REPUBLIC OF GHANA
WRIT OF SUMMONS
(Order 2 rule 3(1))
WRIT ISSUED FROM……………………………………………………………………20……………SUIT NO
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
GENERAL JURISDICTION DIVISION
ACCRA – A.D. 2023
- CHARLES WILLIAM ZWENNES 1STPLAINTIFF
- PETER RAYMOND ZWENNES 2NDPLAINTIFF
Gaisie Zwennes Hughes & Co.
2nd Floor, Carlton House,
15 Anumansa Street,
EBENEZER BEGYINA SEKYI HUGHES DEFENDANT
27, 1st Circular Road, Cantonments,
Digital Address: GL-058-5938
(PLAINTIFF TO DIRECT SERVICE)
AN ACTION having been commenced against you by the issue of this writ by the above-named plaintiffs
- CHARLES WILLIAM ZWENNES 2. PETER RAYMOND ZWENNES
YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED that within eight days after service of this writ on you inclusive of the day of service you do cause an appearance to be entered for you.
EBENEZER BEGYINA SEKYI HUGHES
And take notice that in default of your so doing, judgment may be given in your absence without further notice to you.
Dated this day of 20………
Chief Justice of Ghana
NB: This writ is to be served within twelve calendar months from the date of issue unless; it is renewed within six calendar
months from the date of that renewal.
The defendant may appear hereto by filing a notice of appearance either personally or by lawyer at
Form 5 at the Registry of the Court of issue of the writ at ACCRA A defendant appearing personally may, if
he desires, give notice of appearance by post.
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
The Plaintiffs Claims Against The Defendant As Follows:
- A Declaration that as at the time of the death of CBK Zwennes on 19thMarch 2018, Jacqueline Lucille Zwennes, Charles William Zwennes, Peter Raymond Zwennes & the Defendant herein were all surviving partners of the law firm, “Gaisie Zwennes Hughes & Company”.
- An Order directed at the Registrar of The Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC) to correct the Public Record kept at Kinbu Road, (Opp. Ghana News Agency) Accra, by cancelling and expunging from said record all entries submitted by the Defendant and made without reference to, and consent from the Plaintiffs from 19thMarch 2018 to date.
- An Order directed at the Registrar of the Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC), to correct the Public Record kept at Kinbu Road, (Opp. Ghana News Agency) Accra, by entering the names of Jacqueline Lucille Zwennes, Charles William Zwennes & Peter Raymond Zwennes as Partners of the Firm, having been properly so appointed as such on 2nd August 2002.
- Further and/or other Orders as the Court shall deem fit.
This Writ was issued by GAISIE ZWENNES HUGHES & CO.
Whose address for service is 2ND FLOOR, CARLTON HOUSE, 15 ANUMANSA ST. OSU, ACCRA
Agent for PLAINTIFFS
Lawyer for the plaintiff
Who resides at ACCRA
PLAINTIFF LAWYERS TIN NUMBER:
Indorsement to be made within 3 days after service
This Writ was served by me at
On the Defendant
on the day of
endorsed the day of
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
ACCRA – A.D. 2023
(1) CHARLES WILLIAM ZWENNES 1STPLAINTIFF
(2)PETER RAYMOND ZWENNES 2NDPLAINTIFF
Gaisie Zwennes Hughes & Co.
2nd Floor, Carlton House,
EBENEZER BEGYINA SEKYI HUGHES DEFENDANT
No. 27, 1st CIRCULAR ROAD, CANTONMENTS
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
- The 1STand 2NDPlaintiffs are Partners of the law firm “Gaisie Zwennes Hughes & Company” (hereinafter referred to as “the Firm”) and are the son and nephew respectively of C.B.K. Zwennes (now deceased) who as at the time of his death on 19THMarch 2018 held the position of Head of Chambers of the entire firm, having been appointed a Partner on the 1STday of July 1964.
- The Defendant is a senior partner of the Firm who, until going into retirement recently, had practiced from the Firm’s original offices in Takoradi after having been appointed a Partner in October 1969. The Defendant at some point later on in his life left full time practice to serve the Republic of Ghana by holding the high office of The Speaker of the House of Parliament. The Defendant is now an octogenarian, no longer in active private legal practice and describes himself as being in retirement,now residing at a home located at No. 27, 1st Circular Road, Cantonments, Accra.
- Plaintiffs say that the Firm is currently in its 67th year of existence, having first been established in 1956 by its original partners then operating under the name of “Gaisie, Scheck & Company” and was later incorporated by a Deed of Partnership in 1963 upon the coming into force of The Partnership Act, 1963. Over the period of the Firm’s past history, it has appointed and released various persons as partners always in abidance by and in accordance with law.
- The Plaintiffs say that initially upon his appointment to the Firm as a Partner, C.B.K. Zwennes established the Firm’s first offices in Accra – practicing from chambers on Kojo Thompson Road, located firstly in the “Auto Parts Building” and subsequently thereafter on the 2ndFloor of the “America House”, in Tudu, Accra, where it operated until 2007 when it finally moved to its current location on 2ndFloor, “Carlton House”, Osu, Accra.
- Plaintiffs say further that in or about 1986 Jacqueline Lucille Zwennes, being the wife of C.B.K. Zwennes and mother of 1st Plaintiff, also a lawyer, joined the Firm at the “America House” where she also engaged in private legal practice after resigning as a State Attorney at the Attorney-General’s Department and returning from a brief sojourn abroad.
- Upon Call to the Ghana Bar in 1990, 2ndPlaintiff joined the Firm as an associate to train under and practice with his Uncle, and has remained there in active full-time legal practice for his entire life to date.
- Upon Call to the Bar of England & Wales in 1995
1stPlaintiff returned to Ghana where after obtaining rights of audience from the General Legal Council to appear and practice in Ghana in 1997, also joined the Firm as an associate to train under and practice with his Father, and has remained there in active full-time legal practice for his entire life to date.
- Plaintiffs aver that given the fact that the offices of the Firm were in two separate cities and in different regions of the country, the Partners at the time agreed for the two offices to operate independently under financial and administrative autonomy, bound together only by a shared membership, affiliation, nomenclature, goodwill and legacy. Plaintiffs will proffer that this dynamic of the Firm was often referred to and described by the Partners at the time, – including the Defendant, – as a “loose partnership” arrangement.
- Plaintiffs will show that right from their early beginnings as associates and subsequently as partners over the years, they have jointly and severally consistently sacrificed much time and significantly devoted much effort towards the shared tenets and fortunes of the Firm by contributing their lot, fair share, and dint of hard work to its continuing name and reputation.
- Plaintiffs repeat paragraph 9 herein and say that pursuant thereto, they were both proposed together with J.L. Zwennes for appointment as new Partners of the Firm in July 2002, by CBK Zwennes to his two other Partners by his letter sent to them and dated 3rdJuly 2002.
- Plaintiffs say that the other Partners at the time, being E. Brite Gaisie (since deceased) and the Defendant, readily agreed and expressly consented to their appointment as new Partners and further state that in the particular case of the Defendant, he rendered his consent by his letter dated 2ndAugust 2002. Plaintiffs will show by reference to the Defendant’s aforesaid letter that he expressly congratulated and heartily welcomed J.L. Zwennes, the
1st Plaintiff and the 2ndPlaintiff as new Partners to the Firm.
- The Plaintiffs aver and will lead evidence however to show that for quite some time after their appointments as new Partners of the Firm were made, some difficulty had been encountered by the old Partners in their efforts to update the Public Record kept at the Registrar General’s Department in Accra, (hereinafter referred to as “the Public Record”) on account of the fact that the file of the Firm kept there could not be traced. Plaintiffs will invite this court to infer the truth of the aforesaid averment from reference also to the fact that over the entire course of that same period, no other updates about the Firm with respect to factual changes to its business address, contact details, as well as to other material particulars regarding it were made on the Public Record by the old Partners.
- Plaintiffs will show however that immediately upon the event of their appointments and at all times thereon-after, J.L. Zwennes (now deceased) as well as 1st and 2ndPlaintiffs were all outdoored, advertised, published, held out, and celebrated as Partners of the Firm by all the old Partners, including the Defendant.
- Plaintiffs repeat paragraph 11, 12 & 13 above, and say that the Defendant wholeheartedly accepted the fact of 1st Plaintiff serving as Managing Partner of the Accra office which was a widely advertised, undisputed, celebrated fact that was to his abundant knowledge, acceptance and acquiescence, and without him raising any let, cavil, or posing any hinderance, be it either at the beginning, or at any time thereafter over the entire period exceeding some 21 good years spanning from August 2002 to the present date.
- 1st and 2nd Plaintiffs repeat paragraphs 11, 12, 13 & 14 above, and will lead evidence to show that pursuant to their said appointments they have been celebrated and presented by the Firm to the whole world as Managing Partner and Partner respectively, dutifully carrying on their professional work and rendering their services for over the period of the 16 years up to the time of the death of C.B.K. Zwennes in March 2018, who at that time stood as the most senior Partner of the Firm.
- Plaintiffs repeat paragraphs 11, 12, 13, 14, & 15, and say further that in tune with their vested ownership in the Firm as two of its Partners, they contributed immensely and immeasurably over the past 21 years by investing in the business and the brand of their Firm in various manner and ways including, but not limited to: researching, authoring, compiling & publishing its official brochures, profiles, website, email addresses, as well procuring and providing modern chamber premises in 2007 and supplying and provisioning the said chamber with law books and legal reference material, authorities, periodicals and reports, office equipment, computers and furniture.
- Plaintiffs repeat paragraph 11 & 12 and say that over the course of the more than 21 years to date as Partners and owners of their Firm, they have actively and widely practiced before all the courts, trained and pupilled an uncountable number of lawyers assigned them by the General Legal Council all in their capacity as Partners of their Firm, employed juniors, and have held various appointments of their professional guild and in the business world adding immensely to the goodwill and reputation of their Firm which they, – collectively with the Defendant, – have proudly benefited from. To the benefit, stature and image of the Firm, 1st Plaintiff has amongst several other equally important fiduciary positions held, been appointed to chair the Board of Directors of a publicly-listed retail bank upon the consent granted by the Governor of the Central Bank of Ghana, and has also been appointed by The Office Of The President as a director on the Board of the Office Of The Registrar of Companies (ORC), (the very statutorily-established body responsible for oversight of the management and keeping of very same Public Register forming the subject-matter of the Defendant’s interference herein complained of). 1st Plaintiff says that both these appointments were reliant – amongst other accomplishments, – on his credentials as the Managing Partner of the Firm. In like token, the 2nd Plaintiff has sat on and chaired numerous quasi-public bodies and served on the General Legal Council. 2nd Plaintiff says also that said appointments were reliant – amongst other accomplishments, – on his credentials as a Partner of the Firm.
- The Plaintiffs complain however that upon the death of C.B.K. Zwennes in March 2018 the Defendant, took advantage of the untimely demise and the electronic re-registration exercise undergoing at the offices in Accra on the Public Register and without any notice or reference made to J.L. Zwennes and the Plaintiffs, went ahead to surreptitiously file official update forms there, in which he falsely declared himself therein to be the sole surviving partner of the Firm as at the time of the death of C.B.K. Zwennes. In making this wrongful, false declaration on the Public Register, Plaintiffs say that the Defendant submitted the Death Certificate and the Obituary Notice which the family of the deceased had published in the national news dailies of the deceased’s funeral arrangements to support his application to the Registrar, calling for the Public Register located there to be updated by erroneously registering himself as the sole surviving partner of the Firm as at that time.
- The Plaintiffs say and will contend that had the processing officers of the Registrar at the office of the Public Register only properly read the said Obituary Notice, they would have seen and been put on notice of this false representation by clearly making out not only the Defendant’s name, but also the name of the widow, J.L. Zwennes as well as the names of that of the 1st and 2nd Plaintiffs collectively and all bodlypublished one-and-together as all being the surviving partners of the Firm as at that material point in time, being the point in time of the death of C.B.K. Zwennes.
- Plaintiffs say further that subsequent to the aforementioned actions of the Defendant not as yet having come to light, they continued in their usual practice as Partners in ownership of their Firm as they always have done, without hearing any word from Defendant to suggest the contrary. Two years after the death of C.B.K. Zwennes, upon the death of the widow J.L. Zwennes on 20thOctober 2020, the publication of her Obituary Notice was also published in the national news dailies and also followed the same format, by publishing Plaintiffs’ names as well as the Defendants name as all being the remaining surviving Partners of the Firm as at that time. In obedience with the pre-ordained dates and times set for Last Rites in both aforementioned Obituary Notices, the Defendant fully attended both funeral occasions, and was received and announced by 1st & 2nd Plaintiffs at the public gatherings assembled there on his arrival as their Partner of the Firm at the time managing the Takoradi office. Plaintiffs say that the Defendant shortly after that had however (either acting on his own or through his servants, agents or assigns), completely removed altogether the address of the Accra office of the Firm, which has been located at 2nd Floor, America House, since 2007, from the Public Register.
- Plaintiffs will show that the false entries that the Defendant has made on the Public Register about the composition of the Firm only came to their notice in February 2023, when as part of fulfilling the KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements of their commercial bankers, they made a request for a copy of the 1963 Deed of Partnership of the Firm from the Registrar. Plaintiffs say that their request from the Registrar for a copy of the said 1963 Deed however disclosed that no such copy of the said Deed could be found on the recently-recompiled electronic Public Register. The Registrar reported to the Plaintiffs that the Defendant acting entirely on his own had recently (acting himself or through his servants, agents or assigns) attended at the office where the Public Register is kept at Accra, and filed a two-page Deed of Partnership bearing a date made in 2019, which bore only his name and signature as the sole surviving Partner, as well as the name and signature of a person he claimed to be his daughter, and whom he presented to the Registrar as having been appointed by himself as his new chosen one to be his Partner of the Firm.
22. The Plaintiffs say and will show that in addition to the entry by the Defendant of these patently false facts onto the Public Register, several other particulars of the Firm submitted to the Registrar by the Defendant and entered on the Public Register as a result are also either erroneous and/or bear no scintilla of truth to the historical facts and the true state of affairs of the Firm. These other falsehoods include wrong dates regarding the Firm’s date of formation, its date of incorporation, its places of business, its contact details, amongst other material particulars.
- Plaintiffs say that through their attempts to properly update and correct the records at the Public Register by supplying same with true and accurate particulars held in their possession about the Firm, they have come to learn from the Registrar that the Defendant, – despite several calls made on him by the aforesaid authority, – has openly refused to sign any of the corrective official forms sent to him by the Registrar and now claims something to the effect either that the Plaintiffs are no longer Partners, or that they were never ever Partners of the Firm in the first place. Plaintiffs will show that after several entreaties made by the Registrar on the Defendant to sign the corrective forms sent to him, the Defendant queried her locus in the matter, and has sternly cautioned the Registrar to “keep out of the matter” which is an act that has had the undesirable effect of intimidating the Registrar, and stunning her into frozen inaction.
- Plaintiffs will show that since the aforementioned tortuous acts coming to their attention, they have themselves also made several strident efforts to try to reach the Defendant to meet with him, or at the very least speak to him in order to verify the truth of these confusing actions and strange contentions that have been reliably ascribed to his authorship and contrivance. Plaintiffs say however that all such efforts have proved futile, since the Defendant from one occasion to the next since February 2023 to date, excuses himself through intermediaries either to be too unwell and therefore unable to meet, or to be unavailable on account of being out of the country on travels abroad for purposes of seeking medical treatment and for waiting through his slow convalescence.
- The Plaintiffs aver that in addition to the fact that the Public Record of the Registrar as a result of Defendant’s actions does not at all reflect the true composition, particulars and state of affairs of the Firm, the actions of the Defendant have also had the further obstructive effect of preventing the registration of the vested share of C.B.K. Zwennes in the Firm into the name and ownership of its beneficiary, the 1st Plaintiff, who under the Last Will and Testament of the Testator was bequeathed the said share in the Firm which C.B.K. Zwennes acquired upon his appointment as a Partner thereofin 1964 and which he held right up until his untimely passing on 19th March 2018.
WHEREFORE Plaintiff claims as per the Writ of Summons.
DATED THIS 26TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER 2023 AT CARLTON HOUSE, 15 ANUMANSA STREET, OSU ACCRA.
CHARLES WILLIAM ZWENNES ESQ.
GAISIE ZWENNES HUGHES & CO.
SOLICITORS FOR PLAINTIFF
HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
AND TO: THE DEFENDANT, EBENEZER BEGYINA SEKYI HUGHES OF No. 27, 1st CIRCULAR ROAD, CANTONTMENTS, ACCRA.