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The Supreme Court has dismissed a review application filed by Yaw Boakye, son of the late Edward Osei Boakye of Boakye Mattress fame, challenging a ruling requiring him to pay outstanding rent amounting to $2.5million to the Edward Osei Boakye Trust Fund, which was set up under the Will of the late business magnate.
On July 21, this year, the apex court gave the trustees of the Trust Fund the green light to take steps to retrieve $2.5 million from Yaw Boakye which was total unpaid rent over a building which he (Yaw Boakye) had failed to pay as part of consent judgment agreed between him and the trustees.
Apart from collecting the unpaid rent, the court also gave the trustees the permission to take over an office space in the commercial building, located between Opeibea House and Golden Tulip Hotel, Accra. This being another outstanding obligation of Yaw Boakye under the consent judgment.
Yaw Boakye challenged the decision of the Supreme Court through a review application.
However, in a unanimous decision on Tuesday, November 30,2021, a seven-member panel of the apex court, presided over by Justice Jones Dotse dismissed the application.
The court did not give reasons for its decision but said the ruling will be filed at the court registry by December 10, 2021.
Other members of the panel were Justices Agnes Dordzie, Nene Amegatcher, Mariama Owusu, Avril Lovelace Johnson, Clemence Jackson Honyenuga and Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu.
Edward Osei Boakye died in 2006 and at the time of his death the building was uncompleted.
The first court case in relation to the building was filed on October 17, 2008, by the trustees challenging the validity of a letter purportedly written by the executors of the estate of the late businessman, allegedly allowing Yaw Boakye to complete and take over the building.
The trustees lost at the High Court, but won at the Court of Appeal in 2011 after the second-highest court of the land held that per the will and testament of the deceased, the building was supposed to be given to Edward Osei Boakye Trust Fund, which is managed by the trustees.
The Court of Appeal, therefore, ordered Yaw Boakye to cease all construction works on the property, and also vacate it.
Aggrieved by the decision of the Court of Appeal, Yaw Boakye filed an appeal at the Supreme Court but while the appeal was pending, the parties decided to settle the matter based on terms of settlement, which was adopted by the Supreme Court as consent judgement in the case involving the parties.
Terms of settlement
Under the terms of settlement, the Trustees agreed to sublet the property to Yaw Boakye for a period of 15 years, from May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2030 for a monthly rent of $35,000, payable in cedis annually.
The terms of settlement also included a commitment by Yaw Boakye to allocate one office space on the ground floor of the building upon completion of works.
Court documents showed that Yaw Boakye paid the first year rent of $420,000 after which he reneged on his obligations.
This prompted the trustees to file a fresh suit in the High Court seeking recovery of the property, the unpaid rent, as well as damages for breach of contract.
In 2019, the High Court issued an interim order of preservation and inspection, which led to the court ordering the tenants in the building not to pay rent to Yaw Boakye, but rather into an interest-bearing account until the final determination of the suit.
Yaw Boakye challenged the decision and initiated a plethora of applications from the High Court to the Supreme Court, which were all dismissed.