The Chief Executive Officer of Greenland Hotel Limited has filed a motion praying the Commercial Court in Accra to order the re-opening of the hotel which was closed down as a result of its GH¢l.l million indebtedness to the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB).

Dr Alexander Eyiah is also praying the court for an order “setting aside the unlawful execution on April 16, 2008 of the judgement entered in default of appearance and for a further order prohibiting the registrar of the court from sealing off, closing down or in any way interfering with the defendant/applicant’s use or possession of Greenland Hotel Limited until a sale by public auction, if any, has been properly carried out on the orders of this honourable

The hotel was closed down as a result of the inability of its management to repay the remaining GH¢1.1 million which is part of a loan it took from the GCB.

The GH¢1.1 million was interest which accrued on an initial loan of about GH¢400,000 the hotel took from the bank.

The GCB took action against the hotel on October 8, 2007 and a judgement dated October 31,2007 was entered against the hotel in default of appearance.

In an affidavit in support of the motion, Dr Eyiah said an application for a reserve price was made by the bank but “the said application for determination of the reserve price in this suit is still pending, no sale has been ordered by this honourable court and proceedings in this suit have been adjourned to May 13, 2008”.

That notwithstanding, Dr Eyiah deposed that in the early hours of April 16, 2008, 10 police officers, together with some men claiming to be bailiffs, staff members of a firm of auctioneers in Accra and legal representatives of the bank went to the hotel, drove everybody out and locked up the entire hotel, bringing its operations to a halt.

The deponent, who described as unlawful the action of the policemen and the court officials, said the hotel expected some guests from the United States of America, among other guests, at the time of the closure, adding that “the action of the plaintiff herein, acting in collusion with the officers of the court, was hugely unlawful, inappropriate and has so far resulted in a colossal financial-loss and tremendous embarrassment to defendant herein.”

To make matters worse, Dr Eyiah said, the auctioneers took possession of some rooms in the hotel and had been lodging there without any warrant since April 16, 2008.

He said in spite of being served with a court order which prohibited the auctioneer from interfering with the defendant’s use or possession of the hotel, the auctioneer had contemptuously refused to release the keys to the hotel on the grounds that he (auctioneer) wanted authorisation from the GCB.

He said enormous pleas with the bank and its lawyers to have the hotel re-opened elicited no response, in the face of the bank’s avowed object of ensuring closure of the hotel.

He further deposed that under the rule of court, “until the sale by public auction or otherwise, as may be ordered by this honourable court, has been conducted in accordance with the rules of court, it is absolutely illegal and improper for the registrar or any other officer of the court to close down the hotel on the instructions of the plaintiff herein and without any order from this honourable court”.

Dr Eyiah argued further that “in so far as the instant action is still pending and no sale of the hotel belonging to the defendant herein has been carried out, pursuant to an order of this honourable court or pursuant to the determination of the reserve price, it is only this honourable court, and not a party or the registrar of the court, which can authorise a locking up, closure or sealing off of the hotel”.

According to Dr Eyiah, it was not the case that the hotel was refusing to discharge its just indebtedness to the bank, adding that it was closed at a time when its lawyers and lawyers for the GCB were negotiating the terms of repayment of the judgement debt.

He said the bank’s actions were uncalled for, arguing that the action had subsequently poisoned the atmosphere for an amicable settlement.

The motion is expected “to be moved by counsel for Dr Eyiah, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, on Friday, April 25, 2008.
Source: Daily Graphic