Ecobank Sierra Leone limited has instituted a civil action in the High Court of Sierra Leone against GIMA Enterprise, in respect of a Le52 million loan the latter took from the bank which is yet to be repaid.
Solicitor for the bank, A. Showers, yesterday told Justice Sam Margai that he relied on affidavits they had filed since 27 January, 2016. However, he said counsel representing GIMA Enterprise, Hindolo Moiwo Gevao, had declined knowledge of the writ of summon.
Thus, he said the trial judge had issued orders for the writ of summons to be published twice in Standard Times newspaper, but because the newspaper had ceased publication at the time, the writ was published in the Awareness Times newspaper.
He submitted that although the writ was not published in the Standard Times, the Awareness Times is also a widely read local tabloid, adding that it was sufficient to have informed the respondent and his lawyer about the writ.
Lawyer Showers canvassed the judge to consider the judgment regular and legitimate, as he claimed his colleague had deliberately failed to enter appearance.
He argued that the counter affidavit prepared by lawyer Gevao lacks merit and that if the respondent claimed to have paid the loan it was their responsibility to prove it in court. He urged the judge to deliver judgement on the amount the defendant had admitted owing the plaintiff and send the remaining claims to trial.
In a snap reply, lawyer Gavao rebutted that the plaintiff’s counsel had failed to follow the direction of the court by not publishing the notice of summon in Standard Times newspaper and instead formulated an order that did not originate from the court.
He argued that a solicitor faced with difficulties in executing court orders should revert to the court for further directions instead of electing to formulate an order contrary to the court’s order.
“The act of the solicitor in transforming the judgment into an irregular judgment is because the procedure thereto is a default one, and if the correct procedure was done, I would have filed an appearance,” said Gevao.
Meanwhile, the matter was adjourned to 20 April, 2016 for ruling on both submission from rival counsel.