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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Source: Daily Guide

We won’t open defence - Claimant tells court

Solu-shing (UK), the third claimant of the ownership of $391,250, who are also claiming ownership of the vessel MV Solu-shing that imported Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) from Nigeria to Ghana, have decided not to open their defence.

This was made known by Jubik Mahama; counsel for the company after Dr Adeleke Oyinlola, the boss of Solu-shing (Nigeria) concluded his evidence on Friday in an Accra Financial Court presided over by Justice John Ajet-Nassam.

Mr Jubik told the court, “My lord, we have decided to forego opening our defence because as owners of the vessel, we are entitled to charter fee.”

He said this was so because they have been able to prove that they had an interest in the ownership of the vessel, adding that they hoped his Lordship would factor in their submission at the end of the day.

Earlier, Jubik had cross-examined Mr Onyinlola and challenged his ownership of the vessel to which the witness stated that he was the owner of the vessel and had documents to prove it.

The witness claimed he had been operating the vessel since 2007 and had an agreement to import the said fuel into the country and to Saltpond for Auxesia.

The witness had at the last hearing told the court that it was the practice for vessel owners to deal with the owners of the fuel they were carrying even though it was Earth Petroleum, which contracted them.

Dr Oyinlola also said an old agreement for the importation of fuel signed between him and Christopher Issibor of Grandfather and Spiral Oil and Gas did not apply to the current matter in court.

He maintained that Auxesia was supposed to pay for the importation, as was the practice, adding that they had a supercargo or a hired person who reported to them directly while the vessel was on its way to Ghana.

Furthermore, he said when three of his crewmembers were arrested for stealing the vessel MV Solu-shing, the first thing the police did was search for the cheque and proceeded to investigate its whereabouts.

The witness said claims by Errol Anthony Lushang that the vessel belonged to him were false because he bought the vessel in 2007 at the price of USD$970,000 and stated that he had Bill of Sale and License of Navigation as proof.

He said they deserved the $391,250 because they imported the vessel and were not paid.

Auxesia Energy and the two companies are in court after the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) dragged them to there to ascertain the true ownership of the said money.

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