NDUOM VRS BoG… Test Case Of Judiciary Independence

 

An Accra High Court will tomorrow, Tuesday, January 12, 2020, hear a case between Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom and others on one hand, and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and others on the other hand. 

 

This case has many twists and curves.  Ghanaians are wondering if justice will be served to the aggrieved party.

 

It would be recalled that an Accra High Court (Human Rights Division), presided over by Justice Gifty Adjei-Addo, ruled on 18 December, 2019 that Dr Nduom and others could not be compelled to go for arbitration under the law in respect of their claim of human rights violations by the Respondents (Bank of Ghana and others).

 

The court, therefore, dismissed an application by the BoG to compel Dr Nduom to go for arbitration under the banks and other specialised deposit taking Companies Act 2016, Act 930.

 

The court ordered the BoG and the Attorney-General to file their Responses one week before the next hearing date.

 

But, as at January 14, this year, the Respondents had not filed any responses.

 

The question therefore, is: what will the responses contain or will they go for a review of the judge’s ruling?

 

And in an interview with some legal analysts, they asked: if the Respondents will put into effect some tactics to delay the hearing of the substantive matter.

 

Indeed, there is such a huge gap between the GHS30 million used by the BoG to revoke the GN Savings license and the GHS2.4 billion receivable due from government agencies and contractors that experts wonder what the Respondents will have to say about the gargantuan gap.

 

For example, an evidence sighted by Today proves that there are government infrastructure project certificates amounting to over GHS75 million with one government agency alone.

 

In his Christmas message to Ghanaians, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised the people that he will pay 100% of their deposits they had with banks, savings and loans and microfinance and investment companies his administration has collapsed.

 

To justify all of this, an army of highly favoured public accounting firms, well-placed lawyers and consultants of all types, Today can authoritatively say, have been given mouth-watering contracts to find fault and prepare the grounds for the prosecution of the owners of the collapsed firms.

 

Speaking to some legal experts, they told Today that concentrating on owners or shareholders may be barking off the wrong tree as many owners were not part of management or did not hold executive or directorships.

 

In the specific case of Dr Nduom, Today has gathered that he has not been part of the day-to-day management of companies he owns.

 

“He [Dr Nduom] has neither been a signatory to company accounts nor had he been one to approve payments to anyone,” a top management staff of Groupe Nduom, who pleaded to speak on condition of anonymity, said.

 

“So why the negative focus on the man who created thousands of jobs scattered throughout the 16 regions?  Is it a case of aimless, rogue political witch-hunting or deadly harassment of a competitor for private gain? Some NPP party observers are worried that this latter point if it gains popular currency will affect their electoral fortunes in December,” the Groupe Nduom staff member added.

 

Today’s further investigations have revealed that there is communication from the centre to various government agencies across the country seeking to document the assets of one of Ghana’s illustrious entrepreneurs, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom.

 

“And many are asking why this is going on.  They are also asking why some ministers of state and party officials have been having secret meetings on the blind side of the President to target certain specific assets as if there will be a sharing of assets in the near future,” our source at the Asylum Down headquarters of the NPP said.

 

“It appears that some have forgotten that Ghana subscribed to the tenets of the rule of law and that the old “revolutionary” days are long gone.  There is a band of people who hold clandestine meetings unauthorised by the President with the aim to find reasons they can use to persuade him to give them approval to seize the assets of targeted entrepreneurs such as Dr Nduom,” the source pointed out.

 

In due course, Today will publish the names, dates and venues associated with these meetings.

 

At the centre of all of this is one fact.  An independent accounting and auditing firm Today gathered had certified that the value of the Gold Coast Government Infrastructure Portfolio if paid today, will be enough to pay back all the Gold Coast/BlackShield/GCFM Structured Finance customers’ principal amounts plus all GN Bank/Savings deposits.

 

These financial experts told Today that government should focus its attention on providing funds to pay the contractors and compel Dr Nduom’s companies to use the proceeds to pay their customers.

 

In effect, all the High Court presided over by Justice Adjei-Addo should do in the opinion of some legal luminaries is to compel the Government of Ghana to submit to independent reconciliation of what is owed by government agencies to contractors financed by Dr Nduom’s companies and order the agencies to pay what is due including interest.

 

Again, it would be recalled that when the Akufo-Addo administration took office in January 2017, government infrastructure contract payments due and ongoing projects were frozen and many remain frozen to this day.

 

Many contractors wonder why the words “legacy debts” are being used by government officials and political commentators to justify non-payment of contracts given by previous administrations.

 

“What happened to the sanctity of contracts and the rule of law, especially when the NPP appears filled with many legal brains?” a private lawyer based in Accra asked.

 

Today will bring the blow-by-blow account of court proceedings to our cherished readers as they happen.

 

Today is also conducting a research on how payments are being made to the customers of companies collapsed by the government agencies—BoG, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Insurance Commission.

 

Today is aware of hearings being conducted at SEC which according to analysts need public attention.

 

Today will turn its lenses there as well.

 

And this first quarter of the year, Today believes, will unearth a lot about the independence of the judiciary.

 

 

Story: Atta KWAKU BOADI

Writer’s email: attakwaku219@yahoo.com

 

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