A FAST TRACK High Court, in Accra, has adjourned a case in which Messrs H.E. Van Kirksey, a film writer/producer and chairman of H.E. Van Kirksey and Associates, was allegedly deprived of an amount of $2.5 billion, he intended to invest into the country's film industry.
This follows an ex-parte motion filed by Mr. Ray Kakraba Quarshie, counsel for Messrs H.E. Van Kirksey, requesting the court to direct Interpol Ghana, to contact Chase Manhattan Bank (formerly City Bank of New York) for documents or information, or the relevant materials from Hong Kong, for the period 1987-2000, to enable plaintiff to locate where his $2.5 billion money was. This information, according to counsel for H.E. Van Kirksey, would be material to the further trial of the case.
His request was, subsequently upheld by the trial judge, Mrs. Margaret Insaidoo, at a sitting of the Fast Track High Court, in Accra on Monday. The defendants in the case are Egbert Adjeso, 1st Defendant, Egbert Adjeso & Co Ltd, 2nd defendant, Mr. P. V. Obeng, one-time adviser on Governmental Affairs to former President Rawlings, is joined as a co-defendant in the case, as well as Bank of Ghana (BoG), another co-defendant.
A petition to the then head of state, and chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), Flt. Lt. JJ Rawlings, to help Mr. Van Kirksey to retrieve his money, or the documents, covering the transfer of the colossal amount of money has, so far, proven futile.
In a letter dated August 15, 1996, Van Kirksey & Associates International Inc., signed by H.E. Van Kirksey, and Clifford S. Townsend, chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, to alert the president about what his adviser, the Bank of Ghana and the two other defendants had done to deprive him of his $2.5 billion, they also called the attention of Rawlings to the way their passports were seized, and kept away from them for 10 years.
An affidavit attached to the motion of notice, for an order, stated that “documents in correspondence, between the plaintiff company and Paul Victor Obeng, then adviser on governmental affairs, at the Castle, Osu, between 1993 and 1995, clearly show that, he must be joined to this action, so that the matter can be determined, once and for all.”
Plaintiffs claim further that, the $2.5 billion was transferred to the accounts of the Bank of Ghana during the administration of the PNDC, but the money “vanished”, because of fraudulent conversion of all the documents, on the loan, adding that, the 4 per cent fee agreement on the loan was signed by Mr. S.K. Appiah, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana.
The 4 per cent fee agreement was responsible for the payment, and collateral on the loan.
The court has, meanwhile been told that, upon the receipt of the 4 per cent fee agreement on the loan, Ghana was informed to expect the money in the country. Copies of the information on the transaction which was sent, was said to be in possession of the Mr. Adjeso, and Egbert Adjeso & Co Ltd., first and second defendants.
The affidavit, in support of Mr. H.E. Van Kirsksey's claims further stated that, 1st and 2nd defendants did not play a role in the $2.5 billion loan agreement, but plaintiff sued them because they were responsible for the vital missing documents, which were faxed to them, to access the loan.
Plaintiff is therefore, asking the court to order Egbert Adjeso, 1st defendant, and his company, Egbert Adjeso and Co. Ltd. to hand over documents on the Hong Kong loan facility, which he allegedly, collected on behalf of the plaintiff. Lawyers for the defendants are, Douglas Essusson, representing second defendant, Opoku Adjeso, representing the defendants, whilst J.K. Agyemang, Stephen Agyemang and Odette Agyemang, are representing the second co-defendants. A summary of the case docket indicate that, on or about September 8, 1986, the plaintiff, an engineer in the US, was invited to Ghana, by Mr. Egbert Adjeso, then president of the Film Guild of Ghana.
After his visit to Ghana, Mr. Van Kirksey discovered business opportunity in the country, and decided to secure a loan package of USD$2.5 billion to come and invest in the country.
When the loan package was ready, a collateral was set in place, on September 13, 1986.
However, after several meetings, in Washington with Ghana's then, Secretary for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, the company, H.E. Van Kirksey & Associates, was invited on September 12, 1986, by the PNDC Administration, through the Ghana Embassy in Washington, to complete the transaction, in Accra.
Furthermore, plaintiff claims that, the irrevocable fee agreement for the trust's representative, was also signed and sealed on the Bank of Ghana letterhead, on May 29, 1987, by the Bank of Ghana.
At a meeting, held on April 10, 1987, representatives of the company met Mr P.V. Obeng, the PNDC member and chairman of the Committee of Secretaries on this loan package, and the Bank of Ghana was again, brought into the picture. Consequently, the mandate for the US$2.5 billion loan was signed and sealed on Bank of Ghana letterhead, by the acting Governor of Bank of Ghana. On February 20, 1987, the loan package was presented to the chairman of the National Economic Review Committee.
Then on April 9, 1987, a meeting was held at the offices of the PNDC member responsible for foreign affairs, Capt. Kojo Tsikata, and the company was directed to the Castle Osu.
During the course of the transactions on the loan, the chairman of H.E. Van Kirksey and Associates, H.E. Van Kirksey, on September 14, 1986, and his Executive vice-chairman and chief financial officer, as well as Mr. Clifford Townsend of H.E. Van Kirksey and Associates Inc, arrived in Ghana, and did present their loan package to the government, through the Governor of Bank of Ghana, on or about May 1988, according to the plaintiff, with Dr. K.G. Erbyn, then chief executive of the Ghana Investment Centre (GIC), present. It was decided that, the USD$2.5 billion for investment in Ghana, should be channelled to the Centre of the Earth Farms, a division of H.E. Van Kirksey and Associates, in the United States of America.
The plaintiff maintained that, on July 15, 1988 the Board of Directors of GIC, approved their project, and awarded the applicable fiscal incentives and benefits, under the Investments Code of Ghana 1985 (PNDCL 116).
According to the plaintiff, he received a letter dated April 22, 1993, from Mr. P.V. Obeng, informing him about his USD$2.5 billion package, but the money never reached his Earth Farms account, in the US, hence the decision to sue, to obtain the necessary materials on the transaction.