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27.04.2007 General News

Kasapa challenges court ruling

By Gilbert Boyefio

The management of Kasapa Telecom Limited, a subsidiary of Hutchison Telecom Company, has challenged a court ruling that the appointment of its Managing Director was done inappropriately, and that the name of the company should be reverted back to its original name, Celltel.

The Managing Director, Robert N Palitz, disagrees with the court's ruling as reported in yesterday"s Statesman, describing it as "very narrow and inappropriate.”

In the case, a Ghanaian Company, Kludjeson International Limited, a shareholder in the company which was originally called Celltel, contended among others that certain members of the Board of Directors were not properly appointed; the decisions of the improperly-formed Board were null and void; the change of name of the company from Celltel to Kasapa was illegal; and specifically that the supposed Managing Director of Kasapa, Robert N Palitz, was not properly appointed as a director of the company.

Speaking to The Statesman yesterday, Robert N Palitz expressed surprise at the court's ruling due to the fact that two other High Courts have already ruled on the issue. He said the company drew the court's attention to this fact from the onset of the case but to no avail.

According to a court document, in a suit by Kludjeson International Limited against Celltel, Robert N Palitz and five others, the presiding judge, Justice S Y Anim, held in his ruling partly that “the appointments of Robert N Palitz and Lung Hien Ching as alternative directors were validly made.”

The judge observed that in Kludjeson's evidence-in-chief dated February 17, 2003, he testified that Mr Palitz was appointed as Managing Director by a resolution, which he (Kludjeson) signed as Chairman of the Board on December 1,2000.

He further went on to dismiss Kludjeson's application on the grounds that he has woefully failed to prove his case and establish the company's claim against the defendants.

Mr Palitz disclosed that another court, presided over by Justice Baffoe Bonnie, had awarded exemplary damages and costs to the sum of ¢300 million against Kludjeson on October 13, 2004, which he (Kludjeson) has failed to honour, in a suit brought against him by Celltel.

He said the court's decision that its ruling does not affect the directorships of the representatives of Kludjeson International Ltd on the Board, Prince Kofi Kludjeson and Prince Kwame Kludjeson was erroneous.

He expressed surprise that the court in giving its ruling, ignored Justice Baffoe Bonnie's ruling that disbarred Prince Kofi Kludjeson from being a Director or in anyway, whether directly or indirectly, being concerned with or taking part in management of any company or acting as auditor, receiver or liquidator of any company incorporated under the companies code of Ghana for a period of 4 years.

He said Hutchison Telecom Company now holds 100 percent shares in the company, instead of the initial 80 percent because Kludjeson forfeited his 20 percent share in the company when he flouted the shareholders agreement.

He said the court's ruling would not have any impact on the company, adding “it will be difficult to impose a fraudster on us.”

He said Kasapa have filed a notice of appeal and this will be followed by an application for stay of execution pending appeal.