Ghanaian group of companies (Groupe Nduom) Gold Coast Securities Company Ltd, now BlackShield and Ghana Growth Fund Company Limited has won a GHS174 million judgment against Health Network Company Limited.
According to a post in Today’s newspaper, the Groupe Nduom won the court case after summoning the Health network.
The report also indicated that the actions of the regulators have caused huge collateral damage to related companies as they have been starved of deposits they placed with their sister companies.
However, Groupe Nduom still stands by its claim that government agencies and the contractors they gave legitimate contracts to, owe Groupe, more than GHS3 billion with accrued interest.
The ruling further proves the point that if those who had taken money placed with them had paid even 15 % of what was due GN Bank/GoldCoast/Blackshield, the companies would still have been in operation
The ruling, according to Groupe Nduom owners and other stakeholders, “proves regulators acted hastily in revoking licenses of the Groupe’s banking and investment companies”. The Groupe Nduom companies that have suffered regulator closure are Gold Coast Securities/Blackshield and GN Bank/GN Savings & Loans.
The actions of the regulators have also caused huge collateral damage to related companies as they have been starved of deposits they placed with their sister companies. The judgement, the Groupe owners contend, absolves them of wrongdoing and confirms their long-held position that “customers’ funds were invested in Ghana with private and government institutions and government projects”.
It was based on the prudent investments that till today, Groupe Nduom still stands by its claim that government agencies and the contractors they gave legitimate contracts to owe the Groupe, more than GHS3 billion that is continuing to attract interest. Interestingly enough, a lawyer who claimed to represent a “Receiver” waited until judgement was rendered then got up to ask to be allowed to join the case. She was promptly shut down by the judge.
The ruling further proves the point that if those who had taken money placed with them had paid even 15 % of what was due GN Bank/GoldCoast/Blackshield, the companies would still have been in operation.
The suit was commenced by Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim issued at the Registry of High Court, Accra, Commercial Division dated 11th October 2019. Justice Shiela Minta was the presiding judge in the matter brought before the court.
After failed attempts to get all the four (4) Defendants to be served in the ordinary manner prescribed by the Court Rules, an application was brought before the court for substituted service to enable the plaintiff to serve the defendants by substitution which application was granted.
All efforts through service of hearing notices to the defendants to attend pre-trial conference also proved futile until the matter was referred to a trial court. At the trial court, a motion on notice for judgment in default of appearance was first brought against the defendants. It was this application that forced the defendants to enter an appearance through their solicitors.
Subsequent to this, the defendants with their lawyers engaged Plaintiff’s lawyers with Plaintiffs’ representatives also in meetings in an attempt to reach some settlement.
However, after the said meetings in which the defendants’ state of indebtedness was clearly established to satisfaction, the defendants failed to demonstrate any good faith and also to propose a payment plan as the Plaintiffs were made to believe they would.
This compelled a subsequent application for judgment in default of defence as they did not have any defence to the suit. In the morning on 27th May, 2021, before the motion for judgment in default of defence was to be moved, Counsel for Defendants handed over a cheque of GHS 2,000,000.00 to Counsel for Plaintiff.
This paltry sum of GHc 2,000,000.00 relative to Defendants’ debt of GHc 174,100,037.40 could not be used to influence Plaintiff’s lawyers’ resolve to move the court to enter judgment in default of defence at all cost.
After vain efforts by counsel for defendants to persuade Plaintiff’s lawyers to oblige them last adjournment, the court by itself formed the opinion that in the light of the fact before it and the defendants’ gesture that had come to its attention, it would exercise discretion to oblige the defendants the last adjournment to enable them respond more favourably to Plaintiff’s claim before the court.