad guy. They have succeeded which is why many, in fact, almost all, have advocated that you be punished severely instead of being treated with “kid gloves” as they claim.
I look at the adjectives used to describe you and I shake my head – fraudulent, cheat, corrupt, swindler, hoaxer, imposter, and all. By succeeding to make of you a criminal, they seem justified in their call that you be punished mercilessly. After all, W.F.G Hegel once said that the right and legitimate claim of the criminal is punishment.
In fact, I have not yet found any article or news item in your favour. Here comes the good news: I for once want to celebrate you and ask others to join in. I want to celebrate you for the effects, not the intent, of your actions. Here is why.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Were you indeed contracted by the state to raise funds to build some stadia in preparation for the CAN 2008 tournament? Was that contract wrongfully terminated as you claimed in the judgment debt suit? I ask this because the veracity and legitimacy of that suit was to be found in fact of there being a valid contract, and in the verification of terms or conditions of the contract to ascertain which were breached.
The posture of both government and the court gives us a reason to believe that you indeed had a valid contract with the state, and that the contract had been abrogated unduly.
WORK DONE AND PERCENTAGE DUE YOU
Per the terms of the contract, what amount of work had you done, and what money was due you? How much had the wrongful termination of the contract cost you, based on which to determine justly and proportionally the damage to be awarded you? This is where people tend to accuse you of demanding outrageous amount because they believe the money was nothing compared to the work you did.
THE FACT FILE
When the NPP left government in 2009, I am told you went to court to demand over 2 million Ghana Cedis as judgment debt for the wrongful termination of the contract. When the then Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrisu, negotiated with you to reduce your demand, you instead requested for 51 million Ghana Cedis.
I really don’t see why people fail to appreciate your enormous, uncommon and brilliant negotiation skills that turned an initial demand of 2 million to 51 million Ghana Cedis.
When government went to court with consent judgment, the court actually accepted and asked the AG to pay you in three tranches of 17 million each. Was the court not emphatic that only the first tranche be paid, and that you present an undertaking to the effect that in the event that you lost, you would refund the first tranche of 17 million and if you won, the remaining tranches be paid?
I don’t remember you going to court to secure any judgment that forced the AG to pay all the monies, yet you were paid. In an open letter, did Ebo Barton Oduro, the then Deputy Attorney General, not defend the payment?
But stubborn and relentless Martin Amidu nearly, in fact, actually spoilt the party when he was appointed the AG in 2010. When he dared to cause your arrest and that of two others including chief state attorney, Nerquaye Tetteh, what happened to him? That was indeed a beautiful come back that changed the dynamics of the game. He later had the Supreme Court overturn the initial High Court judgment and asked you to refund the 51 million. Don’t worry; after all, it didn’t change a dime.
Marietta Brew Oppong, who took over from Citizen Vigilante, also initiated your criminal prosecution, claiming that you had defrauded the state under false pretense. They called eight witnesses including the ministers of sports and finance within the period you were said to have been contracted. There is actually not much to it as they failed to prove your guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. Did the High Court verdict that acquitted and discharged you not indict the prosecution by referring to their case as “shoddy?”
At this point, we can afford to forgo the details of back and forth leading to your vindication once again by another High Court.
What I find strange is the argument of those who make it look like you either had no case at all, or if you had legitimate basis for that suit, even your lawyers should have defended the state. Even murderers (who take away innocent human lives) have legitimate claim to fair legal representation and defense. You had a case and both government and the court upheld this.
My question is; who should their anger be upon; you or the state attorneys who failed woefully to defend government? Has anybody in government shown any seriousness to battle you in court and to use available legal means to challenge your claim? Why would anyone avert his anger from those who blatantly disrespected the court by going ahead to pay all the monies; those who failed both in the civil and criminal suits to establish your guilt, to you? When Martin Amidu tried, what did we see; were you the one who fired him?
See, I am rather of the view that you requested for less; you could have taken a billion or more. After all, the posture of government shows they would have paid. If you ever get the opportunity again, let it be big; in fact, far more “outrageous” than 51 million.
May I ask; what has happened to those who were fingered in the judgment debt commission report?
You are accused of disrespecting the Supreme Court order to refund the money. Some were mad and furious at why you were not asked to pay with interest as if you prescribed your own repayment terms. In any case, who was the first to set aside the High Court order that you be paid in tranches? Has anyone shown any respect for law and authority except you? If by failing to refund the money as ordered by the Supreme Court, you deserve punishment, how about those who set the pace for you to emulate? When no one has been serious, why should you be? Were you to present yourself for punishment?
The following are they who actually caused financial loss to the state, not you;
• Those who wrongfully terminated your contract
• Those who disrespected the High Court order and paid all the monies to you
• Those who failed to defend the state
• Those who used extra funds to set up the judgment debt commission and failed to act on their findings
• Those who fired the one who dared to pursue the case
• Those who failed to establish your guilt of fraud and false pretense as charged
The public anger directed at you is a displaced hostility. These are the people who deserve the hate and disdain of the Ghanaian public not you.
You action has revealed or rather confirmed a certain nasty phenomenon that has bedeviled Ghana;
1. That men and women in government and public offices have no business protecting the interest of those whose taxes pay them
2. That once in government, you can act with impunity, even to the extent of disrespecting a court order
3. That Ghanaian the public has become less critical or rather is blinded by politics. Why else would they behave and judge as if you were in court to defend the government.
You have shown your terrific negotiation skills. If you were engaged in the negotiation of the scandalous contracts that governments have entered into over the years, you could have gotten more for the people of Ghana. I think you should be the head of government contracts negotiations team.
If nobody cared to celebrate you, I have dared to do so, because your singular act has revealed the depth, intensity, magnitude and extent of the grand scale rot in our system.
The critical will understand. I salute you sir!!!
Source: Kombian Somtuaka | kapital971.com