In a unanimous decision, a Court of Appeal on Wednesday dismissed an application seeking the court to suspend an order by the High Court asking tenants to pay rent into an account designated by the High Court.
The three-member panel of the court, presided by Justice Henry Kwofi, awarded cost of GH¢5,000 against Yaw Boakye.
Boakye, who by virtue of a sub-lease from the Estate/Trustees, was in control of the property, wanted the Court of Appeal to suspend the ruling of the High Court until the final determination of a suit by the estate seeking recovery of possession of the property.
But, the three-member panel held that the application was without merit and that the ruling by the High Court was in accordance with the law.
“We are not minded to exercise our discretion in favour of the applicant. The application is dismissed,” the Appeal Court ruled.
Counsel for Boakye, Mr Yaw Opoku-Adjaye, urged the Court of Appeal to suspend the decision of the High Court on the basis that it would cripple his client.
Mr Opoku-Adjaye argued that his client took loans from banks to complete the building, and upgrade it to its current state, and, therefore, paying rent to the court would ruin him and make it difficult for him to repay the loans.
Counsel argued that if the rents were not given to his client to service the loans, the banks may sell the building to offset the loans.
Counsel for Edward Osei Boakye Trust Fund, Mr Daniyal Abdul-Karim, opposed the application, and urged the court to dismiss it.
He contended that the argument by counsel for Boakye that creditors could sell the building due to the rent not being paid to Boakye was unfounded.
According to Mr Abdul-Karim, per the consent judgement by the Supreme Court, it was impossible for the building to be used as collateral for the payment of any loan without the consent of the executors and trustees.
He further argued that greater hardship had rather been occasioned to his client (Edward Osei Boakye Trust Fund) since it had not received any rent for the last four years as agreed in the consent judgement, and prayed the court dismiss the application.
The Court of Appeal accordingly agreed with Mr Abdul-Karim and dismissed the application.
Prior to this application to suspend the High Court decision, the applicant had lost a number of judgements at the High Court and the Supreme Court.
Following the death of Mr Edward Osei Boakye in 2006, a business mogul of the Boakye Mattress Fame, a dispute arose between executors of the estate and the trustees, who operate under the name Edward Osei Boakye Trust Fund, represented by three trustees and Yaw Boakye over the ownership of the property.
The dispute travelled from the High Court to the Court of Appeal where Yaw Boakye lost in a judgment delivered in 2011, and was ordered to vacate the property, but at the Supreme Court, the parties agreed to settle the matter amicably leading to a consent judgement in 2014.
As part of the terms of settlement under the consent judgement, in April 2016, the trustees of Mr Edward Osei Boakye decided to sublease the property to Yaw Boakye for a period of 15 years for a monthly rent payment of $35,000 payable annually in advance.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA