Stanbic Bank appeals ruling on motion against Serbeh-Yiadom: Wants H.C. proceeding stayed

“That there are such special circumstances justifying a stay of proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.”

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited has filed processes at the Court of Appeal against the April 25, 2022 ruling of the High Court in a suit against Union Mortgage Bank Ltd and Mr. Kwame Charles Serbeh-Yiadom.

Per the said ruling, the High Court, presided over by His Lordship Francis Obiri dismissed the bank’s motion that sought to strike out portions of Mr. Serbeh-Yiadom’s Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim.

Educationist and Real Property Consultant, Kwame Charles Serbeh-Yiadom first commenced an action against Stanbic Bank and others on October 2, 2000, at the High Court but the same was dismissed.

Subsequently, in March 2010, he took a second action but was again dismissed and barred from further litigating the matter.

Notwithstanding, on March 7, 2012, he issued yet another suit in the Commercial Division of the High Court but was once again dismissed and was again barred from further litigating the matter.

In the suit in question, he describes the decisions in the previous cases as fraudulently decided thereby avers that the plea of estoppel per rem judicatam does not apply thus seeking the court to overturn them.

He contends that he was one of the two original shareholders and among the first five directors of the Union Mortage Bank Limited, whose name has been changed to Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited per an ‘ineffectual’ Written Special Resolution of July 1999.

Further to this, he describes as fraudulent, how Union Mortgage Bank Limited was changed into Stanbic Bank Ghana Ltd and adds that the document contained certain entries which were not in the original, dated 9th July 1999.

Also, he avers that even though it was he and one Alhaji Fattau El-Aziz who originally incorporated the Union Mortgage Bank Limited, he was not privy to the transaction in Johannesburg, South Africa between him and Doreen Iliasu, Company Secretary of the Stanbic Ghana Limited.

On its part, Stanbic Bank Ghana, in a motion, described Mr. Serbeh-Yiadom’s Statement of Claim as scandalous, frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court processes owing to his being barred in previous judgments from further relitigating the issue between them.

However, the court held that his (Serbeh-Yiadom’s) ability to successfully prove the allegation of fraud leveled against him, would carry the propensity to deal with the issue of his being debarred and thus dismissed the motion.

Court of Appeal

Being dissatisfied with the ruling, Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited through its counsel, Ace Anan Ankomah filed on May 12, 2022, processes at the Court of Appeal noting among other things that the court erred in holding that evidence should be adduced to determine the contention that the previous judgments were procured by fraud when the matters are such that Mr. Serbeh-Yiadom should have been aware of.

Also, it avers that the High Court Judge erred in not finding that the action is frivolous, vexatious, res judicata, and an abuse of process and in dismissing the application to dismiss the action.

Moreover, the appellant notes that the High Court judge erred in holding that evidence should be adduced to determine the capacity of the Union Mortgage Bank Ltd when it was clear before the court that the said name was the original incorporated name of Stanbic Bank before being changed in 1999.

It is thus seeking the appellate court to set aside the High Court ruling and grant their application to dismiss Mr. Kwame Serbeh’s action.

Stay of Proceedings pending appeal

In view of the processes at the Court of Appeal, Stanbic Bank has also filed at the High Court, a motion for a Stay of its Proceedings pending the appeal.

The affidavit, deposed to by Doreen lliasu, notes that Stanbic Bank’s appeal ‘raises serious issues to be tried and raises important legal points for the Court of Appeal’s consideration.’

Further, it notes that ‘the appeal raises fundamental issues on the capacity of the purported Union mortgage Bank to institute the present action before the Honourable Court and the abuse of the court processes by Serbeh-Yiadom.

It states also that the Bank through the appeal is seeking to prevent further wanton abuse of the court’s processes by the respondents.

That the issues raised by Stanbic Bank in its ‘ appeal are important and germane as they relate to the validity of the action instituted by respondents and thus must be resolved conclusively before the matter may proceed.’

Additionally, the affidavit notes that ‘the appeal stands a very good chance of success and thus there are special circumstances justifying a stay of proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.’