UniBank case referred to arbitration

An Accra High Court has referred part of the case between the shareholders and the Receiver of uniBank for arbitration.

The appointment of an arbitrator by the judge, Justice Jennifer Abena Dadzie, follows an application by the Receiver of the bank, Nii Amanor Dodoo, to dismiss the counterclaim of some of the shareholders of the bank to those he filed.

However the court said unibank case is not frivolous.

The Receiver, in his application, prayed the court to strike out the amended statement of defence and counterclaim of three of the shareholders.

He said the pleadings by the defendants are an abuse of the court’s processes and attempt to delay the fair resolution of the dispute, which is “very simple as it involves recovery of sums of money which have been allegedly taken out of the accounts of uniBank, which is now in receivership.”

The Receiver of defunct uniBank sued the founder of the bank, Dr Kwabena Duffuor and 16 others to pay GH¢5,712,623,145 which was allegedly misappropriated.

In a suit filed at an Accra High Court, the Receiver, Nii Amanor Dodoo, who is a senior partner at KPMG, is seeking an order of the court against Dr. Duffuor and 16 others with links to the defunct bank to repay the huge amount of money.

The plaintiff averred that all the 17 defendants, who are all directors, shareholders and debtors of the once vibrant uniBank, engaged in illegal transactions by giving out unlawful loans and advances, as well as illegal acquisition of assets in the name of related interests or persons related to the shareholders.

The shareholders then filed statement of defence and a counterclaim denying the allegations levelled against them and sought some remedies from the court.

They were seeking a declaration that the entire procedure culminating in the purported appointment of KPMG as an official administrator is unlawful, illegal and contrary to the prevailing and acceptable practice and custom of the banking industry, among others.

But the Receiver, in his application, prayed the court to dismiss the whole counterclaim of the respondents and part of their statement of defence, which are offending.

Justice Dadzie, in her ruling, struck out part of the counterclaim, saying it did not in any way address the matter before the court.

She, however, stayed all the pleadings of the defendants in their statement of defence for the parties to go for arbitration.

The court subsequently appointed a retired Supreme Court judge, Professor Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, as the arbitrator.

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