ECO BANK GHANA LTD. & EDC STOCK BROKERAGE LTD. vs. AFARE APEADU DONKOR
  • IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
    IN THE COURT OF APPEAL
    CAPE COAST - A.D 2016
ECO BANK GHANA LTD. AND EDC STOCK BROKERAGE LTD. - (Defendants/Appellants)
AFARE APEADU DONKOR - (Plaintiff/Respondent)

DATE:  20TH OCTOBER, 2016
CIVIL APPEAL NO:  H1/136/2016
JUDGES:  KUSI-APPIAH (J.A). – PRESIDING, ADUAMA OSEI (J.A.),AMADU TANKO (J.A.)
LAWYERS:  MR. W. BABA AVIO FOR THE DEFENDANT/APPELLANT
MR. S. M. ASANTE FOR THE PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT
JUDGEMENT

KUSI-APPIAH, ( J.A.): The only issue that arises for determination in this appeal is whether the High Court, Accra, Commercial Division was right in holding that the rate of interest applicable on the judgment debt shall vary from time to time as long as the debt remains unpaid. Put differently was the High Court right in holding that the interest rate chargeable on the judgment debt shall fluctuate and not be fixed or crystallized once the debt remains unpaid.

 

The facts relevant to this appeal were the following: On 19th December 2013, the High Court, Accra, Commercial Division, gave judgment in favour of the plaintiff/respondent, hereinafter called the Respondent against the defendants/appellants, hereinafter called the Appellants for special damages of Gh6,770,440 for diminution in value and financial loss. The court also ordered interest to be paid on the said damages from September 2011 till date of final payment.

 

Subsequently, the respondent entered judgment for the said judgment debt and cost. Pursuant to leave granted by the trial High Court on 9th July, 2015, the respondent amended his Entry of Judgment.

 

Upon service of the respondent’s amended entry of judgment, the appellants discovered several errors on the face of that process. Notable among the errors was the calculation of the interest payable on the principal judgment debt by compound interest instead of simple interest.

 

In course of time, the appellants applied to the trial court to set aside the entry of judgment based on the errors and defects found therein. Before the appellants’ application could be heard, the respondent also filed an application to amend the amended entry of judgment at the trial High Court.

 

On 30th July, 2015, the trial court determined both applications. The High Court after hearing arguments from counsel for the parties, refused the appellants application and granted the respondent’s application to amend his amended entry of judgment and concluded thus:

“The court does not share the view that the rate of interest applicable (which is the statutory 91 days Treasury Bill Rate) becomes frozen as from the date of delivery of judgment…as long as the debt remains unpaid the 91 days Treasury Bill Rate shall apply and shall vary as and when it increases.

 

If the debtor wants to avoid that situation then he should pay the debt soon after the delivery of judgment or as clos to that date as possible. Otherwise, the plaintiff stands to be deprived of the increment in the rate of interest as the debt remains unpaid.

 

One may also reason what if the rate falls, the plaintiff stand (sic) to lose. For now, the view of the court is that the debtor must pay the applicable rate of interest which prevails from time to time till the debt is fully liquidated.”

 

The appellants were not satisfied with the ruling of the High Court hence, the appeal to this court.

The ground of appeal is as follows:

“1. The learned High Court Judge erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when he held that the prevailing interest rate at the date of judgment payable on a judgment debt should fluctuate and not be crystallized.

2. Any further grounds of appeal shall be filed upon receipt of the record of appeal.”

 

In this appeal, since no additional grounds of appeal have been filed, I will proceed with the only ground of appeal referred to supra.