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Regional News of Friday, 2 September 2022

Source: GNA

Volta Star Textiles Management in court for non-payment of SSNIT contributions

Volta Star Textiles Limited Volta Star Textiles Limited

The acting Managing Director of Volta Star Textiles Limited (formerly Juapong Textiles), Jerome K. Dunyo, and his accountant appeared before a Ho Circuit Court for failure to pay the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions of workers.

Dunyo and Jacinta Dekumwin Liekule (accountant) pleaded not guilty to non-payment of workers’ contributions and a penalty accruing to some GHC 2.36 million.

The two had been admitted to bail in the sum of GHC10,000.00 each with a surety.

Mr. Isaac Nana Yaw Mbatini, the SSNIT prosecutor, told the court presided over by Mr. Felix Datsomor that the management of Volta Star Textiles Limited headed by its Managing Director, defaulted in honouring the SSNIT contributions of its workers, spanning May 2020 to June 2022.

He said efforts to reclaim the indebtedness had resulted in court action.

Mr. Doe Agbenu, counsel for the accused, raised a legal objection on the capacity of the first and second accused persons, referencing sections 3(1), 63(1) and 211(a) of the National Pensions Act 2008, (ACT 766) that the accused persons were not the employers of the establishment.

According to him, the establishment, which is the third accused is state-owned and employed the accused persons.

He said the main employer is the Ministry of Trade and Industry, hence the government of Ghana.

Mr. Agbenu said the employment of workers was subject to clearance from the Ministry and that the accused persons could not do anything without the consent and approval of the government through the Ministry.

Mr. Mbatini countered the argument of counsel Agbenu by the same provisions made by sections 3(1) and 211(a, b) of the National Pensions ACT 2008, (ACT 766).

The prosecution argued that the Ministry being a legal entity appointed the accused persons and clothed them with power and authority to recruit workers and to determine their wages and salaries and other emoluments.

“They are, therefore, management or agents of the establishment responsible for the payment of wages and salaries and other emoluments of the establishment and hence responsible for the payment of the social security contributions.

They have also made some payments of the SSNIT contributions for some few months before without directing the officers of the Trust to the Ministry.”

The prosecution, therefore, urged the court to exercise its discretion in his favour.

Mr. Datsomor, after granting bail to the two, also directed them to deposit a copy of their national identities with the registry of the court.

He asked the prosecutor to file his disclosures and serve them to the accused persons or their lawyer three clear days before the next court date.

The case is subsequently adjourned to October 7, 2022.