Kumasi, May 05, Chronicle -- WHILE THE Minister for Roads and Transport, Dr. Richard W. Anane is trying to cool off the heat from the $180 million GIA deal for which he has received bad press lately, a Kumasi High Court has slapped a judgment cost of ¢174 million, including ¢10 million, in the embattled Minister's face.
The judgment follows the court's conviction that the Minister is a chronic rents defaulter, having failed to pay his rents since 2002.
The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Nhyiaeso in the Kumasi metropolis, was dragged to court in 2003 for non-payment of rent for the premises he had hired for use as his private hospital.
The court, presided over by Mr. Justice E. H. Ampadu, on April 28, this year, ordered the Minister to pay the sum of ¢34 million, being rent from January 2003 to February 2003.
The court ordered the plaintiff to as well recover from the Minister immense profits being rent arrears from March 2003 to April 2005, amounting to ¢130 million.
Justice Ampadu ordered also that the defendant Minister should yield his occupation of House Number Plot 10, Block 4, South Suntreso in Kumasi within two months from the judgment date and that for breaching his covenant to pay rent, the plaintiff was entitled to eject him from the said house.
In passing judgment, the court upheld the plaintiff's evidence as the truth since the defendant had failed to appear in court to open his defence.
Dr. Anane did not contradict the evidence of the plaintiff in his statement of defence, even though the court had adjourned the suit for one clear month to enable him to.
The court had also observed that the conduct of the Minister suggested he had no defence to the plaintiff's claims hence, the judgment in the plaintiff's favour.
The plaintiff, Madam Florence Amoakohene, in a writ of summons filed on February 27, 2003, claimed recovery of House Number Plot 10 Block 4 at the South Suntreso Extension in Kumasi for non-payment of rent.
Dr. Anane had occupied the premises since 1996.
The plaintiff said at the time the parties entered into an oral tenancy agreement, the defendant Minister undertook to renovate the premises to defray two years' (January 1996 to December 1997) rent at ¢300,000 per month.
The Minister was to commence payment of rent from January 1998 but he ignored moves by the plaintiff to enter into a fresh tenancy agreement.
The landlady consequently waived the rents for 1999 and 2000. She averred that the parties finally agreed to a monthly rent of ¢2 million, effective January 2001, after meeting at H/No. 19 Block C Ayigya in Kumasi.
As a result of persistent demands (orally and written), the defendant made a total payment of ¢24 million in two installments of ¢20 million and ¢4 million, to cover rent from January 2001 to December 2001.
The defendant was further served with a notice of increase in rent from ¢2 million to ¢5 million, effective January 2002.
Dr. Anane, according to Madam Amoakohene, has since refused to pay rent, which has accumulated to ¢130 million.
Takoradi-based lawyer, E.K. Amua-Sekyi, represented Madam Amoakohene against lawyer Isaac Berko for Dr. Anane.