Silver Star Boss Faces Contempt


Former Director of Ghana School of Law, George A. Sarpong, has filed a suit at a commercial court in Accra seeking to commit the Chief Executive of Silver Star Auto Limited for contempt.

The plaintiff has alleged that the head of the company, Kalmoni Nouhad, had defied a Supreme Court order to deliver a brand new Mercedes Benz (E Class) to him.

The case, which started in 2009, was filed for and on behalf of the plaintiff by his solicitors, G.A. Sarpong & Co Limited with.

Genesis
According to the plaintiff, a brand new Mercedes Benz (C-Class 180) he bought from the car dealer in 2007 had broken down in May 2008 but was replaced with another E-Class one with registration number GN 2266-Y at the cost of 15,000 Euros which again broke down in December that same year.

Mr. Sarpong therefore claimed among others things, a brand new EClass as replacement or a refund of the purchase price of the vehicle as well as compensation for loss of use of the vehicles and damages for breach of condition or deceit.

Rebuttal
Silver Star Auto Limited, in its amended statement of defence filed on October 19, 2009, denied the plaintiff’s claims and insisted that the

cause of the accident was attributable to the May 2009 stadium incident.

They argued that G.A. Sarpong & Co was not entitled to any claim as endorsed in the writ of summons and had urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit.

Court’s Decision
The commercial court, after full trial, held that G.A. Sarpong & Co was entitled to a delivery of a brand new E-Class Mercedes Benz as replacement for the damaged car, but the court refused to grant the claim for compensation for loss of use of the vehicles and damages for breach of condition or deceit.

Not satisfied, Silver Star Auto Limited appealed against the decision at the Court of Appeal and succeeded in getting the appellate court to review the High Court’s decision by ordering the car dealer to only replace the damaged engine for G.A. Sarpong & Co and not the whole car.

Final Decision
G.A. Sarpong & Co then headed to the Supreme Court where a fivemember

panel, presided over by Justice Julius Ansah, ruled that G.A. Sarpong

& Co had been able to discharge the burden of proof that the vehicle it bought from Silver Star Auto Limited had latent defects and deserved to be replaced.

The panel, which also included Justices Rose Owusu, K. Anin Yeboah, P. Baffoe Bonnie and J.B. Akamba, disagreed to the Court of Appeal’s reversal of the High Court decision and ordered that the trial judgement orders be maintained.

Contempt Application
However, the plaintiff in his application for contempt filed on September

9, 2014, said that ‘Upon an undertaking, personally executed by the respondent himself to unconditionally deliver to the plaintiff a brand new, latest model of the Mercedes Benz 200 E Class should its appeal fail, execution of the judgement was stayed.’

Mr. Sarpong averred that when the Supreme Court gave judgement in his favour, he filed notice of judgement after trial and duly served the

defendant adding, ‘Ahe defendant was served with the order for delivery

of vehicle on July 21, 2014 as confirmed by a search report.’

Non-Compliance
The plaintiff said the defendant had till date failed to comply with the order of the court, although the defendant had the vehicle in its possession.

‘In total defiance of the orders of the court, the defendant on August

27, 2014 paid into the court, GH¢157,440 in purported satisfaction of the order.’

The plaintiff insisted that the order of the court was not for the defendant to pay money but for the delivery of a brand new latest model of Mercedes Benz 200 E Class.

BY William Yaw Owusu

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