The Commercial Division of an Accra High Court On Thursday 15, July 2021, presided over by Justice Shiela Minta ordered Health Network Company (Healthnet) to pay GHS174 million to the Ghana Growth Fund Company/Gold Coast Advisors, a Groupe Nduom Company.
The High Court also awarded cost of GHS50,000 to the lawyer of the Plaintiffs.
This is the first of a number of court cases pending before the law courts initiated by Groupe Nduom companies. They involve private sector companies, government agencies and regulators.
Groupe Nduom in a statement said it believes that when all is said and done, the allegations of wrongdoing made against specific Groupe Nduom companies and shareholders will be put to rest.
This particular suit it explained was started by Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim issued at the Registry of High Court, Accra, Commercial Division dated 11th October 2019.
After failed attempts to get all the four 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.
The defendants with their lawyers engaged the Plaintiff’s lawyers with Plaintiffs’ representatives also in meetings in an attempt to reach some settlement. In the end, they failed to file a defense. The defendants also failed to demonstrate any good faith and propose a payment plan as the Plaintiffs were made to believe they would.
Groupe Nduom noted that 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 in an attempt to stay matters and demonstrate the willingness to settle the indebtedness. The court granted a short adjournment beyond the maturity date of the cheque (4/06/21) to 14th June 2021 to first ensure that the cheque would clear and also for defendants to show cause why the pending application for judgment in default of defence should not be granted on the next adjourned date.
The statement said to the disbelief of the plaintiffs and their lawyers, the GHS2 million cheque failed to clear and “the Defendants had allegedly tricked the court and disrespected the office of Justice Shiela Minta.”
On the strength of the evidential facts, Justice Minta on Thursday, 15th July awarded judgement for GHS174 million plus GHS50,000 in costs in favour of the Plaintiffs.
Groupe Nduom noted that “in our opinion, this ruling proves that 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 Fund Management/BlackShield and GN Bank/GN Savings & Loans.
The company said 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 judgment, not only absolves our companies of wrongdoing. It also confirms our 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 we stand by our 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. Altogether, the court cases we are chasing after private and public entities for will amount to about GHS4 billion,” the statement added.
Groupe Nduom has reminded its customers and the general public that even in the face of tremendous pressure, GCFM/BlackShield was able to return over GHS600 million during the period of the run on the company until its license was revoked. “Since then, its offices have been locked and access to files denied leaving the courts as the only independent avenue to go through to collect receivables,” it noted.