Former President John Mahama says his government did its best to retrieve the GHC51.2 million wrongfully paid to businessman Alfred Woyome, charging his predecessor to continue where he left off.
He said the former Attorney-General (A-G) Marietta Brew-Opong “pursued this matter diligently” resulting in the decision by Mr Woyome to refund some of the money.
Speaking to a Johannesburg-based radio station Power FM Thursday in South Africa, the former Ghanaian leader said they used the “legal means to try and protect the interest of Ghanaian people” in their attempt to get the money.
Mr Woyome who is a National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier was paid the money after he claimed he had helped Ghana to raise some money for the construction of stadia for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mr Mahama’s government was pressurised to retrieve the money after the Supreme Court (SC) ruled in 2014 that the money was wrongfully given to Woyome and must be refunded. Former Attorney General Martin Amidu had also pursued the matter in court for the money to be paid.
However, the former President’s government was tardy in retrieving the money resulting in the agitation of Ghanaians.
He was heavily criticised by his political opponents especially the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for showing disinterest in the case.
But touching on the issue two months after he lost his bid to get re-elected, Mr Mahama said he put up a good fight despite the general impression out there.
“We cannot be lovers of good governance but also be desirous of arbitrary justice,” he said.
He said under an unconstitutional government, it would have been possible for Mr Woyome to be locked up and imprisoned for years until he paid the money.
Ghana is living under a constitutional justice, he said, adding although the wheel of justice grinds slowly the citizens must give the law a chance.
He said his government worked on the ruling given by the SC that the money be retrieved, urging his successor to continue the fight.
“The person has paid some of the money…and I hope this government will continue from where we left off,” he added.