The Supreme Court has, in a recent ruling, ordered the son of late Edward Osei Boakye of Boakye Mattress fame, Yaw Boakye to pay over $2.5million into his father’s Trust Fund as unpaid rent.
The judgement also permits trustees of the Edward Osei Boakye Trust Fund to take over an office space in a commercial building located between Opeibea House and Golden Tulip Hotel, Accra.
On March 17, Most Rev Dr. Robert Aboagye Mensah, Most Rev Dr. Joseph Osei Bonsu, Rt Rev Daniel Yinkah Sarfo and trustees of the Edward Osei Boakye Trust Fund filed an application at the apex court following an earlier appeal by Mr Boakye.
This was after the latter had reneged on his obligations to pay a monthly rent of $35,000, payable in cedis annually from May 1, 2015, to April 30, 2030, as stated in terms of settlement by the court.
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Court documents showed that Mr Boakye paid just the first year rent of $420,000.
He was also to allocate one office space on the ground floor of the building upon completion of works. But failed to do so.
Upon Mr Boakye’s inability to honour the terms of settlement, the five-member panel sitting on the case ruled in favor of the Trustees.
“On the terms of the consent judgment, the undischarged payment obligations of the respondent (Yaw Boakye) which include payment of the cedi equivalent of $2,520,000 being the unpaid total rent due at monthly rate of $35,000 from 1st May, 2016 to April 2022 and the recovery of the office space allocated to the applicants (trustees) by the respondent are enforceable by this court directly,” the ruling read by Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu stated.
The court was presided over by Justice Yaw Appau, with Justices Mariama Owusu, Avril Lovelace–Johnson and Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, as the other members of the panel.
In 2011, the trustees got the second-highest court in Ghana, the Court of Appeal to rule that the will and testament of the deceased, Edward Osei Boakye showed that the building in contention was to be given to Edward Osei Boakye Trust Fund and not Yaw Boakye, who claimed a letter purportedly written by the executors of the estate mandated him to complete and take over the building.
This resulted in the case being pushed to the Apex Court by Mr Boakye where a consent judgement was agreed to by both parties.
But the Supreme Court presided over by a single justice was of the view that the enforcement of the consent judgment must be done in the High Court.
Lawyer for the trustees, Daniyal Abdul-Karim, Esq. argued that going to the High Court for enforcement of a Supreme Court decision was totally unnecessary because it will lead to multiplicity of suits from the High Court to the Court of Appeal and ultimately back to the Supreme Court contrary to the letter and spirit of Article 129(4) of the 1992 Constitution.
The trustees, therefore, filed an application under Article 129 (4) of the 1992 Constitution which allows the Supreme to enforce its own judgments, decisions or orders.
In granting the application, the Supreme Court agreed with the counsel and held that Article 129 (4) of the 1992 Constitution was intended to prevent litigants from “re-opening matters already settled” at the Supreme Court and this would be in line with the public policy of discouraging endless litigation.