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I don't know Woyome - Joe Ghartey

 

Joe GharteyFormer Attorney-General and Minister of Justice under erstwhile Kufuor administration, Joe Ghartey, yesterday availed himself to investigators at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in connection with the Woyome gate scandal.


Mr Ghartey, MP for Essikado Ketan in the Western Region, was invited to the CID headquarters by officers trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the payment of well-over GH¢52million to self-acclaimed National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, as judgment debt by the State for alleged breach of contract over the construction of some stadia in the year 2008.


Mr Ghartey arrived at the venue around 2pm in the company of his wife, Efua Ghartey, who happens to be a lawyer, and a junior colleague of his in his law firm, Eva Okyere.


He was immediately ushered into the conference room where he met the Deputy Director of CID, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vincent Redeemer Dedjo and four other investigators who took him through an interrogative process that lasted for between 35 and 40minutes.


The police sought to know whether he knew or he had had any dealings with Alfred Woyome.


“They asked me whether I know Woyome; I say I don’t know Woyome,” he told DAILY GUIDE hours after he left the CID headquarters.

“I have never dealt with him; when I was Attorney-General, he never wrote to me so I mean I don’t have any formal or informal relationship with him.”

The officers also sought to know whether he knew anything about the country’s dealing with Waterville, one of the companies involved in the controversial scandal.


But Mr Ghartey stated, “I said well they didn’t bring the money so on 1st August (2006), I wrote to them informing them that government cannot take their contract to Parliament because the money hasn’t come.”


This, he said, was because the contract had in it a Clause 17 which indicated that the contract would become effective when they made funds for the construction of the stadia available, which they were unable to honour.


“So we wrote to them that well since they didn’t bring the money, we are going to look for the money ourselves to build the stadia. That’s exactly what we did,” he told the police.


After this, the former A-G said they exchanged pleasantries and that was it.


Mr Ghartey had earlier indicated his preparedness to meet the police anytime they needed him when speculations were rife that he was likely to be invited to answer some questions on what has come to be known as ‘Woyomegate’ judgment debt scandal.


He had earlier been invited the previous day but the police called off the meeting.


It would be recalled that Mr Ghartey, together with some former and current officials, was named in an official investigative report by the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) for various roles played in the Woyome judgment debt scandal. Hon. Joe Ghartey’s role in the entire Woyome scandal was a letter he wrote legally abrogating a contract between the Government of Ghana and Waterville Holdings (BVI) Ltd because certain conditions to be fulfilled by the latter could not be met.


Prior to his invitation by the CID, other government officials including former Education and Sports Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo and his Deputy Osei Bonsu Amoah had been invited for questioning.


Whilst Osafo was interrogated and allowed to go, OB Amoah was arrested and detained overnight with no charges preferred against him.


Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, under whose instructions those payments were made, had equally been questioned on the scandal.


It is not clear who the police would invite next to assist in investigation.


Meanwhile, current Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ebo Barton-Odro, who claimed the State did not have a case against Mr Woyome, is still at post in spite of several calls for his resignation.

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