The Accra High Court has directed the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and other respondents not to act in a way that will jeopardise the outcome of an application for interlocutory injunction on the revocation of the licence of GN Savings and Loans Company Limited.
Mr Justice George Koomson, who is presiding over the case, said all acts and processes being undertaken as part of moves by the BoG to hand over the operations of the company to a receiver must be put on hold until the final determination of the injunction application.
The court also gave the defendants eight days to file their response and legal arguments.
Hearing continues on Thursday, September 19, 2019.
The Chairman of Groupe Nduom (GN), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, and two others are praying the High Court to direct the BoG and its agents to restore the collapsed GN Savings and Loans Company Limited to its former status.
The application for an order for interlocutory injunction is seeking the restoration of the savings and loans company until the determination of a substantive motion challenging the decision to collapse the savings and loans company.
The applicants also want the court to direct the BoG and its agents not to further interfere directly or indirectly with the rights of the shareholders, management and directors to the possession, management and control of GN Savings and Loans Limited’s business activities, pending the determination of the claims in the originating motion, which is challenging the BoG’s decision to collapse the savings and loans company.
Counsel for the applicants, Mr Justice Srem-Sai, moved the motion at the high court yesterday, praying the court to grant the foregoing requests until the final determination of the substantive matter.
The applicants, who attached the BoG, the Minister of Finance, the Attorney-General and the Receiver of GN Savings and Loans, Mr Eric Nana Nipah, are praying the court to make an order of mandamus compelling the BoG to restore to GN Savings and Loans its licence to enable it to continue operating as a specialised deposit-taking institution.
They also want the court to order Mr Nipah to submit the possession, management or control of the assets, operations and other activities of GN Savings and Loans to its shareholders or persons who, immediately before August 16, 2019, were in possession, management or control of such assets, operations and activities.
An order of injunction restraining the other respondents, their agents, assigns, privies and workmen from interfering with the possession, management or control of the assets, operations and other activities of GN Savings and Loans is also being sought.
An affidavit in support of the motion for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of the applicants, deposed to by Dr Nduom, said on August 16, 2019, the BoG, through a public notice titled: “Notice of Revocation of Licences of Insolvent Savings and Loans Companies and Finance Houses and Appointment of a Receiver” (hereinafter referred to as the “Revocation Notice”) did, on grounds of insolvency, revoke the specialised deposit-taking licence of GN Savings and Loans, along with those of more than 20 other savings and loans and finance house companies.
On the issue of insolvency, the applicants are arguing that contrary to the BoG’s claims, a fair, truthful, just and independent assessment of the books of GN Savings and Loans will show that it was very solvent, “and particularly that the value of Gold Coast’s government infrastructure project portfolio, running in excess of GH¢2.2 billion, in addition to other assets available to Groupe Nduom, could support GN Savings and Loans to far exceed the value of its liabilities”.
It said the books also showed that several government agencies owed the financial institution.
According to the affidavit in support of the motion, the circumstances surrounding the takeover of GN Savings and Loans clearly showed the rights of the applicants had been violated.
The applicants, on August 30, 2019, filed an application at the Human Rights Division of the High Court, challenging the decision of the BoG to collapse GN Savings and Loans Company Limited.
The Coconut Grove Beach Resort and Conference Centre Limited, GN Limited and Dr Nduom are praying the Human Rights Division of the High Court to make an order of certiorari quashing the August 16, 2019 announcement, declaring GN Savings and Loans Company Limited insolvent and consequently revoking its licence to operate as a specialised deposit-taking institution.
They want the court to adjudicate and declare that by failing to take into account that the indebtedness of the government of Ghana, its ministries, departments and agencies to Groupe Nduom Limited, Gold Coast Advisors and GN Savings and Loans Company Limited was GH¢30.3 million before revoking the licence of GN Savings and Loans Company Limited, the BoG and the Minister of Finance violated, are violating or are likely to violate the rights of the applicants to administrative justice, property and equality or non-discrimination.
The application wants a declaration that the licence revocation is invalid because the BoG and the Minister of Finance based their decision to revoke the licence of GN Savings and Loans, as a specialised deposit-taking entity, on woeful inaccuracies.
The applicants are also praying the court to hold that by the respondents’ failure to take into account the government’s indebtedness to Groupe Nduom, Gold Coast Advisors and GN Savings and Loans Limited before concluding that GN Savings and Loans was insolvent, the BoG had violated, was violating or was likely to violate the rights of the applicants and GN Savings and Loans to administrative justice, property and equality or non-discrimination.