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SIC Set To Lose Its Assets ...   
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Barring any last-minute intervention, the State Insurance Company (SIC) is set to lose its assets as a result of a GH¢232 million debt it owes Ivory Finance Company Limited.

Ivory Finance began attaching SIC’s assets last Wednesday, July 8, 2015, following a court order giving it the go-ahead to retrieve the money, which represents interest accruing on a GH¢19.3 million credit facility Ivory Finance advanced to a construction company, ITAL Construct International Limited.

ITAL Construct, Mr Kwesi Baidoo and Mr James Kwegyir Aggrey, both directors of the construction company, are the other defendants in the case.

The SIC served as a guarantor for ITAL Construct when the latter contracted a loan of GH¢19,303,800 from Ivory Finance on April 10, 2013.

Interests and other charges stood at GH¢232 million as of June 2015.

The parties in the case, on November 24, 2014, entered terms of settlement after Ivory Finance had, on November 21, 2013, issued a writ against the defendants to claim GH¢19.3 million with interest, until the `final date of payment.

Signatories to the terms of settlement were a former Managing Director of SIC, Mrs Doris Awo Nkani; Mr Emmanuel Adu-Sarkodie, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ivory Finance, and Mr Baidoo, who initialled on his own behalf and on behalf of ITAL Construct, and Mr Aggrey.

In spite of the terms of settlement, which were entered and adopted by the Commercial Court on November 27, 2014, the defendants failed to fully meet their debt obligations.

The SIC later paid GH¢19.3 million per the court’s order in January 2015 but has since not settled its interest which keeps accruing.
Following from the failure of ITAL Construct to fully settle its debt, Ivory Finance filed the necessary legal documents to retrieve the interest from the SIC, which had served as the guarantor for the credit facility.

The lawyer for Ivory Finance, Mr Richard D. Amofa, has filed a list of assets belonging to the SIC and the construction company for auction.

The properties include the SIC’s head office (Nyemetei House) on the Ring Road, all its 10 regional offices, the SIC Financial Services Limited building behind the Police Headquarters in Accra, an immovable property next to the Australian High Commission in Accra and five additional immovable properties in Accra.

Also to be attached and auctioned are two immovable properties belonging to Mr Baidoo and Mr Aggrey, both in Tema.

SIC’s application
In its bid to stop the attachment of its properties for auction, lawyers for SIC yesterday morning filed an application for an order to suspend enforcement of the consent judgement which was entered by the court after the parties had signed the terms of settlement.

The SIC is asking for a suspension until the final determination of an appeal against the Commercial Court’s decision to sanction the retrieval of the amount from the SIC.

According to the SIC, it would suffer “untold hardship” if Ivory Finance was permitted to recover the judgement debt, “as third-party interests would have set in and the decision in the pending appeal would be rendered a nugatory if successful”.

Hearing of the application has been scheduled for the Commercial Court in Accra on Thursday, July 16, 2015.

SIC’s argument
The SIC’s beef was that Mrs Nkani did not have the authority to sign the terms of settlement and the guarantee bond.

ITAL Construct is also arguing that its lawyer was not present when the terms of settlement were signed.

The SIC, on January 26, 2015, sought for a stay of the enforcement of the consent judgement.

According to the SIC, the consent judgement was obtained through fraud, conspiracy and collusion by Ivory Finance, with the active connivance of Mrs Nkani.

The Commercial Court granted the application on condition that the SIC would pay GH¢19.3 million, with which the insurance company complied.

But the SIC hurdled over the interest, which has resulted in the attachment of its properties and the subsequent application from it to stop the attachment.

Source: graphic.com.gh

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