Ace broadcast journalist Okatakyie Nana Afrifa-Mensah has called on the government to pressure Registrar of Companies to apply to the High Court for official liquidation of PDS, the major shareholding power distribution company caught up in the fraudulent lease agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited.
His call was at the backdrop of the lease agreement fallout revealed about a week ago during the Nancy Pelosi and some officials of the US government visit to Ghana which he believes is a gross embarrassment to the international image of Ghana and will put a dent on the Ghana-US bi-lateral relationship.
On his show ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ he said that, fraud is a ground for official liquidation of a company according to the Bodies Corporate (Official Liquidations) Act, 1963, Act 180 especially section 4 which are legal authorities in company law which are authoritative in our Ghanaian courts for the official liquidation of a company on grounds of fraud.
He added that Act 180 as statutory authority and Billy vs Kuwor and Bank of West Africa vs Apenteng as case law which the good office of the Registrar of Companies can rely on in the public interest.
The law he relies on says that;
"(1) The Registrar…may present a petition to the High Court for the official winding-up of the company.’’
(2) The High Court may order the official winding-up of a company on a petition presented under subsection
(a) the company does not, within a year from its incorporation, commence to carry on all of the businesses which it is authorized by its Regulations to carry on, or suspends any of those businesses for a year;
(b) the company does not have members;
(c) the business or objects of the company are unlawful, or the company is operated for an illegal purpose, or the business being carried on by the company is not authorized by its Regulations; (d) the company is unable to pay its debts; or
(e) the Court is of the opinion that it is just and equitable that the company should be wound up.’’
He further stated that;
"as best as I understand the events of Bank of West Africa vs Apenteng, the petitioner must prove the fraud alleged at the High Court, success of which precedes the order for official liquidation.’’
His firm belief is that this can easily be done such that a statement of allegation of fraud indicated by the fraudulent bank guarantee document noted to Ghanaians in the official capacity of the Minister for Energy, Mr. Peter Amewu is no mere pronouncement and such document should be prima facie evidence for the Registrar of Companies to petition the courts if the registrar’s office truly exists in the interest of the business environment of Ghana.
He stated that the Registrar of Companies is vested with the jurisdiction to petition the High Court for an order directed at a company duly incorporated under the registrar’s office to be officially winded up and struck off the register of companies and fraud is one such ground as he discovered.
He bemoans the government’s laxity in not pressuring the registrar’s office since the embarrassment is one that is toxic for the business image of Ghana.
"If a public limited liability company valued at billions of US dollars could be easily fraudulently acquired by a private limited liability company whose assets are nowhere near its value, we shouldn’t be surprised to wake one day and hear Flagstaff House has been fraudulently acquired.”
That is the height of the issues he raised of the negative posture of our business environment for which he believes government must not sleep over the PDS deal as non or little prosecutions in the banking crises seem to embolden illegalities in the business environment of Ghana.
He is, therefore, calling on the Registrar of Companies to act in the public interest to petition the High Court for an order for official liquidation of PDS as it would be deterrent enough to company practice in Ghana.