Court dismisses NTC’s application against garnishee

The Labour Division “Two” of the Accra High Court yesterday, dismissed the motion filed by New Times Corporation (NTC), to set aside a garnishee order against the corporation.

The court presided by Justice Ananda J. Aikins held that the application lacks merit.

Per the ruling, the garnishee order which freezes the account of NTC domiciled at GCB Bank, North Industrial Area, over payment of judgement debt to a former employee is still in force.

Justice Aikins did not read the full ruling, but asked the parties to apply for certified copies of the ruling.

Mr Kofi Asuman, a former Managing Director of the corporation, filed an ex-parte motion and obtained the garnishee order against the corporation.

The order directed the Manager of GCB to appear in court and show cause why monies standing to the credit of NTC should not be used to defray the remaining judgement debt of GH¢278,079.26, to Mr Asuman.

Mr Asuman, earlier in 2013, sued the National Media Commission (NMC) and the NTC over wrongful calculation and payment of his End of Service Benefits.

The court entered judgement in his favour on June 30, 2017, and asked the corporation to pay the plaintiff (Mr Asuman) GH¢515,186.59 judgement debt.

At proceedings yesterday, counsel for NTC, Julio De Medeiros, urged the court to set aside the motion, so that the account can be operated.

He told the court that the application was in bad faith and that the judgement debtor had entered into an agreement with the plaintiff, and paid him a total of GH¢341,296.65 out of the GH¢515,186.59 between May, 2018, and May, 2019.

Mr De Medeiros said that his client would suffer serious financial and operational setbacks if the said order was not set aside.

In opposing the motion, Mr Yaw Eshun, counsel for the plaintiff, said it was the NTC that came with the agreement, and argued that his client never entered into any agreement with the corporation.

He said the NTC was supposed to clear the debt in August, 2018, explaining that the amount owed his client was GH¢278,079.26 and not GH¢173,899.96.

Mr Eshun said the application was an abuse of the court process and urged that it should be dismissed with punitive cost.

The NTC filed a motion on notice for stay of execution of judgement and an order to set aside the garnishee order.

Mr Martin Adu-Owusu, the acting Managing Director of the corporation, deposed to the affidavit in support of the motion and said it was deceptive and provides ground(s) to stay judgement and set aside the garnishee order.

The applicant contended that had the plaintiff been candid, the court would have refused the application in its entirety.

The corporation argued that it is in the financial position to execute the arrangement with the plaintiff to settle its indebtedness. 

It is the case of the corporation that by a letter dated May 30, 2019, the NTC notified the NMC of the execution of installment payments to Mr Asuman.

 Similarly, the applicant said that in another letter dated June 25, 2019, and addressed to NMC, the NTC stated that it had issued four postdated cheques for the sum of GH¢43,472.49 each for July, August, September and October to cover the outstanding GH¢173,899.96 judgement debt to Mr Asuman.


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