A Sekondi High Court, presided over by Her Ladyship Justice Efya Nyarko Adu Amankwa, has dismissed a motion for stay of execution and extension of time filed by the Chief of Essipong, Nana Kofi Abuna V, to give her ample time to honor the payment of the remaining sum of over GH¢1 million paid into her private account by Ghana National Gas Company as stool lands compensation.
The Chief, known in private life as Emma Woode, and a Deaconess at Inchaban Central Church of Pentecost, has currently paid 50% of the amount and made a prayer for a stay of execution and extension of time through her Counsel to enable her ‘cough up’ the remaining sum. But the court disagreed and dismissed the motion on grounds that she had not demonstrated any special circumstances warranting the variation of the order.
Nine months ago, the court ordered the Chief to pay the money to the court pending the determination of the case, which had Ebusuapaying Ken Aryeetey as the plaintiff, Ghana Gas Company as 1st respondent, and Nana Kofi Abuna as 2nd respondent.
Nana Kofi Abuna V, however, filed a stay of execution and extension of time motion supported by a supplementary affidavit, and moved the court on Order 15(11) as the basis for the motion.
Counsel for the applicant/defendant, Constantine Kudzidzi, argued that prior to the court giving the order for payment on 1st July, certain matters had occurred, which made the order inexpedient.
He did not deny that the defendant/plaintiffs were entitled to 1/3 of the proceeds of the money; however, he said it was also not in doubt that his client had expended a certain amount of the money on the families and the various heads.
That apart, some of the amount had also been expended on learning and vocation, including refurbishing the royal cemetery, as stated in the expenditure in Exhibit C before the court. These monies, counsel averred, were not spent by his client, but on family members.
Counsel Kudzidzi pointed out that the essence of this motion was not to override the court orders, but having paid 50% of the sum, the court should take that into consideration the GH¢40,000 paid to the head of the family, who was the plaintiff in the original suit by given them time to raise the remaining for payment to the court.
He pleaded with the court to exercise discretion favorably to stay the payment.
Counsel for the defendant/applicant, Kweku Gyimah, opposed the motion on order 45 rule (15,4).
That apart, he said the motion had no legal basis, in that the Chief could not arrogate to herself powers to expend money due the family members. He also drew the attention of the court to the receipt as exhibited by the applicant/defendant that it did not match.
Her Ladyship Justice Efya Nyarko Adu Amankwa, after listening to both parties, dismissed the motion on grounds that the applicant/defendant did not demonstrate any special circumstances as to why the court ordering the Chief to pay the money into the account of the court until the final determination of the suit should be stayed. In addition, no new grounds had been canvassed in the applicant/defendant motion to warrant the stay.
On the basis of this, the court dismissed the motion and awarded a cost of GH¢1,500.00 against the applicant/defendant.
In the same court, Her Ladyship refused a joinder application to have the Development Committee of Essipon join the suit to pray the court to order the Essipong Chief to pay over GH¢1 million into the account of the court until the final determination of the suit.
The court also refused the decision by one Thomas Kwofie to join the suit as a defendant and head of family of Royal Essipong Stool, following the claim by Nana Kofi Abuna, Chief of Essipong Stool, that Dr. Ken Aryeetey, who initiated the civil suit against her, as 2nd defendant had been destooled. The Judge dismissed the motion to join Thomas Kwofie as Ebusuapaying on grounds that the latter was not a necessary party and therefore joining him would delay the trial.