As a result of disappointment, frustration, pain and embarrassment arising out of a fifteen and half years of protracted litigation with the wife of an ace lawyer whose car drove into his and damaged it since 1992, a 69-year old Kumasi-based man, Mr. Augustine Manu has petitioned the Chief Justice Mrs. Georgina Wood to come to his aid.
After being ruled against by a High Court in Accra in November 2000 to pay damages of ¢34,413, 500 with 30% interest, Elizabeth Naa Yarley Bossman wife of ace lawyer W.A.N Adumua Bossman has used all the tricks available in law to subject Mr. Manu to the pains of “justice delayed is justice denied”.
In the 15 years of the case – a common traffic accident – the big lawyers wife has employed delay tactics to frustrate the senior citizen from executing judgments given in his favour at all levels of the judicial process.
The judgment, which is yet to be executed, was given after 8 years of protracted litigation involving over 80 adjournments and 5 reputable judges of the country's courts. The adjournments have since exceeded 100.
Mr. Manu, told ADM that he believes that the defendant had taken undue advantage of her husband's position as one of the country's top lawyers and arcane court rules to subject him to unnecessary intimidation and pain, hence his appeal to the Chief Justice to intervene as a matter of denial of human rights.
Mr. Manu's case dates back to November 8, 1992 when one Bismark Adjei, driver of Mrs. Bossman's Nissan Atlas pick-up, with registration number AFA 2795, traveling on the Accra-Nsawam road, in overtaking another vehicle drove into Mr. Manu's Nissan Urvan bus which was then traveling from the opposite direction. The resultant collission damaged Mr. Manu's Urvan bus beyond repair.
The case was reported to the police who in turn arraigned Mrs. Bossman's driver before the Cocoa Affairs Court in Accra on November 16, 1992 on a charge of careless driving.
He pleaded guilty and was convicted and sentenced.
The police reports were submitted to the Great African Insurance Company, insurers of Mrs. Bossman's car. The company inspected and assessed cost on the damaged car after which it paid a paltry ¢100,000 to Mr. Manu.
Later, the company instructed Mrs Bossman to pay Mr. Manu the remaining balance of ¢2,322,500 as limit liability, but she failed to do so.
On the advice of the insurance company, Mr. Manu took the case to the High Court on January 21, 1993 in a civil suit. After going through the hands of four different judges, the case was finally heard on November 7, 2000 by Nana Gyamera Tawia, who ruled in Mr. Manu's favor.
The court therefore ordered Mrs. Bossman to pay a total of ¢34,413,000 representing damages for loss of use of the vehicle and the total cost awarded prior to judgement to Mr. Manu.
This prompted the defendant's husband, a renowned lawyer to file a notice of appeal and motion for stay of execution but the court again on June 26, 2001 ruled and ordered Mrs. Bossman to pay the amount into its chests by July 31, 2001, to be kept in government security while the appeal is heard.
Mrs. Bossman, undeterred by losing the appeal, failed to pay the amount to the court as ordered and instead filed another motion for stay of execution at the Appeals Court.
Again on July 12, 2004 the Appeal Court struck out the case for “want of prosecution”.
On the basis of Appeal Court order of 12th July 2004, that her house and other assets be confiscated if she failed to settle the cost awarded against her, Mr. Manu went into execution in due process. But her husband Mr. W.A.N Adumu Bossman quickly filed interpleader summons claiming ownership of the property identified as House No C148/21, Achimota Forest Residential Area, Abelenkpe.
On the 26th July 2007, a High Court, presided over by His Lordship E.F. Dzakpasu gave ruling in favour of Mr. Manu and awarded cost of GH¢500 against the claimant.
The court then ordered a valuer to value the property, House No. C148/21, Achimota Forest Residential Area, Abelenkpe, based on which the valuer presented a valuation report to the court's chief registrar. A notice of motion for determination of the reserved price for the property was filed on 27th September 2007. The motion was moved on October 23, 2007 before His Lordship E.F. Dzakpasu and was granted.
Mr. Manu maintained that after the trials and all due processes and proceedings, the defendants later filed two motions; Civil Motion H3/498/2007 for relistment of appeal and Civil Motion H3/565/2007 for stay of proceedings.
The plaintiff, on November 16, 2007 filed an affidavit in opposition to the motions and the defendants were served with prove of service on 20th November 2007.
Notice of hearing was served to the parties setting down the case/motions to be moved on 18th December 2007 but on that day's sitting, the case was adjourned sine die to enable the defendants file a reply to the plaintiff's affidavit in opposition.
An official search conducted on 28th January 2008 revealed that the defendants had not filed any reply and on the basis of the search, the plaintiff's solicitor asked for the motion to be re-listed and a hearing notice was issued and served on the parties to appear before court on Wednesday 27th February 2008.
On the 27th February, the Appeal Court, presided over by His Lordship B.T. Ayeetey adjourned the case to Wednesday 5th March 2008.
Mr. Manu, who on the day scheduled traveled from Kumasi to Accra to attend court, was only to hear in disappointment that the case could not come on for hearing, hence the motions H3/408/2007 and H3/565/2007 are still pending unmoved by the applicants since last year.
It was in the light of the above that Mr. Manu has petitioned the Chief Justice to see to it that motions H3/408/2007 and H3/565/2007, which are currently pending before the Court of Appeal, are moved and determined with fairness and justice as soon as possible.
Please see ADM comment…