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23.11.2007 Business & Finance

NIB Sues IKAM •Over ¢37bn debt

By Daily Guide

THE NATIONAL Investment Bank Limited (NIB) has dragged IKAM Company Limited, a security printing company and two others to court for allegedly flouting an order restricting them from opening the factory until its plants and machinery were sold to settle the company's debt to the bank.

The company had been ordered by an Accra Fast Track High Court to close its factory, until it settled a debt of over ¢37 billion to NIB.
However, in court on Tuesday, the motion was not moved as counsel for IKAM was indisposed and therefore could not appear in court.

In addition, the contemptnors, Ken Asare, General Manager; Steven Marfo, Managing Director; and Robert Yartey, solicitor, were not in court.

Counsel for NIB, Fredrick Asamoah initially prayed the court to issue bench warrants for their arrest but the court noted that there were no records that they had been served the notice.

The court therefore adjourned the matter to November 30, 2007 but with an order that the counsel pursued the bailiffs to ensure that the respondents were served.

IKAM had not filed any affidavit in opposition to the contempt suit as at Tuesday.

According to Counsel for NIB, Mr. Asamoah, officials of IKAM including the Managing Director and General Manager on November 5, broke the court's order by forcibly evicting the guards from the security post and going ahead to break the court seal on the factory doors, enabling some workers of the company to enter the premises.

The counsel's visit to the premises uncovered a dislodging in NIB's employed securities at the factory which was re-opened for some of the workers to begin printing.

Mr. Asamaoh stated that his visit further revealed that Mr. Asare had given the workers authority to work.

A search conducted later at the registry of the court showed that neither the court nor the registrar had given instructions for the re-opening of the defendant's factory.

He said it came to his notice when he personally made an enquiry that Mr. Asare gave the workers authority to work but when he confronted Mr. Marfo on the issue, the latter stated that Mr. Yartey encouraged and consented to the breaking of the seal and the forcible entry.

He noted that the conducts of the defendants amounted to a blatant disobedience of the court order and rules, and that the defendants intentionally disobeyed the orders; hence the court should commit them to contempt.

By Mary Anane