Andrew Awuni
Andrew Awuni

The Commercial Court hearing the controversial ninety percent sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz will on?January 27, rule on whether or not the Plaintiff, Andrew Awuni, has capacity to sue Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) on behalf of contributors.

The expected ruling will follow?what has been feisty arguments by parties for and against the sale.

Lead counsel for the Centre of Freedom and Accuracy, the group challenging the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz on Tuesday hit back at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), accusing the state institution of being lousy in its record keeping.

Egbert Faibille argued in court that the Trust cannot be trusted to provide accurate records pertaining to his client, Andrew Awuni.

SSNIT and two others- Merchant Bank and the Bank of Ghana- challenged the capacity of Awuni in bringing a suit against them in a court of law.

The three were in support of an affidavit filed by Tony Lithur, counsel for Fortiz Equity firm, which sought to challenge the capacity of Awuni to sue.

Peter Hiabor, counsel for SSNIT, argued among other things that Awuni was not an active contributor to SSNIT and therefore, did?not have the locus to sue.

He argued that the last time Awuni made any SSNIT contribution was in 2003.

If anything, counsel for ?SSNIT noted, Awuni should be going to the Pensions Authority to seek redress, if at all there is any breach, instead of coming to court.

Joy News’ Anny Osabutey reported Egbert Faibille as saying the arguments by counsel for SSNIT is fundamentally flawed.

He presented to the court a document dated December 5, 2013 representing the SSNIT contribution of his client, Andrews Awuni, in which SSNIT claimed the last employment of his client was National Investment Bank (NIB) and that the last time any contribution was made was in 2003.

This, Faibille argued, cannot be correct, noting that Awuni was until January 2009, the spokesperson to the president and paid his SSNIT contributions.

Additionally, Faibille indicated that for the Trust to claim that Awuni paid till 2003 with NIB as the current employer was inaccurate and can only be the height of poor record keeping.

He also accused SSNIT of providing conflicting figures on its percentage share in Merchant Bank.

According to him, SSNIT in one transaction quoted its shares in Merchant Bank as 68% but in another transaction, said it had 90.6% shares in Merchant Bank.

Such conflicting figures, Mr. Faibille maintained, do not speak well of the Trust.

But Peter Hiabor also accused Egbert Faibille of misleading the court.

He reiterated his arguments that Awuni has no reasonable cause to sue, maintaining that the actual percentage share SSNIT has in Merchant Bank is 68% and not 90%.

The court adjourned to January 27 during which it would rule whether Awuni has the capacity to rule. If the court rules in his favour the parties would then argue the merits and demerits of the sale.

Source: Myjoyonline


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