Jim Baiden, CEO of Fidelity Bank
Fidelity Bank Ghana and a property owner in Accra have clashed over their failure to reconcile debts owed each other.
While the bank claims the property owner, Akwasi Boakye Osei, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Heights Limited has not fully paid a loan facility it granted him, the businessman is also accusing the bank of shortchanging him.
The businessman, who is domiciled in the United States, claims he rented out his property called Adwoa Adjiewaa Building adjacent Koala Supermarket at Danquah Circle at Osu, Accra, to the bank, but it allegedly failed to pay the agreed amount of money.
BUSINESS GUIDE learnt that about two weeks ago the bank moved out of the building due to the disagreement.
According to the bank, it granted Akwasi Boakye Osei’s Ghana Heights Limited a medium term loan of GH¢7 million in September 2008 and later entered into an initial five-year lease agreement with Ghana Heights Limited, which lease the bank said was renewed for a further term of five years, commencing on January 31, 2018.
“That as part of the terms and conditions of the medium-term loan facility granted Ghana Heights Limited, it was agreed that the rental proceeds from all the tenants of the Ghana Heights building, including Fidelity Bank’s rent proceeds for the period of 31st January 2013 to 30th January 2018 will be used to amortise the loan facility,” the bank explained in a rejoinder recently.
According to the bank, “Due to the unreasonable conduct of Ghana Heights Limited and its Managing Director Akwasi Boakye Osei, we decided not to renew the tenancy of the heights building.
“And therefore out of our own accord, we moved out of the premises of the Ghana Heights Building prior to the expiration of its tenancy.”
The bank said that as a result of the indebtedness of Ghana Heights Limited to Fidelity Bank, it has commenced legal proceedings against Ghana Heights Limited and Akwasi Boakye Osei for recovery of outstanding balance of the loan amount together with interest and general damages for breach of contract, but could not tell how much was involved with regards to the outstanding balance.
However, Akwasi Boakye Osei, who is fighting back, said “Fidelity Bank only gave Ghana Heights Limited proposal letter to raise GH¢7 million dated 18th September, 2007 and Fidelity Bank was able to raise GH¢3,344,618.54.”
“The landlord only executed a five-year lease agreement with Fidelity Bank to operate in the Adwoa Adjiewaa Building commencing from January 1, 2013. There was no automatic renewal as alleged by Fidelity Bank.”
He said, “Fidelity Bank only had the option to renew the lease agreement on or before January 31, 2013 by paying rent.
He added that the bank allegedly failed to pay withholding tax to the Ghana Revenue Authority and also failed to execute a new lease agreement for a second term of five years.
He said “per the reconciliation exercise I had with the bank’s CEO Jim Baiden on August 16, 2016, the entire 100% indebtedness was paid in full and the bank was to refund GH¢484,575.67 as at that date but the bank failed to do so.”
He claimed he has text messages and emails that showed that the bank pleaded with him not to go to the media.
By William Yaw Owusu