The High Court judge hearing the GH¢51.2 million case involving businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome has warned followers of the businessman to comport themselves while observing proceedings of the court.
Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam said he would be forced to throw out recalcitrant observers or restrict the number of people who followed Woyome to court if the followers failed to heed his warning.
His comments followed a complaint by a Chief State Attorney, Mrs Yvonne Attakorah Obuobisa, that some observers chuckled each time she posed a question to the businessman.
According to her, she had been experiencing that behaviour every time she cross-examined the accused person and felt she had to draw the court’s attention to it because it was getting out of hand.
She insisted that it was the duty of the court to protect lawyers because she was only doing her work.
Mrs Obuobisa is currently cross-examining Woyome, who has since completed his evidence-in-chief in the case in which he has been accused of putting in false claims to receive GH¢51.2 million from the state.
“I will walk you out”
Calming Mrs Obuobisa down, Justice Ajet-Nasam reminded Woyome’s followers that the prosecutor was fulfilling duties assigned her by the state.
Turning to observers in the public gallery, he said, “She is not an enemy of the accused. I will walk you out of the court if you misbehave in court.”
He then told Woyome to advise his followers to desist from heckling Mrs Obuobisa, to which he obliged.
The court ended proceedings after an hour’s sitting because the judge and lawyers could no longer endure the excessive heat as a result of a power outage.
Answering questions under cross-examination by Mrs Obuobisa, Woyome disagreed with an assertion that concurrent approval for a tender bid did not amount to an acceptance.
He said the Procurement Law clearly said immediately concurrent approval was issued, the ministry responsible shall contract the company to whom concurrent approval had been given.
Woyome’s beef was that the Central Tender Review Board (CTRB) gave concurrent approval to a company he represented to construct stadia for CAN 2008.
He argued that the Cabinet acted illegally when it cancelled the contract in 2005.
But the state’s position is that the government never gave him contract to warrant any claim of breach of contract.
Mrs Obuobisa said the concurrent approval from the government could not have been an acceptance of Banc Austria’s concurrent approval of a 1.1 billion euro facility.