Ghanaian firm wins $11m lawsuit against Vodafone

law-and-justiceInternational Rom Limited, a Ghanaian company, has won a garnishee order against Vodafone Ghana Limited for the telecommunication company’s failure to settle a judgement debt awarded against it last May.

Justice Jennifer A. Dodoo of the High Court, Commercial Division, gave judgement on November 8, following an exparte motion filed by the plaintiff to get Vodafone to settle the debt of over $11million and GH¢170,853.08 with accrued interest .

In granting the Garnishee order, the High Court also ordered the managing directors of Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank, both on the High Street to appear before it on November 21, to show cause why monies standing to the credit of Vodafone should not be applied to settle the judgement debt.

On May 15, 2013, Justice I.O. Tanko Amadu of the High Court, Commercial Division, awarded the judgement debt against Vodafone for terminating a contract between the two parties and refusing to settle outstanding debts before the contracts were terminated on May 13, 2008 and May 28, 2009.

Stay of execution
After the ruling had been given in favour of International Rom, a Ghanaian company that builds telecommunication towers and provides accessories, Vodafone, on separate occasions, filed and won a stay of execution in paying the debt but its latest application filed on November 5, 2013 was rejected, paving the way for International Rom to file for a garnishee order which was granted.

International Rom, represented by its counsel, Emmanuel Amofa, Esq, on August 19, 2009, filed a law suit against Vodafone for the illegal termination of contract, the payment of outstanding bills with interest at prevailing bank rates for contracts executed, as well as special and general damages for breach of contract.

This follows Vodafone’s decision not to continue doing business with International Rom, after it had completed its takeover of Ghana Telecom and awarded the contract to Huawei from China.

Contracts terminated
Before Vodafone took over Ghana Telecom, the latter had contracted International Rom to undertake a number of contracts, including the delivery, installation, testing, commissioning, maintenance and other support services for the expansion works of its business.

That deal was executed, even though from time to time the telecommunications company reneged on its side of the contract of providing funds on time for the projects to be executed, compelling International Rom to go for commercial loans to continue with the projects.

International Rom, therefore, considered the termination of the contract illegal and thus proceeded to court for redress.

In its defence, Vodafone contended that the plaintiff had no capacity to institute an instant action to claim under the contract signed in December 2003 and which was amended in 2005.

Vodafone further claimed that the plaintiff delayed in the execution of works, noting that the plaintiff failed to correct defects in the works it undertook when those defects were detected, compelling the first defendant to withdraw works from the plaintiff and claim liquidated damages under the contract.

After going through the hearing, the court, presided over by Justice  Amadu, ruled in favour of International Rom and awarded costs with prevailing bank interest.

Judgement debt
In awarding the judgement debt in favour of International Rom, Vodafone was required to pay $4,893.057.08 or its cedi equivalent, being the indebtedness of the telecommunications company to International Rom for works executed from January 2009 to the date of final payment, as well as $2,280,000 for the credit facilities obtained by the plaintiff to carry out the works from April 2010 to the date of final payment.

Also, Vodafone was to pay $836,375.21 and GH¢170,853.08 with accrued interest from October 2008 to the date of final payment to offset the bills of exchange the plaintiff obtained from the Prudential Bank.

Finally, the court also awarded International Rom GH¢50,000 in general damages which would be borne by Vodafone.

Source: Daily Graphic

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