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View Full Version : Fight Over Kufuor's Estate Rages On



The Informer
5th July 2012, 08:19 PM
A Kumasi High Court has adjourned a contempt case in which Peter Agyei Kufuor and Bernard Asamoah Kufuor, two sons of the late business magnate and former chief of Nkawie in the Ashanti Region, Bernard Mensah Kufuor, have filed an application for committal for contempt of Ben Kufuor, also a son.

The presiding judge, Mr. Justice Eric Baah, was compelled to adjourn the case to July 9, 2012 at the instance of the two counsels, Mr. Kwame Boafo Akufo for plaintiffs and Sam M. Codjoe for the defence.

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Sam M. Codjoe of Law Trust Company of Accra had complained of indisposition.

In an affidavit in support of the application for committal for contempt filed on March 19, 2012, Bernard Asamoah Kufuor stated that the defendant, Ben Kufuor, was in effective control of Ghana Primewood Products Limited, (GAP), which company forms part of the estates of B. M. Kufuor, which is the subject matter of a case pending before court.

In the substantive case, 15 sons of the late chief of Nkawie are challenging how the numerous properties and huge foreign currency accounts in Ghana and abroad of the deceased were vested in his niece, Mrs. Comfort Joyce Wereko-Brobbey, and Ben Kufuor, one of the sons of the deceased.

They claim that Mrs. Comfort Joyce Wereko-Brobbey, the niece, and Ben used fraudulent means to take custody of the estates of the deceased, who was also the uncle of former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

Consequently, they have filed a writ at the Kumasi High Court, seeking a declaration that all properties of the late Bernard Mensah Kufuor should be vested in the estate of the deceased.

Among the numerous properties the deceased acquired in his lifetime are Ghana Primewood Products Limited in Takoradi, Bibiani Logging and Lumber Company Limited in Kumasi, Kufuor and Sons Furniture Limited in Kumasi, Atwima Timbers, Kumasi, Dormaa Sawmills, several tracts of lands in Accra, Kumasi and other parts of Ghana, and two landed properties in England.

He also left behind a number of foreign accounts in the UK and the US. But the plaintiff in the contempt case indicated that it had come to his notice that the defendant iwas feverishly preparing to sell the assets of Ghana Primewood Products Limited, for which purpose he had engaged the services of Deloitte to put in place an information memorandum to enable him dispose of the assets of Ghana Primewood Products Limited.

The intended sale has duly been confirmed by Deloitte, which has assessed the total size of the land under consideration.

According to the plaintiff, since respondent was a co-defendant, the attempt to dissipate the assets of the company was purported to make the orders of the trial court of the substantive matter useless.

The plaintiff noted that Ben Kufuor was very much aware of the pendency of a legal suit challenging the distribution of the estate of the late Bernard Mensah Kufuor, and that the intention to sell out Ghana Primewood Products Limited amounted to gross disrespect for the administration of justice, which conduct, was also described as a gross disrespect for the dignity of a court of competent jurisdiction.

The plaintiff emphasised that the conduct of the respondent also amounted to a blatant, as well as rude interference in the administration of justice, and prayed the court to punish the respondent for contempt.

But, Ben Kufuor, in an affidavit in opposition to the application of contempt, said GAP was a limited liability company which is a totally different legal entity, and therefore, had no connection whatsoever with the suit.

He explained that GAP was indebted to numerous credit institutions, including Barclays Bank of Ghana, Standard Chartered, Zenith Bank, Ghana Commercial Bank and Amalgamated among others, with a total debt portfolio of over US$12,000,000.

The respondent stated that besides the credit institutions, GAP was also indebted to other institutions, including the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) in bills and workers contributions, and because they were attracting huge interests, it became obvious for GAP to be reorganised to save it from collapse.

The defendant described the action as misconceived and a deliberate attempt by the plaintiffs to scare away potential investors, adding that he (Ben Kufuor) had not done any contemptuous act against the judicial process to warrant his committal for contempt of court, and prayed the court to dismiss the action with punitive cost against the plaintiffs.

Reacting to the affidavit in opposition, the plaintiff stated that it did not remove the stain of contempt, and that respondent's conduct ought to be sanctioned for his efforts to undermine the administration of justice.

It said the respondent's connection to GAP was because he was a beneficiary of Bernard Mensah Kufuor's estate, which fell into intestacy upon his death



Source: The Chronicle