From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
For the third consecutive time, Dr. Nii Kotei Dzani, the Greater Accra representative on the Council of State who, together with Mr. Charles Amoah, the Kumasi Branch manager of the Ideal Finance Limited has been cited for contempt of court since November 2018, has not appeared in court.
The court, presided over by Justice Dr. Richmond Osei Hwere, was compelled to issue a bench warrant for his arrest at the initial stages of the case, only for the order to be rescinded after Dr. Dzani’s intervention at the eleventh hour, with an excuse that he was engrossed in an important meeting as a member of the Council of State.
Last April, Archie Danso and Associates, Solicitors of the embattled Member of the Council of State, indicated to the Court, per correspondence that, his client had sought permission from the court to be absent till the contempt application is heard.
In spite of this, the respondent again failed to appear in court on May 7, 2019 and requested for further absence.
Mrs. Peace A.P. Okantey, Acting Secretary to the Council of State last Monday, May 6, 2019, per a letter with reference COS/ESDZ/062, notified the court of Dr. Dzani’s inability to honour the court’s invitation on Tuesday May 7, 2019.
It was explained that Dr. Nii Kotei Dzani, as a member of the Council of State, happened to be a member of the three-member Special Committee on Energy, constituted by the Council of State to consider an urgent issue that had been brought to the attention of the Council.
According to Mrs. Okantey, the said Committee had scheduled meetings from Tuesday May 7 to Thursday May 9, 2019, to interact with stakeholders in the energy sub-sector for recommendations and, therefore, highly impossible for the respondent to absent himself from the meetings of the Special Committee.
Following this notification, the Court was requested to reschedule Dr. Dzani’s appearance, which the court obliged and adjourned the case to May 31, 2019.
Last November, an application was filed before a Kumasi High Court (Commercial Division) seeking to commit Dr. Nii Kotei Dzani and Mr. Charles Amoah, the Kumasi Branch manager of the Ideal Finance Limited for contempt of court.
The respondents were said to have brought the administration of justice into disrepute when they deliberately resorted to help re-open the office of the Ideal Finance Limited at Dadiesoaba, in Kumasi, which had been locked by a Deputy Sheriff and bailiffs, at the instance of a judgment of a High Court.
According to a notice of motion filed on behalf of the Plaintiff, Professor Collins Fosu, by Ama Asenso of O & a Legal Consult, the said premises was locked up by the Registrar on November 19, 2018.
The respondents, however, re-opened the premises on November 20, 2018 without recourse to legal process of the Court in a bid to render the said judgment and the execution process levied by the court ineffective.
The applicant is also seeking the directive of the court for the respondents to bear the cost of the application following their contemptuous conduct.
In an affidavit in support of the motion, the deponent, Prof. Fosu, stated that while reopening the premises in flagrant disregard and abject impunity, the first respondent, Dr. Dzani, a distinguished Entrepreneur and Businessman with extensive business experience as an Economist and accomplished Business Owner, openly boasted that he is a member of the Council of State and, therefore, cannot be punished for his contemptuous behavior.
He stated that the second respondent, who was directly in charge of the premises aided and abetted the first respondent to undo the execution process levied and that, the premises have since remained opened for brisk business, in total disregard of the court’s order.
The deponent further stated that the respondents used armed soldiers and the Police to ward off any attempt by anybody who dared to take pictures of the contemptuous conduct.
In the substantive case, which is before the court, the plaintiff is seeking against 11 defendants, including First Trust (first defendant) and Ideal Finance Limited (second defendant) owned by Dr. Dzani, the CEO of Group Ideal, jointly and severally for a declaration that the conduct of the first and second defendants in relation to the indebtedness owed the plaintiff is fraudulent and/or concealed fraud on the plaintiff.
The other defendants are Most Rev. Dr. Charles Agyin-Asare, Marianne Quansah, Samuel Afari Dartey, Charles Arkuh, Dr. Nii Kotei Dzani (the Seventh defendant), Kwame Poku, Jerome C. Eshun, Captain Kwadjo Butah (rtd) and A.L. Akrofi.