The Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court has decided to take both oral and documentary evidence to determine the actual owner of the $391,250 which has been paid into the coffers of the Judicial Service by UT Bank.
According to the presiding judge, Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, it would be “against justice and fair play” if the court decided on the ownership of the amount based on affidavit evidence.
Three parties are laying claim to the same amount. They are Kayode Alade, the first claimant; Auxesia Energy Limited, from whose account the money was released, and Soleushing, UK, a vessel operating company.
The court was billed to rule on an application for stay of its December 20, 2013 order, which directed the UT Bank to pay the money to Kayode Alade, an interested party in the case.
Following a contempt application against the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UT Bank and the manager of the Airport Branch of UT Bank, the bank has since paid the cedi equivalent of the amount into the coffers of the Judicial Service.
Money on hold
However, the court declined to release the money to Alade following claim for the amount by the two other claimants.
The court has since declared the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) as the plaintiff in the case while the three claimants have been designated as defendants.
The parties have been given up to March 24, 2014 to file the necessary papers to pave the way for the commencement of the trial.
Demands for the money
The first party to demand the release of the money was Kayode Alade, who instituted an original writ of summons last year, claiming ownership of the amount and subsequently instituted contempt proceedings against the Chief Executive Officer of UT Bank, Capt. Prince Kofi Amoabeng (retd) and the Manager of the Airport branch of UT Bank, Enrique Okomate, for refusing to obey a court order to release the money.
In exonerating itself, the bank, on February 13, 2014, paid the cedi equivalent of $391,250 into the coffers of the Judicial Service and attached receipt numbers to prove it had indeed paid the amount.
Subsequently, the court freed Prince Amoabeng and Mr Okomate of contempt charges but declined to order the release of the money to Alade because there were other claimants to the amount.
Auxesia Energy Limited
Auxesia Energy Limited, from whose account the money was paid, is praying the Financial Division of the High Court not to release the money to Alade because the company was not obligated to Alade.
But Soleushing UK is also locking horns with the other parties on the grounds that it owned the oil vessel whose services had brought about the entire legal suit.