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Review application over $ 60m NIB judgment debt case dismissed

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The Supreme Court has dismissed a review application seeking to overturn its own decision dismissing a 60 million dollar judgment debt the High Court ordered the National Investment Bank (NIB) to pay Dominion Corporate Trustees Limited in 2013.

According to the panel of seven justices of the Supreme Court, the review suit filed by Dominion Corporate Trustees failed to meet the conditions of review.

The Supreme Court in June last year overturned a $60 million judgment debt entered against NIB by the High Court in February 2013.

This was after NIB appealed the decision of High Court and which was later upheld by the Court of Appeal in October 2015.

The interest on the amount, per the High Court judgment, was 11 per cent, with effect from January 29, 2009 till the date of final payment.

The High Court’s decision was as a result of a legal action against NIB by Dominion Corporate Trustees Limited on behalf of certain investors who purchased promissory notes issued by Eland Ghana Limited and allegedly guaranteed by NIB.

Background

The suit was commenced against the NIB by Standard Bank Offshore Trust Company, which was later substituted by Dominion Corporate Trustees Limited, on behalf of investors who had purchased promissory notes issued by Eland Ghana Limited and guaranteed by NIB.

Under the terms of the transaction, the investors had to pay a discounted total sum of US$45 million in May 2007, and upon maturity of the promissory notes on January 29, 2009, reap US$60 million, thus earning US$15 million in profit.

During the trial, Mabel Aku Baneseh reported that, the NIB led evidence to show that its Managing Director at the time, Mr Daniel Charles Gyimah, signed the guarantee without any authorisation from the board.

The bank also led evidence to show that the US$45 million was not utilised for the advertised purpose but was rather distributed by Mr Gyimah to Eland Ghana Limited and companies connected to it.

Other beneficiaries were Iroko Securities Limited, London, as well as private individuals, including Mr Gyimah’s son, Stephen.

The largest beneficiary was Sphynx Limited, USA, which was given US$24 million. It also emerged that Sphynx Limited was a fully owned subsidiary of Iroko Securities Limited.

In the counterclaim, the bank joined Mr Gyimah, who according to the NIB did not have the mandate to authorize the promissory note. Also joined to the counterclaim was Eland International Ghana Limited.

But the court, in its February 21, 2013 judgment, held a contrary view and declared NIB liable and ordered it to pay the $60 million, with 11 percent interest, with effect from January 2009 until the day of final payment.

By: Fred Djabanor/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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