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09.09.2004 General News

Blay-Miezah’s $bn estate saga lingers on

By Chronicle

…Family vigorously pursuing case

The prolonged litigation over who administers the estate of the late Dr. John Ackah Blay-Miezah appears to be heading to an end, following the resolve by all the Adahonle family members in the Nzema traditional area to recognize only Francis Kaku Mensah as the sole executor of the estate. Prior to this resolution the family was split into three, with some supporting Dr. John Robert Kells, who was earlier confirmed by an Accra High court as the sole executor/trustee of the estate.

Others were also supporting one Inkoom Adipa, who also sought to become an administrator of the estate at a certain stage of the litigation.

The rest were also supporting Kaku Mensah.

Announcing this at a news conference in Takoradi last Tuesday, a spokesman for the family, Nana Asemda VI, said all the factions in the family had now agreed to support Kaku Mensah, who was duly appointed by the late Ackah Blay-Miezah in his 1988 will as the executor/trustee of his estate.

The other executor was the late Dr. Ako Adjei.

This was outcome of a meeting held at Samanye in the Jomoro district on September 3rd this year and attended by 225 members of the family where they agreed to have a common goal in their attempt to secure the estate of their late brother from the Swiss banks.

As a result of this decision, Nana Asemda said the family had directed that anyone who was in possession of any information or documents regarding the estate of their late brother should direct it to Kaku Mensah who is currently in Switzerland to enable him pursue the release of the estate.

They have also appealed to Mr. Inkoom Adipa, former accountant to the deceased, who wanted to take the position of Dr. Ako - Adjei as an executor but was rejected by the Supreme Court, to hand over all information he claimed to have on the estate to the legally recognized executor.

It would be recalled that soon after the demise of the late Ackah Blay-Miezah, who was the chief executive of Oman Ghana Trust Holdings, several individuals and groups came up with various claims to the estate of the deceased with various wills and testamentary dispositions.

These wills were alleged to have been prepared in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992 respectively.

In the 1989 will virtually the whole estate of the deceased was bequeathed to one Dr. John Robert Kells as the sole executor/trustee and beneficiary of the estate of the deceased.

Apart from the 1988 will, where the late Ako-Adjei and Francis Kaku Mensah, a cousin of the deceased, were made sole executors, the rest of the wills were challenged in court especially the one that bequeathed the estate to Dr. Robert Kells.

In 1997, an Accra High court presided over by her Lordship Mrs. Sawyer - Williams gave judgement in favour of Dr. John Robert Kells and his associates.

The effect of the said judgement was that the alleged will of Dr. Kells should be admitted to probate, meaning Dr. Kells had inherited all the estate of the deceased with nothing left for the family.

The late Ako-Adjei, who was dissatisfied with the ruling, appealed against it.

The current surviving executor/trustee, Mr. Francis Kaku Mensah, also supported the appeal. Nana Asemda, who is also the chief of Asemdasuazo, told the reporters who attended his press conference that strangely enough the two children of the deceased whom he did not name refused to appeal against the ruling.

They rather joined the camp of Dr. Kells and also handed over the necessary documents to him.

After a protracted litigation the Supreme Court finally gave judgement on the case in 2001 by setting aside the judgements of the High court and Court of Appeal and declared that the 1988 will which had Dr. Ako-Adjei and Kaku Mensah, as executors should be admitted to probate.

Meanwhile the family of the deceased has appointed Law Firm Lohman, a prestigious Switch law firm to help the executor /trustee, Francis Kaku Mensah to retrieve the estate from the Swiss banks.

The late Ackah Blay-Miezah former chief executive of Sekondi Eleven Wise football club died in 1992. He is believed to have left behind an estate that runs into several billions of dollars.

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