13 Years After Going In-And-Out Of Court

FORMER ACTING HEAD of Credit Risk Management Department of then Merchant Bank, now Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), David Mawuse Agbeli, is savouring the sweet scent of justice, in a case that has travelled from the lower courts through to the Supreme Court for thirteen years.


For the most part of 2008 and 2021, David Agbeli and his lawyer, George Ankomah Mensah, refused to falter or surrender, shuffled in-and-out of courts, in pursuit of justice in the infamous allegation against Mr. Agbeli- breaching the rules of the bank’s credit policy- brought on by his employer, Universal Merchant Bank, which occasioned his dismissal.

The Supreme Court, Coram:  Justices Yaw Appau, (presiding judge), Mrs. Agnes Dordzie, Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey, Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu, Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu, in a judgment dated 7th July, 2021, ruled that From our analysis of the evidence on record, the two lower courts failed to take into consideration the contents of the numerous important documentary evidence the appellant tendered in proof of his case therefore erred in the conclusions they came to.”


The Supreme Court also stated, “We hold that the appellant is entitled to his salary and allowances for a reasonable period within which the appellant could have secured an alternative employment. We consider fifteen months a reasonable period; we therefore order that the appellant be paid his salaries and allowances as at the time of his dismissal for fifteen months.”

In addition, the Supreme Court ordered that David Mawuse Agbeli be paid his retirement benefits; that ought to be whatever package ‘retirement benefits’ as captured in the Rules and Conditions of service of the respondent bank (UMB) entails for the position he held in the bank before his dismissal.


“We however hold the view that the appellant is entitled to general damages in the circumstances. We would take the package he lost in the alternative employment into consideration and award him three months’ salary in his previous employment as at the time of his dismissal as general damages”, the Supreme Court ruled.


The case is that somewhere October 2007, then Merchant Bank found cause to complain about the manner David Agbeli was performing his role as head of the Credit Risk Management Department of the Bank.

Therefore on 6/10/2007, it wrote to the Mr. Agbeli (a query) to explain his actions which was found to have breached the rules of the bank’s credit policy. Three days on,9/10/2007, the bank wrote to its head of the Credit Risk Management Department to proceed on leave while it investigated matters.

On 13/10/2007, Mr. Agbeli responded to the query from the bank but UMB said it found his explanations unsatisfactory, and therefore summarily dismissed him on 6/02/2008.

Following the bank’s required proceedings in such matters, the appellant petitioned the Board of Directors of the bank. He did not find favour with the board and the petition was turned down.

Davided Agbeli then turned to the court for remedy and on 24/07/2008, he instituted an action against the bank in the High Court Accra.

He however lost the case in the High Court. He appealed to the Court of Appeal and lost as well. The head of the Credit Risk Management Department UMB then turned to the Supreme Court with the prayer that it sets aside the judgment of the first appellate court plus the cost awarded by the said court. It was this case that the Supreme Court brought finality to on 7 July 2021.

Mr. David Agbeli was employed in August 2005 and worked as next in command in the said department until his elevation to the acting position of the head of the said department.

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