Re: We don't want the Woyome money – Ace Ankomah

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Lawyer Ace Ankomah has written an open letter to President Mahama on his Facebook wall about the President’s comments yesterday on why the Woyome fraudulently paid judgment debt payment has not been collected bt the Attorney General as requested by court.

Below is the full letter:

Dear Mr. President

RE: WE DON’T WANT THE WOYOME MONEY

I am convinced, now, more than ever, that this government has absolutely no interest in recovering the Woyome millions from him.

Why?

Myjoyonline.com is reporting that according to YOU, the Attorney General was about issuing the “fi.fa. on Woyome” when on January 12, 2016, (two years after judgment was given by the Supreme Court for the money to be collected), one Abdulai Yusif’s suit challenging the ruling was served on the AG. Mr. President, you are reported to have added:

“That is democracy, we can’t eat our cake and have it… if we did not have the constitution and I was the head of the military government I would have gone and grabbed the guy (Woyome) and locked him up until he is proven innocent but you must go by due process, you must follow the law,” President Mahama pointed out. – See more at:  http://www.myjoyonline.com/…/i-would-have-jailed-woyome-if-…

Sir, with due and utmost respect, I do not believe that this has been the stance of our state lawyers, paid with our tax monies (as you continue to impose several more taxes on us) to represent us in matters before the courts.

Do you mean that they have waited for two years to even begin to prepare a simple writ of fi.fa. in execution of a judgment that did not award us any interest? And that they, somehow, consider the filing of a fresh action by another person, as staying their hands in proceeding with execution?

Sir, when a judgment is given for the payment of money to a person, there are SEVERAL processes for enforcing that judgment, which processes are not alternatives, but cumulative measures. These include:

1. Writ of fieri facias (fi.fa.),
2. Garnishee proceedings, and
3. Charging Orders on Land or Securities;
and even insolvency proceedings against the individual under the Insolvency Act, 2006 (Act 708), section 9 of which provides that a creditor who is owed more than ¢10,000, and who has obtained a judgment that is enforceable by a fi.fa. against a debtor, may commence insolvency proceedings against the debtor by presenting a petition to the Official Trustee.

Let’s consider some of these in turn.

A FIERI FACIAS (FI.FA) is a writ of execution that authorises the Registrar to seize and sell Woyome’s property (land and chattels), sufficient to satisfy the judgment debt, post-judgment interest (if any) and execution costs, and directs the Registrar to pay to Ghana the amount levied in execution

The writ of fi.fa. may be issued immediately upon payment under the judgment became due and as a matter of course. No leave of the court or notice on the Woyome was required. Thus our money judgment against Woyome was enforceable by fi.fa. immediately the judgment was entered.

Woyome’s items seized would then have been sold, usually, by public auction. Under section 17(2) of the Auction Sales Act, 1989 (PNDCL 230), an auction sale resulting from a judgment debt “shall be subject to a reserved price to be determined by the court which gave the judgment.” The “reserved price” is the lowest amount at which the property can be sold, usually the “forced sale value”.

When the reserved price is set down, then the property will then be sold at a public auction. Where the property in question is land, the parties may also agree and apply to the court for leave for the property seized should be sold by private treaty.

Sir, it appears that we have held our hand from issuing the fi.fa for reasons you do not state. However, even the court has power to stay execution of fi.fa., either absolutely or for such period and subject to such conditions as it thinks fit, only under specified situations:

(i) where there are special circumstances which render it inexpedient to enforce the judgment,
(ii) where the applicant is unable for any just cause to pay the money, and for which reason the court may allow for the payment of the judgment debt in specified instalments,
(iii) where there has been a new occurrence that justifies a stay,
(iv) stay of execution pending appeal, or
(v) and stay of execution pending trial of counterclaim (applicable only to summary judgment proceedings).

None of these apply. The only possible reason could be that the AG’s Department was voluntarily staying its hand, based on a reported promise by Woyome to pay by the end of 2015. Sir, you would have wanted to jail this guy if you were a military dictator. You are not, thank God. Yet, you agree with him to allow him time to pay the debt? Something does not add up.

GARNISHEE PROCEEDINGS: By these proceedings our judgment would have been executed by reaching Woyome’s the credit (usually money) in the hands of another person (usually in a bank account). The logic is that if Woyome is himself the creditor of another (the “Garnishee”), then the court would make an order (the “Garnishee Order”) that the Garnishee (the bank) should pay Ghana (the “Garnishor”).

CHARGING ORDER ON LAND: this would have provided Ghana with the equivalent of a mortgage over lands owned by Woyome and specified in a court order obtained for the purposes of this method of execution. Thus, subject to any prior mortgages or charges affecting that land, Ghana would have become a secured creditor. Subsequently, if the judgment debt remains unpaid (as is the case now), Ghana would simply apply for an order for the sale of the land so charged, so that the judgment is satisfied out of the proceeds of sale remaining after discharge of any prior mortgage or charge.

CHARGING ORDER ON SECURITIES: By similar procedures Ghana could also have obtained charging orders on all of Woyome’s beneficial interest in securities, such as government stock/bonds, shares in any company, and any dividend or interest payable on any of the above.

It appears that we have done NONE of the above. The effect of this delay is that Woyome has had two years to hide assets. That is why your statement on the matter therefore beggars belief. It is shocking, to say the least, unless, of course, some execution steps have been taken to which you aren’t privy.

But if we have simply sat down, only to now think of drafting a basic writ of fi.fa. (the forms for which are provided in the Rules of Court), and then somehow consider the filing of another action as somehow staying our hand further, then your government and its lawyers have seriously short-changed the people of Ghana.

And I am being very polite here.

PARDON MY TYPOS.

Ace Ankomah

Source: Ace Ankomah

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