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General News Fri, 25 Feb 2000

Kufour, NPP Dragged To Court

From Sani Siddiq

MR JOHN Agyekum Kufour, the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party(NPP), has been dragged to court over an alleged non-payment of an outstanding debt of 25 million cedis owed to Domak Press Limited(DP).

Also joined in the suit are Mr. Samuel Odoi-Sykes, National Chairman and the party. However, the NPP has denied the claim of the DP, contesting that they have settled all their contractual obligations. Therefore, they are not indebted to the DP.

The DP claims that they printed a large quantity of coupons for the fund- raising campaign of the NPP, but the three defendants have since refused to pay for the entire cost of the coupons, including other coupons that are presently stocked at the warehouse of the party.

When the case was mentioned for hearing on Monday before Justice Agnes Dordzie, an Accra High Court Judge, the counsel for the DP raised a preliminary objection arguing that Nana Akufo-Addo cannot represent the three defendants.

He said since the defendants were sued in their individual capacity, it was improper for one counsel to appear for them because of the likehood of a conflict of interest.

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Both Kufuor and Odoi-Sykes were not in court.

Continuing, he said Kufuor and Odoi-Sykes who entered into the contract are in breach of it because even though they were duly authorised by the party, they exceeded their mandate by instructing the DP to print extra coupons.

They also exceeded their authority by requesting that the DP keep the coupons in their warehouse because if they kept the coupons in the warehouse of the NPP, the party's "boys" will steal the coupons, sell them and pocket the money.

He said because of the foregoing reasons, Akufo-Addo cannot represent Messrs Kufuor and Odoi-Sykes.

Responding to the submissions of the counsel for DP, Akufo- Addo asked the court to dismiss the application because it was absolutely without merit.

He said counsel for DP had not demonstrated to the court that there was a conflict between the two parties- Messrs Kufuor, Odoi-Sykes and the party.

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He contended that counsel for the DP had not demonstrated to the court the conflict of interest that he sought to impugn between him, the counsel, and his client.

He told the court that there is a "triable matter in the case" because DP are alleging that Messrs Kufuor and Odoi-Sykes exceeded their authority by printing extra coupons, a very serious allegation which is triable

He admitted that the NPP entered into a contract with DP to print coupons and have paid for 4,770 coupons and that there is no outstanding balance to be paid.

" NPP is saying that I have performed my part and therefore do not owe 25,740,000 cedis as an outstanding debt".

The ruling on the preliminary objection and the hearing of the substantive case have been adjourned to March 15,this year.

Source: ?