A senior management member of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) whose appointment was terminated in 2010 for negligence in the management of a syndicated loan in partnership with the defunct Merchant Bank (MERBAN), has been vindicated by the Fast Track High Court.
The court declared that the termination of the appointment of Mr Laud Baddoe, who until his dismissal was the General Manager, Corporate Banking Division of the bank, was wrongful and unjustified.
Based on this, the court ordered the bank to pay all salaries and entitlements due Mr Baddoe from June 11, 2010 to the day of judgement. It further awarded costs of GHø5,000 for the plaintiff against the defendant.
“The plaintiff was a senior management member of the bank who had a few years to go on retirement. His appointment was terminated wrongfully and is seeking the payment of his salaries that he would have earned had his appointment not been wrongfully terminated.
“In my view, he is entitled to that payment in addition to all other entitlements that he would have earned,” the court, presided over by Mr Justice Edward Amoako Asante, held.
Following his dismissal, Mr Baddoe initiated an action at the court for a declaration that the termination of his appointment on grounds of gross negligence was wrongful and unfair.
He also prayed for an order for the payment of his salary from June 11, 2010 to the date of final judgement as well as costs.
In his capacity as General Manager of Corporate Banking, Mr Baddoe recommended Engineers and Planners to the GCB for a syndicated loan facility with MERBAN.
The Board of Directors of GCB approved the said loan after the customer had fulfilled all the conditions.
It was later detected along the line that Merchant Bank had compromised GCB’s interest in the syndicated loan and GCB took legal action for breach of the terms of the loan agreement as well as the Inter-Creditor agreement.`
On May 5, 2010, Mr Baddoe received a query from the Deputy Managing Director (Operations) of GCB regarding his alleged negligence in protecting the bank’s interest in the said syndicated loan facility.
Mr Baddoe responded to the query by denying any negligence on his part and on May 27, 2010 he received a memorandum from the bank’s board secretary inviting him to a meeting on June 2, 2010 to discuss his response to the query.
On June 1, 2010, Mr Baddoe received another memorandum to the effect that the June 2 meeting was rather to give him a hearing with respect to the loan transaction.
The said meeting took place as scheduled and on June 11, 2 010, Mr Baddoe received a letter from the bank’s board dismissing him as the General Manager, Corporate Banking Division with immediate effect.
In its statement of defence, the bank denied being liable to the plaintiff’s claims and contended that being the employee responsible for loans, Mr Baddoe failed to conduct due diligence on Engineers and Planners before recommending it for the loan.
According to GCB, Mr Baddoe failed to notify the relevant authorities about the changes in the amount and the purpose of the loan in the draft agreements.
After a full trial, however, the court found that GCB woefully failed in its quest to prove allegations of negligence against Mr Baddoe.
It also found that Mr Baddoe did not unilaterally increase the loan amount on either the syndicated loan or Inter-Creditor agreement as alleged by the defendant.