ARB Apex Bank slapped with GH¢282,860 for damages to IT firm

The Commercial Division of the Accra High Court, presided over by George Koomson, has ordered that Skynet Computers Limited recover a total of GH¢282,860 from ARB Apex Bank Limited.

The claimant, Skynet Computers Limited, earlier won an application praying the court to enforce an award of GH¢267,020 awarded to it by an Arbitral tribunal following three years of arbitration.

However, ARB Apex Bank — the respondent — failed to heed the order of the tribunal. Consequently, Skynet was compelled to seek court power to enforce the order which, was subsequently granted by the High court on 12th February, 2013.

On April 10, Skynet Limited applied for a grant of leave by the aforementioned High Court to amend its Entry of Award on Costs and the break-down of the costs are as follows: GH¢48,000 as the outstanding balance, GH¢102,960.00 as interest on outstanding balance of GH¢48,000 at the rate of 5.5% per month for 39 months for the period April, 2011-December, 2013.

It also claimed interest on late payment of GH¢366,000 at the rate of 5.5% per month for four months from April, 2011 to July, 2011. Damages amounted to GH¢33,880 and costs of GH¢17,500 bringing the total to GH¢282, 860.

On 16th of December 2010, the two companies — Skynet and ARB Apex Bank — signed an agreement whereby the former was contracted to supply 400 pieces of computer laptops to the latter for onward delivery to selected rural banks across the country.

Sky-Net within a month, and as per the contract, delivered all the laptops to the bank — which were duly checked and accepted as per the contract specifications and guidelines.

According to the affidavit filed, ARB Apex Bank failed to pay on the grounds that the pre-installed software on the laptops was not genuine — because a sticker that should be embossed at the bottom of the laptops to determine its genuineness was not there.

The claimant wrote back to the bank explaining the reasons for the absence of the sticker. The bank rejected Skynet’s explanations, and after a series of correspondences — when no solution was found, the claimant filed a case against the bank at the High Court.

This compelled the bank to pay for the hardware of the laptops, leaving the software to be determined by arbitration as pertained in the contract both parties signed — and also per the orders from the High Court at that time to seek a resolution.

Following this, the parties subjected themselves to arbitration under the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act, and after lengthy hearings the Sole Arbitrator, Miss Gloria Afua Akuffo, delivered a judgement on December 30, 2013 in favour of Skynet Limited.

Pursuant to the said award, Skynet Limited instructed its solicitors to write to the respondent demanding payment of the awarded sum of GH¢267,020. This was duly served on the respondent on January 15, 2014.

Unfortunately, the bank after being served the demand letter failed to pay the said amount, compelling Skynet to file a writ of motion at the High Court — which has been granted.

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