IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE HIGH COURT
KUMASI- A.D 2019
MADAM AFUA AKYIAA - (Plaintiff)
CHARLES YAW OPOKU MENSAH AND ANOTHER - (Defendant)
DATE: 4 TH MARCH, 2019
SUIT NO: OCC 09/2019
JUDGES: HIS LORDSHIP JUSTICE DR. RICHMOND OSEI-HWERE
JUDY EDUSEI FOR THE DEFENDANTS/APPLICANTS
MICHAEL ATTA AGYEI FOR THE PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT
In this application, the defendants/applicants, hereinafter called “the Applicants” are praying this court for an order setting aside the Entry of Judgment filed against them on 24th of December, 2018 by the plaintiff/respondent, hereinafter called “the Respondent”.
On 31st August, 2018 the respondent issued a writ of summons against the applicants claiming the following reliefs:
a. An order for the recovery of the sum of Eighty-Nine Thousand Ghana Cedis(GHC89,000.00) from the Defendants which said sum represents this unpaid portion of the total value of goods sold and supplied to Defendants by the Plaintiff as of January, 2018.
b. Interest on the said sum from January, 2018 till date of final payment.
c. General and special damages including legal fees and cost.
d. Any other relief(s) deemed appropriate by the Honorable Court.
At the pre-trial settlement conference, the applicants admitted respondent’s claim in respect of GHC 53,706.70 of the amount entered on the writ and it was agreed that the honourable court enters judgment in favour of the respondent to the sum admitted. It was also agreed that the outstanding sum of GHC 35,293.70 was to be set down for trial.
The gravamen of the application is that the Entry of Judgment does not reflect the terms of settlement upon which partial judgment was entered against the applicants in the sum of Fifty-Three Thousand Seven Hundred and Six Ghana Cedis Seventy Pesewas (GHC 53,706.70) on 28th November, 2018. Counsel for the applicants argues that per Exhibit A (Terms of Settlement) no interest was mentioned. It is, therefore, wrong for interest to be calculated on the agreed amount in the Entry of Judgment. Counsel cites the case of Owusu v Kumah and Anor (1984/86) 2GLR 29 in support of the view that parties are bound by their terms of settlement and as such same must reflect in the Entry of Judgment. She invites the court to set aside the Entry of Judgment.
The respondent is opposed to the application. Central to the respondent’s opposition is the fact that he is entitled to interest on the agreed sum as per reliefs “b”, “c” and “d” of the writ interest had been prayed for. Counsel for the respondent argues that it is the practice at the Commercial Court that once you admit to a claim you are to pay interest from the date of default hence the respondent is entitled to interest on the agreed sum, as captured in the Entry of Judgment. He also argues that if the court is of the opinion that the applicants’ argument relating to the interest is to be entertained then the entirety of the Entry of Judgment cannot be set aside but same can be amended. He prays that the application be dismissed.
Entry of judgment is the first step in the enforcement of the judgment or order of the court. It requires the victorious party to file at the registry of the court evidence of the rendition of a judgment by the court. In relation to consent judgment, the party vested with an accrued right under the judgment files the entry of judgment. This makes the result of a court proceeding effective for purposes of bringing an action to enforce it or to commence an appeal. The entry of judgment must therefore reflect the pronouncement of the court, anything short of this will make the execution process thereon null and void. The position of the law is aptly stated in the case of the Republic vrs Court of Appeal; ex parte Ghana Commercial Bank Pensioners Association [2001/02] SCGLR 883 at 890 as follows:
“… it makes that pronouncement the final judgment, which can only be enforced. But until a judgment directed or pronounced by a judge is entered it is not effective. In Holtbyvrs Hodgson  24 QBD 107 at 107 Lord Esther MR said:
“in order … to get everything into one form, power is given to the judge … to direct judgment to be entered … which is the same thing as giving him power to give or pronounce judgment. Pronouncing judgment is not entering judgment; something has to be done which will be a record, and so the judgment, that the judge has pronounced is the judgment which is entered.”
I have looked at the terms of settlement (Exhibit A) which were agreed by the parties and subsequently pronounced by the court as consent judgment. There is no provision therein which suggests that the respondent is entitled to interest on the agreed sum of GHC 53,706.70. It is trite learning that in the pretrial settlement regime parties can only enforce what they have agreed upon. The consent judgment entered by the court on the 28th November, 2018 does not reflect the subsequent Entry of Judgment dated 24th December, 2018. To the extent that 27 percent interest rate has been applied to the agreed sum of GHC 53,706.70to be payable from 1st January, 2018 till date of final payment, the Entry of Judgment has been rendered void. At best the respondent is only entitled to post judgment interest and not interest flowing from the default. The latter has not been agreed upon by the parties.
For the foregoing reasons, the application is granted as prayed. The entry of judgment dated 24th December, 2018 is hereby set aside.
There will be no order as to costs.
DR. RICHMOND OSEI-HWERE
JUSTICE OF THE HIGH COURT