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Court Awards Groupe Ndoum GHC 174 Million As Judgement Debt



One of the Groupe Nduom companies, Gold Securities Company Ltd now BlackShield and Ghana Growth Fund Company Limited, members of Groupe Nduom, an indigenous Ghanaian business conglomerate, have won a ¢174 million judgment against Health Network Company Limited.

The ruling was given by the Commercial Division of an Accra High Court on Thursday, July 15th, 2021.

The ruling, according to Groupe Nduom owners and other stakeholders, “proves regulators acted hastily in revoking licenses of the Groupe’s banking and investment companies”. The Groupe Nduom companies that have suffered regulator closure are Gold Coast Securities/Blackshield and GN Bank/GN Savings & Loans.

The actions of the regulators have also caused huge collateral damage to related companies as they have been starved of deposits they placed with their sister companies. The judgement, the Groupe owners contend, absolves them of wrongdoing and confirm their long-held position that “customers’ funds were invested in Ghana with private and government institutions and government projects”.

It was based on the prudent investments that till today, Groupe Nduom still stands by its claim that government agencies and the contractors they gave legitimate contracts to owe Groupe, more than ¢3 billion that is continuing to attract interest. Interestingly enough, a lawyer who claimed to represent a “Receiver” waited until judgement was rendered then got up to ask to be allowed to join the case. She was promptly shut down by the judge.

The ruling further proves the point that if those who had taken money placed with them had paid even 15 % of what was due GN Bank/GoldCoast/Blackshield, the companies would still have been in operation.

The suit was commenced by Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim issued at the Registry of High Court, Accra, Commercial Division dated 11th October 2019. Justice Shiela Minta was the presiding judge in the matter brought before the court.

After failed attempts to get all the four (4) Defendants to be served in the ordinary manner prescribed by the Court Rules, an application was brought before the court for substituted service to enable the plaintiff to serve the defendants by substitution which application was granted.

All efforts through service of hearing notices to the defendants to attend pre-trial conference also proved futile until the matter was referred to a trial court. At the trial court, a motion on notice for judgment in default of appearance was first brought against the defendants. It was this application that forced the defendants to enter an appearance through their solicitors.

Subsequent to this, the defendants with their lawyers engaged Plaintiff’s lawyers with Plaintiffs’ representatives also in meetings in an attempt to reach some settlement.

However, after the said meetings in which the defendants’ state of indebtedness was clearly established to satisfaction, the defendants failed to demonstrate any good faith and also to propose a payment plan as the Plaintiffs were made to believe they would.

This compelled a subsequent application for judgment in default of defence as they did not have any defence to the suit. In the morning on 27th May, 2021, before the motion for judgment in default of defence was to be moved, Counsel for Defendants handed over a cheque of ¢2,000,000.00 to Counsel for Plaintiff.

This paltry sum of GHc 2,000,000.00 relative to Defendants’ debt of ¢174,100,037.40 could not be used to influence Plaintiff’s lawyers’ resolve to move the court to enter judgment in default of defence at all cost.

After vain efforts by counsel for defendants to persuade Plaintiff’s lawyers to oblige their last adjournment, the court by itself formed the opinion that in the light of the fact before it and the defendants’ gesture that had come to its attention, it would exercise discretion to oblige the defendants the last adjournment to enable them to respond more favourably to Plaintiff’s claim before the court.

Accordingly, the court granted a short adjournment beyond the maturity date of the cheque(4/06/21) to 14th June 2021 to first ensure that the cheque would clear and also for defendants to show cause why the pending application for judgment in default of defence should not be granted on the next adjourned date.

To the disbelief of the Plaintiffs and their lawyers, even the small GHc2 million cheque failed to clear. The Defendants had allegedly tricked the court and disrespected the office of Justice Shiela Minta. On the strength of the overwhelming evidential facts, Justice Minta on Thursday 15th July awarded judgement for ¢174 million-plus ¢50,000 in costs in favour of the Plaintiffs.

According to a spokesperson for Groupe Nduom, this is the first of a number of court cases pending before the law courts. They involve private sector companies, government agencies and regulators. The belief is that when all is said and done, the wild allegations made against specific Groupe Nduom companies and shareholders will be put to rest.

It will be recalled that one senior official of the Securities and Exchange Commission when BlackShield appealed to the regulator for assistance to retrieve customer funds invested to support government infrastructure projects, retorted in a public interview that “…the Commission is not a debt collector”.

The Commission turned around to revoke the license of BlackShield. That action emboldened private and state organizations to refuse to pay back what was legitimately owed. BlackShield until its license was revoked had paid over GHS600 million to some of its customers and still stands by its commitment to return funds invested as it is able to collect receivables.


Husband Of World Record Holder Agnes Tirop Arrested After Athlete’s Death



Police in Kenya have arrested the husband of record-breaking long-distance runner Agnes Tirop who was stabbed to death at her home.

Emmanuel Rotich, who was detained in the coastal city of Mombasa, will face charges once investigations are completed, an official said.

Ms Tirop, 25, was found dead on Wednesday in the western town of Iten, a training centre for top athletes.

She had finished fourth in this year’s Tokyo Olympic 5,000m final.

In 2019, she had won the 10,000m bronze at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.

Tributes have been pouring in for Ms Tirop from fellow athletes.

“She was an amazing young girl who was really working hard to be one of the top athletes in the world,” Julius Yego, Kenya’s former athletics captain, told the BBC World Service’s Newsday programme.

“She wanted to be the best and it was only a few weeks ago that she broke the world record for the 10km. Her successful career was still being crafted but unfortunately, someone decided the whole story cannot be written.”

During her career, Ms Tirop had success as both a junior – winning 5,000m bronze at world championships in 2012 and 2014 – and as a senior, winning the World Cross Country championships in 2015.

At the World Athletics Championships in 2017 and 2019, she won bronze in the 10,000m before finishing 0.75 seconds outside the medal places at the Tokyo Games two months ago.

Last month, she set a new world record of 30 minutes and one second, in Germany, for the 10km road race.

On Thursday, Athletics Kenya – the country’s governing body – suspended all athletics competition for two weeks as a mark of respect for Ms Tirop.

“We just lost a great talent. She was such a strong woman and committed to what she was doing,” said Mr Yego.

Asked how he would remember her, the Olympic javelin silver medallist replied: “A young lady who was so peaceful, so humble, always smiling.”

“You would never know when she was sad or angry,” he said, adding she had been incredibly “focussed on her training and her career”.

“We had a difficult day yesterday – it is still shocking. When you check on social media or TV, it is the sad news of Agnes. We are still collecting ourselves.”

On Wednesday, both the president of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, and his counterpart at the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, spoke about the loss of Ms Tirop.

Former double Olympic champion Coe described her as “one of the world’s best female distance runners over the past six years”.

“Athletics has lost one of its brightest young stars in the most tragic circumstances,” he added. “This is a terrible blow to the entire athletics community, but especially to her family, her friends and Athletics Kenya.

“I send them all our most heartfelt condolences.”

Mr Bach hailed Ms Tirop as an inspiration in a post on Twitter.

Last month, Tirop set the 10km road race world record at the headquarters of her sponsors Adidas in Germany, with the sportswear giants also posting their condolences on social media.

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Raheem Sterling Open To Move Abroad If He Does Not Get More Game Time



Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling says he would be open to playing abroad if he does not get more game time at Etihad Stadium.

The England international, whose contract runs out in 2023, said he had dreamed “from a young age” of playing abroad.

“If there was the opportunity to go somewhere else, I would be open to it,” Sterling, 26, said.

“At this moment in time, football is the most important thing to me.”

“I have always had something that maybe one day I would love to play abroad and see how I meet that challenge.”

Sterling has started one Premier League game since the opening weekend of the season, although he was in Pep Guardiola’s side for the Champions League group stage defeat by Paris St-Germain on 28 September.

The arrival of England team-mate Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100m has increased competition for forward places at City, although the absence of Ferran Torres for at least a month with a fractured foot does reduce Guardiola’s options.

Sterling joined City from Liverpool in 2015 and has won the Premier League three times, the FA Cup once and the EFL Cup four times.

“I am not someone who complains,” he said, speaking at the FT Business of Sport US summit. “I have not tried to make it a bigger deal than it is. I am just raring to go, play football and score regularly.”

However, it is understood Sterling will not think about signing a new deal until he is playing regularly again, which does raise the possibility of fulfilling a lifelong ambition to play overseas.

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Former US President, Bill Clinton Hospitalized



Former US President Bill Clinton has been admitted at the University of California Irvine Medical Center’s intensive care unit for a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream.

His doctors told CNN on Thursday October 14, that Clinton was in the ICU for privacy and safety, not because he needs intensive care. He is said to be in good spirits, talking to family and staff, and has been up and walking, according to both his doctors and his staff.

A joint statement released on Thursday evening by Dr. Alpesh Amin, chair of medicine at UC Irvine Medical Center, and Dr. Lisa Bardack, Clinton’s personal primary physician read;

“He was admitted to the ICU for close monitoring and administered IV antibiotics and fluids. He remains at the hospital for continuous monitoring.

“After two days of treatment, his white blood cell count is trending down and he is responding to antibiotics well. We hope to have him go home soon.”

The former President’s doctors said urologic infections are very common in older people, and they are easily treated, although they can quickly spread to the bloodstream. Clinton will be given intravenous antibiotics until Friday October 15, when he will likely be switched to oral antibiotics. His vital measurements are all stable, the doctors said.

In the years since Clinton left the White House in 2001, the former president has faced health scares. In 2004, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery after experiencing prolonged chest pains and shortness of breath. He returned to the hospital for surgery for a partially collapsed lung in 2005, and in 2010 had a pair of stents implanted in a coronary artery.

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