The Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CDH Finance Holdings Company Limited and the acting Chief Executive Officer of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) are in a tussle over the retrieval of moneys owed the company by the State Insurance Company (SIC) Limited.While the Group CEO of CDH Finance Holdings Limited, Mr Emmanuel Adu-Sarkodee, has accused EOCO of using the state apparatus to harass him, the acting Executive Director of EOCO, Mr Justice Tsar, has denied the claim.
According to Mr Adu-Sarkodee ever since CDH began executing a court order to retrieve moneys owed the company by SIC Limited, he had had no peace.
“I have since February 2015 been invited four times by the EOCO for long hours of interrogation. I was even set on a bail bond of GH¢300 million for no wrong,” Mr Adu-Sarkodee told the Daily Graphic in Accra.
He said EOCO usually struck each time his lawyers moved in to execute the court orders to retrieve moneys owed his company.
But reacting to the allegations, Mr Tsar said EOCO was conducting normal investigations, adding that the CDH boss had not been harassed in any way because whenever he came to the EOCO office, he was in the company of two lawyers.
Mr Tsar stated that there was no way Mr Adu-Sarkodee could be intimidated in the presence of his lawyers.
Legal tussleSIC and one of Mr Adu-Sarkodee’s companies, Ivory Finance Company Limited, are currently engaged in a legal tussle over a GH¢232 million debt emanating from penalties and interests which accrued on a GH¢19.3 million facility SIC guaranteed for a private company, ITAL Construct International Limited.
Ivory Finance Company Limited began attaching SIC’s assets on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, following a court order given to it to go ahead to retrieve the money.
Mr Kwesi Baidoo and Mr James Kwegyir Aggrey, both directors of the real estate company, ITAL Construct International Limited, are the other defendants in the case.
SIC served as a guarantor for ITAL Construct International after the company contracted a loan facility of GH¢19.3 million from Ivory Finance Company Limited on April 10, 2013.
Interests and other penal charges stood at GH¢232 million as of June, 2015.
‘Stop the harassment’Highlighting his difficulties to the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra, Mr Adu-Sarkodee said, “I am being harassed unnecessarily. They have taken documents for my building for no reason and now they are telling me I cannot travel outside without their permission.
“What baffles me is I have not conducted business with any state institution to receive this kind of ill-treatment. My only sin is pursuing a debt owed by the SIC after it guaranteed a credit facility for ITAL Construct International Limited and the construction company in turn defaulted in the payment.
“Under the present circumstance, the mantle now fell on the guarantor, being SIC.”
He further explained that CDH had used the legal process to retrieve its money and could, therefore, not comprehend why the state apparatus was being used to harass him.
“This harassment must stop. We are in court and the EOCO must respect my rights as a law-abiding citizen doing my genuine business,” Mr Adu-Sarkodee said.
BackgroundThe parties in the substantive case at the Commercial Court on November 24, 2014, entered terms of settlement after Ivory Finance Company Limited had, on November 21, 2013, issued a writ against the defendants to claim GH¢19.3 million with interest and penalties, until the final date of payment.
Signatories to the terms of settlement were a former Managing Director of SIC, Mrs Doris Awo Nkani; Mr Emmanuel Adu-Sarkodee, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ivory Finance Company Limited, Mr Baidoo and Mr Aggrey, who initialled on behalf of ITAL Construct International Limited.
Despite the terms of settlement, which were entered and adopted by the Commercial Court on November 27, 2014, the defendants failed to fully meet their debt obligations.
The SIC later paid GH¢19.3 million per the court’s orders in January, 2015 but has since not settled its interest and penalties which keep accumulating.
Following from the failure of ITAL Construct International Limited to fully settle its debt, Ivory Finance Company Limited filed the necessary legal documents to recover the interest from SIC which had served as the guarantor for the credit facility.
ActionLawyer for Ivory Finance Company Limited, Mr Richard D. Amofa, has filed a list of assets belonging to the SIC and the construction company for auction.
In its bid to stop the attachment of its properties for auction, lawyers for SIC have filed an application for an order to suspend enforcement of the consent judgement which was entered by the court after the parties had signed the terms of settlement.
SIC is asking for a suspension until the final determination of an appeal against the Commercial Court’s decision to sanction the retrieval of the amount from the SIC.
Hearing of the application has been fixed for July 23, 2015 at the Commercial Court in Accra.
Meanwhile, the Commercial Court has dismissed ITAL Construct International Limited’s application impugning fraud against Ivory Finance Company Limited.
According to the court, presided over by Mr Justice S. K. Asiedu, the construction company had pushed the concept of fraud “beyond its limit”.