It has now become apparent that Works and Housing Minister Alban Bagbin’s claims that the controversial STX Korea Housing projects will finally take-off in style is an empty promise.
This is because Bernard Kwabena Asamoah, the man credited for introducing the STX housing deal to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, has filed a fresh suit at the Commercial Court, Accra over who is the rightful partner to execute the project.
The suit filed by his GKA Airports Company Limited is seeking to sack the Korean partners from the entire project, a move the Koreans have vowed to resist.
Even though President John Atta Mills cut the sod in January 2011 for the commencement of the project, boardroom wrangling between the Koreans and their Ghanaian partners has stalled the construction of 200,000 housing units in the country which was supposed to start with 30,000 houses for the security services at the cost of $10 billion.
The Koreans were the first to go to court over who owns the company when they sued B.K. Asamoah, Registrar-General and others for allegedly diluting the company’s shares to their advantage; but the Fast Track High Court presided over by Justice N.M.C. Abodakpi adjourned proceedings sine die because the processes to get the case heard were not completed.
The GKA Airports suit cites STX Engineering and Construction Ghana Limited and STX Construction Company Limited in Seoul as the 1st and 2nd defendants, with Kook Hyun Kim, Su Jou Kim, Daniel Jung, Seong Hoon Kang, Yong Chan Kim, Im-Dong Park, Ji Hoon Hwang and Man Kang as 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th respondents respectively.
When the case was called yesterday, there was no representative for the plaintiff (GKA Airports) but it was led by its counsel, Karl Adongo while the defendants (STX) were represented by David Jeong, with Osafo Buaben as counsel.
The court presided over by Mrs. Justice Gertrude Torkornoo adjourned proceedings to November 1, for the plaintiff to decide whether or not to continue with the ‘originating motion’ filed instead of a writ.
According to the judge, the ‘originating motion’ had the tendency to slow the trial, saying, “We should put points of law aside and focus on ending the dispute.”
Mr. Adongo, counsel for the plaintiff, then told the court that they would state their position on the next adjourned date on whether or not to proceed by writ.
Mr. Osafo Buaben, representing 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 8th defendants, said he did not prepare a statement of case because the plaintiff’s application had been premised on Section 217 of the Company’s Act.
GKA Airports Limited is seeking reliefs including a “declaration that by terminating the Joint Venture Agreement and Heads of Agreement, 2nd respondent renounced its membership of 1st respondent.”
It also wants a further declaration that by failing to make direct investment in 1st respondent, by way of equity contribution, the 2nd respondent “is statutorily barred from taking part in all of 1st Respondent’s operations”.
It wants an order of injunction restraining “2nd respondent from holding itself out and/or purporting to act or discharge my functions as shareholders of 1st respondent and another order restraining the 3rd to 10th defendants from holding themselves as directors of 1st respondent”.
GKA Airports want further declaration that the “resolution purportedly passed by 1st respondent’s board of directors at the meeting held on August 18, 2011 to convene an extraordinary general meeting of 1st Respondent is illegal, null, void and of no effect.”
The plaintiff wants a declaration that “the notices dated August 29, 2011 and September 8, 2011 respectively of an extraordinary general meeting of 1st respondent to be held in 1st respondent’s conference room on October 6, 2011 at 4.00 p.m. are illegal, null, void and of no effect.”
Finally, it wants another order of injunction “restraining respondents from holding the extraordinary general meeting scheduled to take place on October 6, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. at 1st respondent’s conference room.”
However, the defendants (Koreans) fired back, disputing the claims of the plaintiff and made counter-claims against the plaintiffs.
In their affidavit in opposition filed October 17 and deposed to by Daniel Jung, the defendants say they have not executed any transfer of its shares, neither has the shares been affected by any law or statute.
He said STX Engineering and Construction Ghana Limited was incorporated on November 17, 2009 and the subscribers to its regulation were STX Construction Company Ltd and GKA Airports Company Ltd, adding, “The 2nd respondent subscribed to 15,000 shares whilst the applicant subscribed to 7,400 shares.”
“The right of the 2nd respondent as a subscriber to the regulations of the 1st respondent are guaranteed and or prescribed by statute,” the defendants averred.
Source: William Yaw Owusu
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