Contempt Case Against Barclays Bank Boss Dismissed

AN ACCRA Fast Track High Court presided over by Justice Georgina Mensah-Datsa has dismissed a motion for contempt against the Managing Director (MD) of Barclays Bank Ghana,  Patience Enyonam Akyianu, and two others over their alleged refusal to release money after being ordered to do so.

The contempt motion was filed by Samuel Horace Quartey who was sent US$24,000 by his fiancée in the United States of America (USA) and the money was returned to the US by the bank after the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) initially suspected money laundering.

The applicant wants the Barclays boss, Moses Kakraba-Kwao Spencer, compliance officer and Eirene Quainoo, Head of Legal Department of the Barclays Bank, convicted for contempt of court for failing to release the said amount which the court had ordered should be given to him after EOCO concluded investigation.

In their respective affidavits in opposition filed by their counsel, Evans Gadeto Dzikunu, the respondents told the court that the order which ordered the bank to pay the money was in breach of the rules of natural justice.

According to Mr Dzikunu, the applicant failed to join the respondents in his application for the release of the money to him because if they had been served notice, they would have informed the court that the money had been returned to the remitting bank in Texas.

In addition, he stated that the contempt application was not properly served on the bank as a corporate body, and said it was served on a staff called Duruwaa Boabeng.

But according to the Barclays Bank Act, the director, a member or the legal director, are those to be served in such cases.

He stated that the respondents could only be cited for contempt if only they were served with the motion to release the money and they disobeyed the order.

Furthermore, the counsel for the respondents also noted that it was the bank itself that should have been served and explained that where the bank was convicted, then the respondents would be liable.

Mr Dzikunu mentioned that the said amount had long been returned to the remitting bank in Texas long before the order was given and prayed the court to dismiss the contempt application against the three.

The trial judge consequently upheld the submissions by counsel for the respondents and dismissed the contempt application against them.

By Fidelia Achama

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