The Fast Track High Court in Accra yesterday declined a request from counsel for the Volta River Authority to strike out a ¢2.2 billion suit instituted against the authority by its former Chief Executive, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby.
Dr Wereko-Brobby, who is demanding payment of ¢2.2 billion being his entitlements from the VRA, was not present in court when the matter was called.
His absence prompted counsel for the VRA, Mr F.K. Yeboah, to pray the court to strike out the suit because it appeared Dr Wereko-Brobby was not interested in pursuing the writ he had instituted against the VRA.
Counsel also prayed the court to grant the VRA's counter claim, which is requesting the court to order Dr Wereko-Brobby to return the furniture he had removed from his official residence without permission, as well as the official vehicle which he was not entitled to.
The court, however, ordered that steps should be taken to serve hearing notices on Dr Wereko-Brobby.
It, however, granted ¢1 million costs against Dr Wereko-Brobby and adjourned the matter to Monday, November 26, 2007.
Apart from the ¢2.2 billion being sought for, Dr Wereko-Brobby is asking for interest from April 2004 and also an order to be issued to the VRA to transfer to him ownership of a Volvo saloon car, with registration number GW2505 T, which was officially assigned to him when he was appointed Chief Executive of the VRA.
In his statement of claim, Dr Wereko-Brobby said he got separated from the VRA on September 17, 2003 but it took the VRA a considerable time, amid demands from him, before it eventually wrote to him on April 1, 2004 to formally notify him of the separation entitlements.
He said in that letter, cash equivalent of 43 days' earned leave up to the time of the resignation, totalling ¢61 million, six months' salary in the sum of ¢187 million, gratuity of five years' salary of ¢1.8 billion, being the cedi equivalent of fuel allocation from March 31, 2004, and transfer of ownership of the saloon car which was in his possession were discussed.
The VRA, he further argued, in its letter of April 1, 2004, agreed to pay 70 per cent of the entitlements by mid April 2004 and the rest when he vacated its premises on or before the end of May the same year.
Dr Wereko-Brobby contended that because the VRA could not pay the entitlements as agreed on, he could also not vacate the premises on the agreed date.
He further averred that the delay in the payment persisted into 2005, when he decided to vacate the premises but the defendant had not honoured its obligation, adding that unless compelled by the court, he would not be paid his entitlements.
Dr Wereko-Brobby was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the VRA on August 24, 2001. He officially assumed office in September that year but resigned on September 17, 2003.
Story by Mabel Aku Baneseh