The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Absa Bank, Ghana, Mrs. Frances Adu-Mante, the Managing Director, Abena Osei-Poku and eight other executives of the bank have been cited for contempt of a Kumasi High Court.
Kwasi Afrifa Esq, solicitor for the plaintiff, Mrs. Benedicta Gyamfua Appiah-Asante, has filed a notice of motion to move the court for an order committing the ten respondents including the Board chair and the Managing Director, for contempt.
The matter should have been heard on October 10, 2023 but for a petition to the Chief Justice by Absa that the judge hearing the case is biased.
The Chief Justice Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkonoo has called for the docket in Suit No. GJ2/09/24 – Mrs. Benedicta Gyamfua Appiah-Asante Versus Absa Bank (Ghana) Limited.
The Judicial Secretary, Justice Cyra Pamela C. A. Koranteng per a letter dated October 9, 2023 and written on the instructions of the Chief Justice directed the Registrar of the Kumasi High Court to bring the docket to Accra thus curtailing the determination of the contempt and substantive suit.
The Absa Bank (Ghana) Limited is said to have disregarded an order of Kumasi High Court presided over by Justice Kwasi Anokye Gyimah on September 18, 2023 in which the bank was ordered to release the plaintiff’s title deed covering a plot of land at the Redemption Valley in Community 9 at Tema within 10 days from the date of service of the order. The order was served on Absa Bank on September 20, 2023.
The plaintiff had used the title deed as security for a loan from the bank which loan has been fully settled since 2010 but the bank has refused to honour the order of the court thus undermining the authority of the Honourable Court and bringing administration of justice into disrepute.
In an affidavit of support by the deponent, Mrs. Appiah- Asante stated that she had issued a writ against the defendant bank for recovery of documentation (Title Deed) in respect of a landed property No. C9/AA.1.
The said writ also sought a declaration that the continued detention of the said title deeds by the defendant in unlawful, illegal and trespassory and a further order compelling the defendant bank and its agents and representatives to surrender the title deeds to the plaintiff.
The Plaintiff says that following the writ, the Kumasi High Court presided over by Justice Kwasi Anokye Gyimah ordered the bank to surrender the documents but the bank has willfully, deliberately and contemptuously disregarded the order of the court in a calculated attempt to spite the Court.
She noted that it is only the authoritative intervention of the Court that will compel the respondents to release the title deeds hence the committal of the respondents for contempt of the order of the Court.
The 82-year-old retiree of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) argues that the grant of the application for committal of the respondents for contempt will be in accord with justice while a refusal will cause irreparable injury to her and worsen the mental agony and increased cost in her legitimate bid to recover the said title deed from the bank.
The anxiety of the plaintiff in respect of her title deed is heightened by the recent exposure that some unscrupulous members of staff of most banks in Ghana are in the illicit business of using title deeds of customers to guarantee loans at different banks at a fee thereby imperiling the properties of clients in the likely event of default.
The plaintiff further states that the conduct of the bank is willful and deserves the highest possible punishment and therefore prayed the court to assert its authority and ensure that its processes and order are treated with the requisite respect to avoid chaos, anarchy and total breakdown of law and order.
All attention is now focused on the Chief Justice as her administrative directive has put the case on hold. E N D
Pix 1: Abena Osei-Poku, MD Absa Bank
Pix 2: Absa logo