System will popup this error , if you are trying to Abort Oracle workflow process where begin_date on for the worflow thread is earlier than the actual workflow Process creation date.
let me explain in Technical terms.
If begin_date in wf_items table is lesser than the start_date for same process in the wf_activities table , and if you try to abort this process you will get this message.
Thsi is pure data corruption and this sort of corruption can only be result of badly designed DML(UPDATE) statements.
Hope that helps