This article does not seek to comment on the content of the judgment delivered at the court of appeal for which Nana Kofi Asante, the current Board Chairman of GIMPA claims a victory over Koans. That may obviously amount to contempt of court. Rather, it seeks to explain the strange circumstances which are statements of facts that preceded the judgement and reply to Nana Kofi Asante, the Board Chairman of the institution who has chosen to bring into disrepute a good business agreement due to personal interest specifically. We will leave the rest to Ghanaians to judge as to how powers are abused by those close to its corridors in this country.
The story as you may already be aware is that, GIMPA in 2014 decided to buy one thousand acres of Land from Koans Building Solutions Ltd for a total sum of twenty four Million Ghana Cedis ( GHC24,000,000.00).
All the due diligent which goes into the purchase of land were done and that included but not limited to the following: conducting searches at the land commission to see who bears title to the said land, visiting our grantors, Mankata Family of Panpanso close to Nsawam, setting up land acquisition committee to physically visit the land just to ensure that they don’t encounter any form of litigation thereafter.
In the end, contract documents were prepared and both parties signed a contract that included a payment plan. Payment was to be spread over a period of six years without any interest on the agreed amount.
This continued until 2017 when a change in government resulted in the dissolution of the existing Board of the Institution and a new one led by Nana Kofi Asante instituted by government.
This is where our problems with GIMPA begun and we were not surprised, we expected it because the agreement with GIMPA had a history and a strange interest.
Prior to the agreement, there was an attempt by the present Akyem Abuakwa Paramount Chief Amoatia Ofori Panin to sell portion of our company’s land to GIMPA Staff through the (Mponua Hene) by name Nana Mbea, after paying a deposit and proceeded to conduct a search at the Lands Commission, it was revealed that the said property belonged to our company, Koans Building Solutions Ltd and not the Okyehene and so the deal foiled.
Under the circumstance, GIMPA Staff had to look for us since they had then committed themselves already by paying huge sums of money to Okyehene through his Mponua Hene. They threatened legal action and to expose the okyehene and his men. Then we (Koans Building Solutions) stepped in, sold the land to them at the very amount they agreed with them and accepted just the top up, absorbing all the amount paid to the Okyehene through his Mponuahene who served as his intermediary.
This earned us the goodwill of the institution and hence when the GIMPA COUNCIL arrived at the decision to expand to a bigger land, we were invited to submit a tender and eventually won after meeting all the requirement and beating other competitors.
And that, I must say was the only reason why we as a company came into the GIMPA land acquisition deal.
When the deal was signed and GIMPA started paying at the agreed installment, Okyenehene got wind of it and immediately wrote to GIMPA without putting us in copy and demanded that they give them their fair share of the deal since they were the original owners of the said land. GIMPA declined this request and asked them to direct their grievances to Koans Building Solutions since we had the right document to the lands and not the okyehene and hence if there’s any royalty to be paid the stool, then it is our duty and not GIMPA.
They reluctantly came to us, we welcomed them as a business and in the interest of peace. Even though we owed them nothing, our company tried to avoid any dispute and hence made a number of payment just to bring closure to the issue. This didn’t take their attention off the deal.
It was not therefore a surprise to us at all, that when the NPP government led by His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo took over power, Nana Kofi Darko Asante who is closely connected to Akim Abuakwa and for that matter the Okyehene was appointed as the Board/Council Chairman for GIMPA and this was the beginning of otherwise a cordial relation between KOANS AND GIMPA.
His first action as the Board Chairman of GIMPA was to find non-existing issues with the deal.
When GIMPA started failing to meet their part of the agreement, we resorted to the High Court and a summary judgement which was not entirely in our favor was given. In brief, GIMPA was to pay the amount due which was two million Ghana Cedis (GHc 2,000,000.00) whiles we also go ahead and ensure that their demands, though were never part of the original agreements are met. This was to take place between the payment due and the next one.
Failure on our part to do that imposes on us the penalty to refund all the amount received from GIMPA with interest. Even though we were not happy with the judgment due to the extra cost we were going to incur from the new demands being forced into it by Nana Kofi Asante, we accepted it in good faith because ensuring peace was a priority.
Mr. Kofi Asante who had taken it as a personal battle, defied wise counsel from other Board Members and management of the school according to our sources, pushed the institution to further litigate by activating the appeal and below are the events leading to the current judgment which led to press statement issued by Nana Kofi Darko Asante that instigated this response.
Surprisingly, the Bench who had sat over the said appeal court case for well over a year was altered on the very day of the judgement. Our lawyers questioned why we were not given prior notice and the answer was: “due to circumstances beyond our control” they could not allow the presiding judge to sit on the said matter on the judgement day but rather a different judge appointed on that particular day was to take over.” the presiding seat.
By this they managed to set up the next sitting for the ruling and came out with the new judgement that the Board Chairman of the institution claims a victory.
Meanwhile before the judgement would come for us to pick our certified copy, one Bashiru who presents himself as one of the Okyehene’s Chief of Staff called Mr. Dapaa Boateng one of the elderly workers of our company, jubilating that GIMPA has won the case!!!
My question therefore is, how could he who was not privy to the litigation between GIMPA and Koans Building Solution have content of the judgement weeks before a certified true copy come out from the court?
Why would a supposed Chief of Staff of the Okyehene be excited about the outcome of a case between two institutions?
Interestingly, after delivering the new judgments, all the judges have been reassigned a new responsibility elsewhere giving rise to a completely new set of judges at the bench as I speak. Meanwhile, the old judge at the higher court who gave the initial ruling that Kofi Asante deemed unfavorable was immediately transferred.
Ironically, we had another case at his court and judgement was due, this time, the old judge though has been transferred from the station, is still holding on to our judgement to be delivered by himself since according to them the case has been closed already and that judgement could even be read to us by another judge since it is coming from the original judge who held and closed the case after final addresses were given by the litigants involve. In this our case that principle would not apply but will appoint a new judge though final addresses have been delivered already and this is why we find it quite strange.
We don’t intend to speculate that they had a hand in all of these happenings, far from that !! But as a principle of law, “ JUSTICE MUST NOT ONLY BE DONE BUT MUST BE SEEN TO BE DONE AT ALL TIMES” It may be the thinking of every right meaning Ghanaian who will hear this story that there could be some high level of manipulations prior to this appeal court ruling hence the need to test the law once again at the supreme court level. This is so because, to change a presiding judge over a case on the very day of the judgement, bringing a new judge on that same day, setting up a date for the judgement, and finally leaving his judgement seat soon after our judgement was delivered for a new set of judges to take over the same seat is something I would like to leave to the conscience of the people of Ghana. Every objective mind would agree that this gives us a good grounds to suspect that there was interference in the procedure which makes testing the law at a higher court a reasonable step going forward.
We will like to assure all our cherish customers and stake holders that they have nothing to worry about at all. Just as they have known us for the past twenty one years, we have defended their interest and properties purchased from us all these while by fighting the injustices that confronted us a company and this will not be an exception. In the worst case scenario, GIMPA will be the biggest losers and not us.
We are perfectly on top of affairs and can only say that what is happening is a personal interest being advanced over the interest of GIMPA as an institution. We will continue with the litigation at the Apex Court knowing that GIMPA as an institution will always be the losers in this matter simply because no right thinking businessman after paying GHC12,500,000.00 out of the GHC 24,000,000.00 will behave the way the Council Chairman and his allies are except when their personal interests are at stake as against the interest of the very institution he serves.
My little advice to you Nana Kofi Asante is that, please be in the known that as a company we conduct a thorough research into the history of every land we buy and establish who the real owner is before deciding to pay any money to our grantor and it was perfectly revealed to us that the said land was long sold by your elders to the MANKATA Family of PANPANSO way back. In addition, High Court and Supreme Court rulings were taken in 1905 and 1911 respective against your family and hence Akyems have no lands over there anymore. So please stop fighting a lost battle because your elders have long sold them out and for all times for money.
Some of these were confirmed by Dr. J.B. Danquah a member of your royal family and states as follows:
- “ Let not my sense of responsibility forsake me. But there are overwhelming instances in which stools owing large tracks of good virgin forest lands have sold all away, so that even at this early stage, some towns are hard pressed for small lots on which the inhabitants are to cultivate their annual foodstuff plantations. It used to be said that lands about three miles away from a town might be safely sold without danger of the inhabitants starving for land. This can hardly be safe policy……” see ( PAGE 22 OF MIGRANT COCOA FARMERS)
- “ You are all aware that the Akyeman State Council have passed several laws in honest attempt to put a stop to the sale of lands in Abuakwalands, and you are aware that non of these enactments has really been effective. (DR. J.B. Danquah An Epistle of the Educated Young man……). These lands are gone forever and Akim Abuakwa’s territory is ….. gradually being cut slice by slice, like bread on breakfast table…There is no reason why we should not stop the habit of absolutely alienating our interest in land, just for the booze of day’s funeral custom.” ……(SEE PAGE 144 MIGRANT COACOA FARMERS)
These and many more which I have stated in my earlier writings should advice you clearly on the position of your ancestral lands so you will not gamble with the hard earn money of this great institution like GIMPA.
Additionally, you can rather join us in the crusade against the outright sales of the few lands left which is currently going on among your people as they still hunger and test for the “booze of the day’s funeral custom” and not fight us as a company who is honestly championing development into the community. Otherwise, you will be doing a lot of dis-services to your own people like your ancestors seem to have done to you people. The Ashante have and adage which I will like to remind you of and it states; ( He who seeks something valuable for KOTOKO should not be unjustly intimidated.) I pray that you will be inspired by this and do same for people of Akim Abuakwa.
As far as I am concern, GIMPA had a very good plan for that acquisition by way of even putting up a magnificent Teaching Hospital and further extending the campus to that side of the country, but here you are fighting against the vision of the very institution that currently feeds you.
I believe you know that Koans as a company has over seven thousand acres of land registered (7,000 acres) because GIMPA is aware. You are also aware that we solved their problem on lands for them with Okyehene and saved him from a potential scandal. Over three thousand of the land are in the form of Free Hold whiles the rest are Lease Holds. Under no circumstance should one believe that we cannot give GIMPA only one thousand acres of land out of the lot we have. We have indeed signed their documents to them already. After all we solve that of the senior lecturers’ issue with Okyehene and there has never been disputer so why can’t we solve this? We have done genuine businesses with big institutions like GHANA COMMERCIAL BANK, SSNIT, STANBIC BANK, BARCLAYS, NOW ABSA, AGRIC DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB), GHANA REVENUE AUTHORITY CREDIT UNION (GRACU) and what have you. This is just to mention a few.
We have in the meantime appealed to the supreme court in search of genuine justice because no one has the right to appoint his her own judge in a case and that act we believe must be subjected to a proper scrutiny to determine whether it doesn’t breach one of the golden rules of natural justice which states that “ NEMO JUDEX IN CAUSA SUA. “ literally meaning, you can not be a judge in your own course.
In conclusion, we say our doors are widely opened for any form of negotiation that will be in the interest of all parties. As a business our primary interest is to see our cherish customers smiling all the time but that does not mean we shouldn’t deal with the recalcitrant ones who try to destroy our good effort. GIMPA like I said will always be the loser as long as they continue in this stance. We know this litigation has never been between Koans Building Solutions and GIMPA but between Koans Building Solutions and Nana Kofi Darko Asante.
If there is any time to put the interest of GIMPA at the fore, this is the time.
So Nana Kofi Asante the Council Chairman of GIMPA, please don’t try to put your personal and family’s non-existent interest above the very institution you have sworn to serve since it is a POSITION OF TRUST. For that is how it appears to be.
God be with us all !!!
Long live Ghana !!!
Long live the businesses there inn !!!
By Prof. Kofi Anokye - C.E.O- (Group Koans, (G.K))
(MBA, LLB, BSC)