General News of Tuesday, 4 December 2018
An Accra High Court presided over by His Lordship Justice George Koomson, has today 3rd December, 2018, upheld the title of the Ghana Police Service to two blocks of 12 flats numbered 8 and 10 located at Redco, Madina attached in execution of a judgment of the High Court.
In May, 2014, the plaintiffs/judgment creditors in the case purporting to execute a judgment of the High Court, attached one of the blocks of flats occupied by over 200 policemen and women in execution and made efforts to dispose of same to satisfy a judgment debt awarded against the defendant/judgment debtor, Redco Limited.
The Deputy Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, on behalf of the Ghana Police Service, filed an interpleader disputing the right of the judgment creditor to attach the property in execution.
An order of the High Court for the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to ensure the peaceful surrender of the premises to the judgment creditors within 21 days, was not carried out by the IGP leading to his conviction for contempt of court on 25th September, 2018.
However, on 19th November, 2018, pursuant to an application filed by the Deputy Attorney-General, Justice Koomson’s Court set aside the conviction of the IGP for contempt of Court.
In proof of the ownership of the Ghana Police Service of the property, Mr. Dame, filed relevant documents and contended that, at all material times, the root of title of the property in dispute has been in the Government of Ghana, who compulsorily acquired same by Executive Instruments, E.I. 20 (State Lands, Accra-Madina-Site for Bank for Housing and Construction Instrument, 1977) and E.I. 7 (State Lands, Accra-Madina-Site for Bank for Housing and Construction Instrument, 1991) for the benefit of the erstwhile Bank for Housing and Construction (BHC).
In its ruling, the High Court noted that the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff/judgment creditor to establish that the property they sought to attach in execution of the judgment of a court belonged to the judgment debtor. None of the exhibits filed by the judgment creditor disclosed that the property belonged to Redco Limited, the judgment debtor. An execution creditor must attach properties belonging to the judgment debtor. The Ghana Police Service on the other hand, had established its title to the property, on the strength of the exhibits filed. The documents filed by the Deputy Attorney-General showed that, as of the date of the judgment the judgment creditor relied on, the properties belonged to the Government of Ghana by virtue of E. I. 20 of 1977 and E. I. 20 of 1991. The Government of Ghana had duly exercised its rights by giving the properties to Montero, who had also subsequently conveyed same to the Ghana Police Service.
There was no order as to costs.
In 1988, Mrs Aggrey (deceased) sued Redco Limited for failing to pay an amount owed her.
On February 23, 1993, she won the case at the High Court and the court ordered Redco to pay her the money.
On March 15, 1993, the block of flats was attached, which meant that if Redco failed to pay the money, the court would sell the property to enable Mrs Aggrey to retrieve her money.
Redco filed an application for stay of execution of the High Court’s judgement at the Court of Appeal and subsequently the Supreme Court, but both were dismissed.
It is alleged that Redco, instead of allowing Mrs Aggrey to have access to the flats, sold them to the Ghana Police Service.
The Ghana Police Service has, however, disputed this claim and has filed an action seeking to take possession of the flats.
It is its case that the police lawfully acquired the flats and, therefore, they are the rightful owners.