STX Case Goes Slows

The legal tussle over who should lead the construction of the controversial STX Korea Housing projects resumed at the Commercial Court, Accra, yesterday but nothing meaningful was done in court. This is because when the case commenced, Carl Adongo, counsel for GKA Airports Company Limited, plaintiff in the action, told the court presided over by Justice Gertrude Torkornoo that they had just filed supplementary affidavit opposing the defendant�s statement of defence. The suit filed by GKA Airports Company Limited, through its CEO Bernard Kwabena Asamoah, the man credited for introducing the STX housing deal to the NDC government, wants the court to determine the rightful partner to execute the project. GKA Airports Company Limited is seeking to sack the Korean partners from the entire project but the Koreans have vowed to resist any attempt to forcibly remove them. 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 GKA Airport�s advantage but the Fast Track High Court presided over by Justice NMC Abodakpi adjourned proceedings sine die because the processes to get the case heard were not completed. The current suit is citing 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, B.K Asamoah represented the plaintiff (GKA Airports) and led by Karl Adongo, while the defendants (STX) were represented by Daniel Jung, with Osafo Buaben as counsel for some of the defendants. Mr. Osafo Buaben, representing the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 8th defendants, told the court that it appeared not all the defendants had been served with the processes, saying, �Some of the defendants (3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th and 10th) at all material times have been in Korea and unless the bailiff travelled to Korea to serve them I do not see how they would know about the action.� The judge then cut in to say that the court�s record indicated that on October 6, all the respondents were served and added that Mr. Buaben could not hold brief for the defendants that he was not representing. Mr. Adongo also shared the view of Mr. Buaben about service to the other defendants but the judge insisted that both counsel could not make a case for them. Plaintiff�s counsel then told the court that they had just filed a supplementary affidavit, saying, �It is not willful delay. My client (B.K. Asamoah) was out of the country and returned three days ago and that accounts for the delay.� The court then adjourned proceedings until November 15, for the case to continue. 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 also wants an order of injunction restraining �2nd respondent from holding itself out and/or purporting to act or discharge 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, they want 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 said they had not executed any transfer of its shares, neither had 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 both 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. Even though President John Evans 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, starting with 30,000 houses for the security services at the cost of $10 billion.