Business News of Monday, 16 May 2016
The Accra High Court has ordered Ecobank Ghana Limited to pay a judgement debt of $253,161.06 to Akaidoo Enterprise Limited within 21 days, pending the final determination of an appeal it has filed at the Court of Appeal.
The court also ordered the bank to pay Akaidoo Enterprise Limited and others the GH¢10,000 cost awarded in favour of each of them.
Presided over by Mr Justice George K. Koomson, the court set these as a condition for granting a stay of execution filed by Ecobank.
On November 13, 2014, the court, presided over by Mrs Justice Barbara Ackah-Yensu, held that Akaidoo Enterprise Limited had proved its case and was therefore entitled to be indemnified by Ecobank in the sum of $253,161.06 together with interest at the prevailing commercial rate from September, 2004 until the date of final payment.
Stay of execution
Not satisfied with the judgement, Ecobank appealled and filed for a stay of execution.
The main contention of the application was that there was the likelihood of success of the appeal and if the judgement was not stayed, Akaidoo Enterprise Limited may not be able to refund the judgement sum in the event Ecobank won the appeal.
Applicant contended that in the course of proceedings, it became very clear that Akaidoo Enterprise Limited had not been in business for a relatively long period of time and at all times material to the suit, it had done nothing to prove that it had resumed any business at all.
Ecobank further contended that considering the colossal sum of money the court ordered it to pay Akaidoo Enterprise Limited, especially when converted into Ghana cedis, it would be appropriate in the peculiar circumstances to stay execution of the judgement until the rights of the parties were determined by the appellate court.
In its ruling, however, the court held that Akaidoo Enterprise Limited owes no duty to establish that it was in business before it can enjoy the fruits of its victory or benefit of the judgement.
According to the court, there was no evidence on record that Akaidoo Enterprise Limited had either been wound up, liquidated or declared insolvent or bankrupt for which reason one can safely conclude that it would be unable to refund the judgement debt should the applicant succeed in its appeal.
“It is noted that when it is said that an appeal would be rendered nugatory, it means the status quo ante cannot be reverted to. In this context, that will mean that should the applicant’s appeal be successful, Akaidoo Enterprise Limited should be able to refund the judgement debt whether it is colossal or not colossal.
“Until cogent evidence is adduced to support the contention that Akaidoo Enterprise Limited is incapable of refunding the judgement debt, it does not lie in the mouth of a judgement debtor to say that because a company has not been seen to be working, it should not be allowed to benefit from a judgement given in its favour,” the court further held.