On Monday, June 22, 2020, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the Bank of Ghana, which challenged the jurisdiction of the High Court in hearing the suit filed by GN Savings and Loans over the revocation of its license.
Bank of Ghana had argued that the High Court has no jurisdiction to hear the complaint challenging the revocation of GN Savings and Loans’ license. It argued that the only lawful forum for resolving the GN Savings concerns is the Ghana Arbitration Centre.
However, the High Court dismissed its application in December 2019; thereby compelling the Bank of Ghana to seek redress at the Court of Appeal.
Ruling on Bank of Ghana’s appeal on Monday, the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the application, and directed BOG to go back to the High Court and justify the revocation of the license of GN Savings.
Lawyer for GN Savings, Justice Srem-Sai, expressed concern about BoG’s legal maneuverings, which he said are all aimed at stalling the case and thereby perverting the course of justice. The court was presided over by Justice Ackah Yensu with Justices L.L. Mensah and Anthony Oppong.
In October 2019, Bank of Ghana and the Attorney-General raised a preliminary legal objection to the case brought by Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom and two other shareholders of GN Savings and Loans Limited.
In the objection, the Bank of Ghana and the Attorney-General argued that the High Court has no jurisdiction to hear the complaint which is challenging the revocation of GN Saving’ license.
According to the Attorney-General and the Bank of Ghana’s lawyers, the only lawful forum for resolving the Applicants’ concerns is the Ghana Arbitration Centre. This argument was opposed by Mr. Srem-Sai.
In December 2019, the Presiding High Court judge, Justice Gifty Adjei-Addo, dismissed the legal objection as frivolous and without merit. She then ordered the BoG, the Attorney-General and the Receiver of GN Savings to file their defences by January 17, 2020.
The BoG and the Attorney-General failed to file their defense on January 17, 2020 as directed by the court. Rather, the Bank of Ghana appealed the High Court’s decision and also filed an application at the High Court for a stay of the High Court’s proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.
Lawyers for Dr. Nduom again opposed the application for stay of proceedings, arguing that it was a mere ploy to delay the proceedings as the BoG has not demonstrated that some exceptional circumstances exist to justify a stay.
In mid-March 2020, the application for stay of proceedings was accordingly dismissed as without merit.