Court Sets Aside Judgment

AN ACCRA High Court presided over by Justice Elizabeth Ankomah has set aside its own orders on the payment of $28,595,600.00 to Sweater and Socks Factory.

The court observed that it erred by giving a ruling accepting estimates totalling $28,595,600 filed by the factory (plaintiff) as the accounts to be rendered by the Attorney-General and National Industrial Company.

According to the judge, it was wrong for the plaintiff to have undertaken that move and also for the court to have upheld the estimate ordering the state to pay the sum of money to the factory.

Justice Ankomah observed it was the duty of the Attorney-General and not the plaintiff to render the account, so if the AG was not doing its duty, the company could take other action to get the AG to do the right thing.

After the court ruling, lawyers for the company proceeded to another high court to withdraw a contempt application they had filed against the Governor of the Bank of Ghana for failure to pay the money.

The court presided over by Justice Godwin Gabor struck out the contempt of court application as withdrawn by Mr. George Eshun, the lawyer for the company. The court did not award any cost.

The defendants in the case are the A-G, National Industrial Company, African Bag Company, Madam’s Company, Poly Products, Fay International Limited, United Waters Ltd and Golden Tower Limited.

The AG sought to set the said judgment indicating that no court had awarded the $28 million to Sweater and Socks, the plaintiff in the case.

In an affidavit in support of the motion to set aside the order which has been seen as void, the AG argued that there was no rule of law or procedure that gives a plaintiff the authority to file “estimates” when a defendant has failed/refused/neglected to comply with a judgment to render accounts.

According to the AG, filing of ‘estimates’ by a plaintiff was not a procedure for enforcing a judgment or order for a defendant to render accounts.

However Justice Ankumah on July 27, 2011 accepted the amended estimates “filed by the plaintiff in lieu of the accounts to be rendered by the Attorney-General and the National Industrial Company”.

The AG further argued that Justice Mrs Ankumah “had no jurisdiction to accept the amended estimates.

The plaintiff, Sweater and Socks, dragged the Attorney-General and the seven occupants of its factory which was confiscated by the state through AFRC Decree 38 to court in 1994.

It requested the court to declare that the true legal position now was that Sweater and Socks had not been confiscated and was, therefore, entitled to carry out its normal business operations.

The company also sought an order for the recovery of possession of the factory premises and all the machinery and or equipment thereof from the hold of the National Industrial Company.

On April 8, 2003, the High Court, presided over by Justice Mrs H. Inkumsah Abban, gave judgement in favour of the plaintiff for all the reliefs claimed.

The court held that Plaintiff Company was entitled to all its reliefs, as endorsed, and in 2010 the plaintiff obtained leave of the court to recover possession of the factory premises and duly recovered possession.

Consequently, plaintiff obtained a garnishee order nisi and garnishee order absolute on August 15, 2012 and September 12, 2012, respectively, ordering the BoG to pay the plaintiff the sum of US$28,595,600.

Following the grant of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff and subsequent orders of the court and the failure of the BoG to pay the money, the plaintiff instituted the contempt proceedings against Dr Wampah.