Lawyers Frank Kwadwo Otoo, the legal counsel for NYONKOPA COCOA BUYING COMPANY LTD., has taken a swipe at Uniform Commodities Limited and its Lawyers for throwing dust into the eyes of the public over Court judgements indicating that Unicom must pay GHC1.2million to Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Ltd. as general damages and cost of GHC40,000.00 for defamation.
In a Rejoinder to some publications caused by Unicom Commodities claiming otherwise, Lawyer Otoo said there is a ruling of the High Court, Commercial Division, and another ruling by the Court of Appeal, Kumasi, in which the judgments indicated clearly the payment of the said judgement debt.
He said Unicom Commodities Ltd. has sought to appeal the said Judgment and its application for stay of execution was first substantially granted by the said High Court, Commercial Division in that it had to pay GHC500,000.00 pending the determination of the Appeal by the Court of Appeal.
“Dissatisfied with the said substantial grant, the said Unicom Commodities Ltd., rightfully and legimately repeated the said application for stay of execution at the Court of Appeal which unanimously dismissed same as unmeritorious.”
According to Lawyer Frank Kwadwo Otoo, as things stand now, though the said appeal is still pending, the said Unicom Commodities is under legal and equitable obligation to pay the said Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Ltd., the total of GHC1,240,000.00 being the entire judgment debt. This status quo cannot and should not elude every lawyer in active practice.
Below is the full Rejoinder:
RE: REBUTTAL-UNICOM NOT ORDERED TO PAY GHC1.2M TO NYONKOPA, CASE PENDING ON APPEAL
We write as Barristers and Solicitors for and on behalf of NYONKOPA COCOA BUYING COMPANY LTD., and the publication dated 20th November, 2019 with the above-mentioned caption in the Ghanian Chronicle and copied to other media houses at the instance of Counsel for Unicom Commodities Ltd., a subsidiary of Ecom Group, refers.
We have our client’s instructions and we hereby execute to the said publication as its name was mentioned.
It is imperative to note that it is needless as lawyers, to be reminded that our courts in Ghana are public places and for that matter proceedings therein are of public nature.
With this needless reminder, it is untenable, unreasonable and baseless for any lawyer worth of a sort to attribute this unsubstantiated and unfounded allegation to our client, the legitimate publication by Ghanaian newspapers and any other analogous media houses-both electronic and print, in the exercise of their dutiful obligations to the good people of Ghana specifically and the whole world in general.
With due respect to the legal advisor for Unicom Commodities Ltd., the content of said publication smacks of denigration, subversion and disrespect to the rule of law and the court, being a court of law and equity which said content, to all intent and purposes, goes contrary to the code of ethics for responsible members of the Bar.
In the event that the said legal advisor has reneged on his lawful duty to legally advise his client to make good the judgment debt as hanging around its neck, he does not turn around to use deceit to threaten innocent media houses to derail their rightful path they have been charting on an unimpeachable course.
In fact, without mincing words here, it becomes inconceivable, incongrous and indeed legal practice and academic dishonesty for any legal advisor, to pencil the said content of the said publication congnissance of the facts that the judgment is overly executable and execution is in progress which he has frustrated by way of wasteful substitution of lawyers till date irrespective of the pendancy of your purported appeal.
The hard core facts backed by the judgment of the High Court, Commercial Division, ruling by the same court and another ruling by the Court of Appeal, Kumasi, are that judgment had been delivered that said Unicom Commodities Ltd. has to unconditionally and unqualifiedly pay GHC1.2million to Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Ltd. as general damages and cost of GHC40,000.00 for defamation among others. The said Unicom Commodities Ltd. has sought to appeal the said Judgment.
However, its application for stay of execution was first substantially granted by the said High Court, Commercial Division in that it had to pay GHC500,000.00 pending the determination of the Appeal by the Court of Appeal.
Dissatisfed with the said substantial grant, the said Unicom Commodities Ltd., rightfuly and legimately repeated the said application for stay of execution at the Court of Appeal which unianimously dismissed same as unmeritorious.
Therefore, as things stand now, though the said appeal is still pending, the said Unicom Commoditities is under legal and equitable obligation to pay the said Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Ltd., the total of GHC1,240,000.00 being the entire judgment debt. This status quo cannot and should not elude every lawyer in active practice.
It was this judgment debt that Nyonkopa had set in motion to enforce that the said legal advisor who had never been coming to court except testifying for Unicom at the trial, frustrated same by substituting the substantive lawyer who had filed an application as a futher means of frustration, for a new lawyer who is now handling how to pay the said money to the said Nyonkopa.
The question which begs for an answer is that has the said Unicom Commodities been able to produce a single document from the court, be it the High Court or Court of Appeal, asking it not to pay the said judgment debt to the said Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Ltd? The answer is obvious NO.
Consequently, how can a lawyer not oblivious of all these facts deceive the general public with such untruths as the contents of the said publication.
Our candid advice to him as a legal advisor is that he does not, by any strecht of imagination, conceive, let alone execute any plan of suing any of the media houses unless he can again comfortably accommodate more shamful and disgrace consequences that are awaiting him and his client for the second time.
Instead, as a good legal advisor that he claims to be, he must advise his client to show remorse to the court by complying with its orders and judgments if it would wish to operate peacefully in Ghana.
He should be advised accordingly.
FRANK KWADWO OTOO ESQ.,
O & A LEGAL CONSULT
THE CHIEF EDITOR
B & FT ACCRA
1. THE MANAGING DIRECTOR
NYONKOPA COCOA BUYING LTD.
2. ALL MEDIA HOUSES