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Business News of Saturday, 16 November 2019

Source: Theheraldghana.com

Duffuor, others accuse BoG & Receiver of illegality

Lawyers for former Bank of Ghana (BoG) governor and owner of the defunct UniBank Ghana Limited, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor and seven others, have in reply to Nii Amanor Dodoo, challenged his capacity in an application he filed at the High Court as a Receiver of the BoG in the liquidation of Unibank.

Nii Amanor Dodoo, an ex-Director of the KPMG, had asked that the High Court struck out parts of the defendants' statement of defence and to set aside their entire counterclaim against him.

However, the former Finance Minister and the seven other shareholders of Unibnak: Hoda Holdings Limited, Hoda Properties Limited, Integrated Properties Limited, Alban Logistics Limited, Starlife Assurance and Bolton Portfolio Limited, have taken issues with the capacity of Amanor Dodoo, saying he is not qualified to hold himself as Receiver for the BoG.

The defendants argue that, the plaintiff is statutorily disqualified as receiver of the BoG, because he has no capacity to sue. They accused him of acting illegally.

According to Section 97 (1) of the banking law, “A person is disqualified to act as a receiver if that person (a) holds an office in the private sector, or (b) is an official of the Bank of Ghana who meets the qualifications prescribed by the Bank of Ghana”.

Lawyer for the Defendants, Kissi Agyabeng, said the Plaintiff, who is yet to show capacity as qualified Receiver, is trying to find an escape route with the present application, to set aside parts of the statement of defence and the entire counterclaim on the ground that the matters raised therein, have been statutorily consigned to arbitration.

According to Lawyer Agyabeng, the Plaintiff was rather running from the statement of defence and counterclaim and actively scheming that the suit be left undefended, as the plaintiff cavalierly characterizes his case as mere claim for the return of assets, and the counterclaim as a challenge to be errors of judgment by the BoG.

He said, “A careful reading of the pleading shows that the statement of defence and counterclaim are a natural reaction to the statement of claim— borne of and flowing directly from the bases and foundation of the plaintiff’s claim and his capacity to institute the action and nothing more.

It is perhaps too elementary to state that the plaintiff is not in court in his own right or in a representative capacity as a natural person claiming for a return of assets. Yet the very perplexing nature of the present application and the relief require just such a statement”.

Reminding the plaintiff his capacity to serve as receiver, Lawyer Agyabeng, said “This brings into sharp focus the lawfulness or otherwise of the events triggering the purported receivership and the plaintiff’s qualification as receiver.

These are legitimate enquiries that would necessarily come up for consideration someway somehow, notwithstanding the plaintiff’s protests and quest to evade them. And that is essentially what the statement of defence and counterclaim do”.

The bases of the Plaintiff’s writ are that the BoG appointed an official administrator for uniBank.

The official administrator made adverse finding against uniBank and the respondents, who are the main shareholders of uniBank.

Based on his appointment as receiver of uniBank arising from the revocation of uniBank’s license and based on the official administrator’s report, he is entitled to claim certain properties from the defendants, which he deems to belong to uniBank.

Thus, the plaintiff’s entire case on the conduct of the official administration of uniBank, the revocation of uniBank’s license, and his appointment by the Bank of Ghana as receiver of uniBank. If any of these three of his case is successfully challenged, the plaintiff’s case would fall with it.

The respondents in their defensive contend that the plaintiff does not have the capacity to sue because he is statutorily disqualified from appointment as receiver of uniBank. And in any case, that the official administration of uniBank and the revocation of its license were carried our unlawfully and in breach of statute. Thus, the plaintiff’s claim has no legs to stand on.