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Crime & Punishment of Saturday, 6 July 2019

Source: Kasapa FM

Court orders lawyer to refund GHC290K he illegally took from court account

A Sunyani High Court presided over by His Lordship Justice Patrick Baryeh has ordered Lawyer Barimah Agyekum-Hinneh of Nkrabea and Associates to pay an amount of Ghc290, 000.00 within 14 days.

The lawyer, Barimah Agyekum-Hinneh who has been cited for contempt by the court, took the sum of Ghc290, 000.00 deposited in an interest yielding account by the court registrar pending a determination of an appeal case.

The plaintiff, Richard Peprah, a former inmate of the Sunyani prisons sued the defendants, the Director-General, Ghana Prison Service in an action for damages (negligence). At the end of the trial, the Judge gave judgment in favour of the plaintiff and awarded total damages of Ghc475,000.00 against the defendants.

Aggrieved by the judgment, the Defendants appealed against it to the court of appeal- Kumasi. To stop the plaintiff from going into execution, the defendants applied for stay of execution and were granted same on condition that they deposit Ghc290, 000.00 into court which money was to be put in an interest yielding account by the registrar of the court pending the determination of the appeal.

When the money was so deposited in court and before the appeal could be heard, the lawyer for the plaintiff, Lawyer Barimah Agyekum-Hinneh applied to a different High Court, constituted (vacation) and lied to the court that the money (GHC290, 000.00) was paid in satisfaction of the plaintiff judgment debt.

Upon this deceit by the plaintiff’s lawyer, the court ordered for the money to be released to him through the lawyer’s personal account 1007065697401 with NIB.

The court on realizing this unprofessional act of the lawyer cited him for contempt at the High Court Sunyani.

The case has been adjourned to July 19, 2019 for sentencing.

Meanwhile, the defendants, the Director-General, Ghana Prison Service on June 25, 2019, won the appeal case in Kumasi and the judgment states that a sum of Ghc150, 000.00 should be awarded to the plaintiff.

According to the appeals court, the initial demand of Ghc475, 000.00 is too much.

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