Two hundred policemen who were on the verge of being evicted from a 12-unit flat located at Redco, Madina, can now heave a sigh of relief following a ruling by the Accra High Court that the Ghana Police Service is the rightful owner of the flat.
In a ruling on Monday, the court, presided over by Justice George Koomson, held that the other parties claiming ownership of the property failed to prove their case.
The ruling of the court followed an interpleader filed by a Deputy Attorney-General, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, which sought to establish that the Ghana Police Service was the rightful owner of the flat.
The legal tussle over the ownership of the flat started in 1988 when one Mrs Isabella Odi Aggrey (now deceased) sued Redco Ghana Limited for failing to pay an amount owed her.
She won the case in February 1993 and, consequently the High Court ordered Redco to pay the money to the plaintiff.
In May 2014, Mrs Odi Aggrey, now represented by two individuals — Mr Samuel Aggrey and Mrs Augustina Gyekye- attached the flats which they claimed belonged to Redco Ghana Limited
The legal ramification was that the flats were to be sold to offset the debts that Redco owed Mrs Aggrey.
It was, however, the contention of the Police Administration that the flats were legally purchased by the service, and therefore, did not belong to Redco Ghana Limited.
The legal moves by the plaintiffs (Mr Aggrey and Mrs Gyekye) to take possession of the flats led to the conviction of the Inspector–General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante Apeatu, for contempt by the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Daniel Mensah, on September 25, 2018.
That was after the plaintiffs filed a contempt application against the IGP for failing to obey a court directive for him to peacefully surrender the flats to them.
The contempt conviction was, however, set aside on November 19, 2018 by Justice Koomson, following an application by a Deputy Attorney-General (A-G), Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame.
The Deputy A-G also filed an interpleader and argued that the property indeed belonged to the Police Service and, therefore, challenged the rights of the plaintiffs to attach it in order to offset the debt owed by Redco Ghana Limited.
He argued that the flat and other assets belonging to Mr Teodoro Martinez Montero, who owned Redco Limited, were confiscated by the government by an Executive Instrument in 1985 and given to the defunct Banking for Housing and Construction (BHC).
The BHC, he said, gave the flat to the Ghana Police Service.
“In fact the building attached by the judgment creditor is actually plotted in the name of BHC at the Lands Commission,’’ Mr Dame argued.
It was the contention of the A-G that on January 5, 2001, the government gave the assets back to Mr Montero and because officers of the Police Service were already living in the flat, the police decided to pay Mr Montero for the property.
The Deputy A-G, therefore, said the Ghana Police Service paid for the property in 10 equal instalments amounting GH¢1,537,920.
It was the case of the A-G that neither the late Mr Montero nor the Ghana Police Service was a party to the suit that led to the judgement debt.
“Therefore, the property could not be attached in execution to satisfy a judgment against Redco Ghana Limited,’’ the Deputy A-G argued
In its ruling that upheld the Deputy A-G’s arguments, the court held that none of the exhibits filed by Mr Samuel Aggrey and Mrs Augustina Gyekye proved that the flat belonged to Redco Ghana Limited.
However, the court held that the Deputy A-G proved with the supporting documents that the flat was legally acquired by the Ghana Police Service.