Court name
Supreme Court
Case number
SC CIV APP 5 of 2018
Case name
Shang Dong Steel v Mustapha J Kamara
Law report citations
Media neutral citation
[2018] SLSC 5
Judge
Browne-Marke, J
Roberts, JSC
Fynn, JSC

SC.Cl V.A PP.5 /2018

 

 

 

BET WEEN
 

 

IN THE   S UPR E.J\11<.:  CO     U  R  T   OF   SI ER l1A  LEO NI

CIVIL J URI DI CT IO N

 

SIJA NG DONG  TEEL ( L) LTD

FOR AFRICAN MINERALS (SL) LTD

15.t WILKINSON ROAD

FREETO \ VN                                                                       APPE:LLANT

 

 

 

AND
 

 

l\lU TAP! IA JO.SEPII KA MARA

18 NYLAN DER STRE ET

Ail ERDE EN

FREETOWN                                                                       R ESPON DENT

 

\ .

 

R  U NG DELIVERED  THI   ' <:!,-OAY OF J ULY 2019

The app lication              \

I. 11y Notice or  motion  dated  the 20th day of  March  2018  the  Appel lanL in  this case appl ied  to this Il onourabk Court for stay of execution of the Judgmen t of the Court of Appeal dated l st March 2018 as follows:

l. A stay of execu tion of the Jud gment of the Court of Appea l dated I'' March 2018 until the hearing and determination of Appe llan UAppl icant' s Appeal by this T!on Court which said Judgment upheld the Jud gment of th e If igh Court deli vered on the 9111 of May 2016 by the lion Justice  M Samba J .........

  1. A Stay of the Garnishee proceedings presently underway before Ju stice Samba J which said proceedings \Vere brought about by the Cour t of Appeal Judgment of l 51 March 2018 and in respect of which a Garnishee Order Nis i was made on 6th March 2018, the same to be made final

on 1 5h1    March2018.

 

  1. That the aiJ stay of execution of the respective judgments of the ll igh Court and the Court below, and the stay of the said Ga rnish t:e proceedings be granted for the followine reaso ns :

 

 

 

 

  1. The Appdlant/applicant herein has good and arguable grounds or Appeal which might succeed in the Supreme Court and these grounds form part of this App lication.
  2. Ir Ll1e sum awarded the rcspu11d en herein together '"ith interest element added thereon. were paid over to him , it is likely the same may be dissipated before the hearing and determination of the Appellants/App lic ants Appeal to the Supreme Court; and in the event that the Appeal is upheld , the judgment of the Supreme Court will be rendered nugatory by such dissipation .On  the other hand, the Appellant /App licant wil l still be in business in Sierra Leone and will be in a position to satisfy the judgment debt should its appeal to the Supreme Court fail. Addi tionally, the Appellant/Applican t has sufficient capital i nvestment here in Sierra Leone to satisfy the said judgment debt in the eve nt it s appeal to the Supreme Court is dismissed

iii ) The respondent has proceeded with inordinate speed to garnis hee or sequester the funds of the Appellant/applicant, so as to render the Application herein nugatory.  If such  proceedings were not stayed, the Appellant/applicant's present li quid i ty position will be seriously affec ted with hundreds of Sierra Leoncan Staff to look l'!fter, with 110 prospect of recoverine, the same should it s Appeal to the Supreme Court succeed.

  1. That this Honourable Court grant any further or other order it may deem fit;

 

  1. That tlti s I [onourable Court do make any order as to costs as it may deem just and appropriate

 

I ntc ri m Stay Of Exec ution

 

2.At the first hearing of this matter on the 23r<l of March 2018, the Application could not be heard to its fullest whereupon the Supreme Court decided to grant an inter im stay of execution of the said judgment pendin g the hearing and determination of th e Application for stay of execution

, with " li berty to Apply'. The full text of the orders of 23rd March 2018 is as follows:

 

I . An I nterim Stay of Execution or the Court of Appeal (Order of I 51 March 2018) confirming the Judgment of Ju stice M.M. Samba J dated 9th May , 2016 in respect of the sum of Le l, 204.874,704.45 with in terest at the rate of 10%per annum from 25111 October 2013 to 9111 May 2016 and  thereafter at  the  rate of 4%per annum  until  paymen t is  hereby granted pending the

hearing and determination of this Application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. That the Garnishee banks be se rve d with thi s order of Court.

 

  1. That the accounts held at Stan<lar<l Chartered I3ank and Guaranty Trust Bank do re ma i n frozen

 

  1. Liberty to /\ pply

 

  1. Matter stands adjourned to Thursday 26th April 2018.

 

  1. Further, however, the appellant avail ing itsel f of the opportunity provided by " Liberty  to Apply" granted  by  the un1er of 23rc1 March  20 18, on the 24th of March 20 J  applied  to  t his

!Iono urable Court seeking orders which inc lu ded, inter alia, that the sum to ta li ng l.1..· 928,735000.00 whic h had been paid to soli c itors for the respo ndent by Guaranty Trust lla11k I.Id pursuant   to  the  Gnrnis hee  Order  being  made  absol ute  be   returned   nn cl/or   n.:v t..:rs t..:d   lo  tile

Ap pe llant pursuant to the Order of this I Ionourable Court dated 23rd March 2018 as the S11pn:111c Court had ordered an int erim stay of execution of the judgme n t or tht..: ( 'ourt ol' App\!111 confir ming the Judgmen t of Miatta Samba J dated 9th day of May 20I<,. Sl:<.:ollllly, thnt thlN

I lonourab le Court grants an Order that the Appellant  be at Lil>e rty tu ust..: Mo11ics i11 it    A1.:co1111t11 held  with  Guaranty Trust Bank  that are in excess of the sum or Lt..: 92X. 7J500 0.IHJ 1111d  th11t  the: said sum be ring fenced until the determination of the Appl ic ation dated 2l rd Mmd 1 20 I 8. to wit. the full stay of executi o n Application before thi s co urt .

 

  1. Tliat application, the Supr eme Court was informed was prt..:<li1.:at1:d on th e r11c1 t li:11 the n.: was still no access to the Appellants Accounts he ld at the Stan dard C'hartt..:r1.:d Bank (S L) Lt<l and Guaran ty T rust Dank S L Ltd and it co ming to the end or the mo n t h, tht..: /\ppdlunt 111.:1.:<le d to pay salaries of  its over  2000  v.orkers.  That  Application  was heard on tht..: 26111  or  March  2018 and

during the course of hearing it was found out that  the sum or  Le 928,735,000.00  had  already  been executed upon with the money as <lirt:dcJ l..,y th e Court, Justice Samba J pres idi ng, already

in the Account of the respondent's soli cito rs prior to it  grant ing even  it s  Interim  Stay  of executio n on the 2n3 1 of MARCH 2018, this having happened on the 22"d or MA RCf l 2018.The Supreme Court was moved to granting the applica tion  of 24th March 2018  on the 26th of March

2018 on these terms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"

 

  1. That all sums outstanding in the accounts of the Appellant /Applicant held at Standard Chartered Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank be unfrozen to allow the applicant  to  pay salaries  to the employees.
  1. That the appellant do give an undertaking that in the event the appeal  filed  foils then  it  will immediately  pay all sums owing and due to the responde nt.
  2. That  the  s111n of  Le  928,735,000/00  which  has  been  paid  into  the  account  ur l ilL·

Respondents so licitor held at Guaranty Trust t:3ank be dealt with as follows. that is 11t · resp ondent so lici tors do giv e an undertaking in writing which is to bl.! likd in 1his i.:our l and served on Guaranty 1 rus t Bank that the su m uf Le 928.735 .000.00 will 1H1I h" withdrawn or defrayed pending the hearing and dcte rminati un ol' thi s /\ ppli i.:11l i1111.

  1. Adjourned to 26h1     Apri l 2018.

 

Application  to Vac ate  Interim Order

 

  1.  

1

Before the Appellant could continue with the subs tant ivt: applirntion li1r s t11y ol' cxccu1lo 11, the respondent  brought  an  application  before  this  court  st:t:k i11g  to  vu1:11tc  the  suid  llrtkrs  ll l'   2 ( 111 March 2018. The Sup reme  Cour t in  its  majority  l{uli11g  i11 Shung  Dong Stet:! (SL)  Ltd V

 

h

Mustapha Kamara dated 51  September 2018 dccidt:d th a t the said ordt:rs cannot ht: vacated.

 

/\ against the said order and the aforc:;aid background thi s rnurt  is  now  faced  with  the substantive applic a tion for stay.

 

A ppellant'  Argum en t For   tav  of Exec uti o n to  he G ranted

 

  1. On Tuesday i 11 May, 2019 the application for stay was heard  in  full. The application  for stay of execution was supported by th e affidavit of Kweku Melvin Lisk sworn to on the 20th of March 2018. It had Exhibits KMLI-K  1L5. Exhibit KML  1 is the order of court dated  1s t  March 2018; Exhibit KML2 is the Order of Justice Samba J dated 6th March 2018; Exhibit KMLJ  is  order of the Court of Appeal dated  13th March 2018 refusin g stay of execution of the Judgment  of sI ' March 2018; Exh ibit KML4 is the Judgment of the Court of Appeal dated Ist March 2018 while Exhibit KMLS  is the Notice of Appeal dated 20th March 2018.

 

  1. The argument of the Appellant was that prima facie he had good  grounds of appeal and  th at his  Affidavit  in support  deposed  special  circumstances  warranting  a  stay  of  execution  of the

 

Judgment of the Court of Appeal dated I st Ma'rch and  any  garnishee  order  that  emanated therefrom. On the issue of good Grounds of Appeal he claime d the Learned Judge erred in law in corning  to certain  unsupported  C(}l:lclusions including  summary  jud gment.  He  also  hyped the

issue of  AML  being under administration and the effect the same should  have had on the  claim

by the Responde nt aga inst SOS Lt d, the Appellant herein. On the iss ue of specia l circumstances the Appellant Solicitor Mr. Kweku Melvin Lisk claimed the respondent was a man  of stra w, such that if the whole judgment debt was paid to him as par1 of the judgment the same could not be refunded  if the  Appeal succeeds against him.

Respondent Oppose Stay  of Exec u tio n

 

  1. The respondent on his part  opposed  the  Application  by  fi l in g  an  affidavit  in  opposition  to which  was  exhibited  exhibits  MJK   I  to  MJK7.  The  argument  of  the  Respondents  solicitor  was on

2 fronts. Firstly that execution had lo ng take n place before this courts  interim  orders  of  23rd March 2018 pursuant to which the sum of Le 928,735,000/00 was paid by Guaranty Trust  Bank  (SL) Limited to the Respondents Solicitors Account held at the said 11::ink and that this Supreme Court shou ld not now order sta y when the horse had bolted.

 

  1. Counsel for the respondent observed that with reference to orders  2&1  r ray cd  for  it  was wrong for the appellant to come straig h t to the Supreme Court to apply to stay a garnishee proceedings, as a garnis hee proceeding being a separate proceeJings pursuant to Order 50 of the HCR C.I.No8 2007, it was required that the Appellant, in order to have stayed the garnis hee proceedings to have applied for sta y of same in the  Hig h Court  presided  by Justi ce  Samba J or any other Hig h Court Judge. Not to have done that was wrong in law meaning in effect that the garnishee order absolute cannot be stayed, was not stayed, and is in effect  a  fait accompli.  To amplify this point he referred to Order 50 Rules 5 and 6 of the High Court which gives t he High Court first instance upon an applic atio n to s um marily determine the iss ues. He also made references    to    the    Supreme    Court     Annual     Practice     I 999@p1016     para     59/ l A/ 23 and Section  56(1) (b) of the Courts Act No31  of  1965.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

l 0. On the other front, counse l for tb_e respondent  argued  that no special circums tances has been shown in the aftidavit in suppor t to warrant a stay of execution. He observed that what the  appellant did by his affidav it in support  was  to  bring  in matters of  law,  see  paragraphs  1-6 the reo f, which do not amount to special circumstances. On the respondent being referred to as a man of straw,  Mr.  Yillah  noted paragraph  11  of  the affidavit  in oppositio n  and  exhibit  M.J K(> thereof to say he is not a man of straw. He argued further, that the respondent  would  he  n.:ad y  and  willing to give an  und er taken that the money  will  be refunded  in  the cv nt  thL: J\ppi:t1I  s ucceeds. Counsel for the Respondent noted the case of FIRETEX INTf:RN/\ TION/\ L CO LTD    V    SI ERRA    LEONE   EXTERNAL    TELECOMM UNICAT I ONS   & /\NOTIIICH

M ISAPP19 /2002  CA  where  it was  held  that  the court  has ability  to d i rcl:t/orJor  thnl tho

respondent gives and file s an und ertaking of this nature.

 

Can this Court  grant  or  refuse Stay?

11.  This  matter  as  is expressly  indicated concerns  stay or 1:x L:c11tio11 1111d thc  cir rn1ns11111cL:s  i11 whic h it could be granted. It is well settled by a long l ine ol" casl's i11 our rnurts vii. i)LlJ('Y Dl!:CKER      v    GLADSTONE      DE CKER     COURT    OF    AP PEA i.     M ISCA PP     IJ/2002

N R£ POR TED; ii)AFRICANA TOKEII YI LL/\.CE I.I M IT EI> VS .IOII N UIJEY DEYELOPMI!:NT  INVESTMENT   COMPANY  LI M ITI•: I> 2<1111  /\ P IH L  1 99..t COURT  OF APPEAL MISC APP 2/9-' (UNREPOll TE D); ii i ) PAT IHCK KOROMA VS IERRA LEONE IIOUSING CORPORATION AN D DO LCIE BEC KL EY 26TII MAY 200ct COURT OF APPEAL, l\1ISC APP9 /9-' ( UN H. f:l' O RT E O); iv) DESMOND LUKE VS BANK OF SIERRA LEONE 1-t JULY 200-t COURT OF APPEAL l\IIS C/ APP22 /0 I (UNREPORTED) v) Y USl JFU 13UNDU V MO IIAl\ Jl\l EO IlAILOR JALLOII 23nu .JULY 200-t  COURT  Of   APPEAL  l\I ISC  APP  23/0..i (UN R F.P ORTf<:D)  and  v i)  EVELYN  AYO l'RATT   AOMINITRATRIX   OF  THE  F,STAT   OF  IlETSY  ROGERS   PARK lNSON ( DE CEA ED) INT E TATE V JACQU I LINE CAREW &OTH ER AND 1 llEKA DE EN SESAY 1..i111 JULY 2005 COURT OF APPEAL M ISC APP 7/05 (UNREPORTED) to name

just but a few that, it is in the discretion of the Court to grant or refuse a slay and that this stay  will only be exercised in favour of the applicant where he can convince the court that the special circumstances of th e case so warrant.

 

12.!n HAL 13URY'S LAW   OF ENGLAND 3RD  EDITION VOL 16 PARA 51 AT  PAGE

35 the wide discretionary powers or the courts and the principle on which  it  will  act  when  considerin g an appli c atio n for a stay of execution were sta ted thus:

 

" T he Cou rt ha s an absolute and unf ettered d is creti on 11.'i lo lht· crn11ti11i:. or refusin g of a stay and  as to the te rms upon which it will l,!ntnl ii, tlJHI WIii UN 11

rule l  only gra nt it if there are special cir cums la nn ·s whkh muet by ilvnosgd

t o in an  aflidavit"

 

  1. In the Lucy Decker and others cnsc, I Io n Jus ti c e ( ic l11g11 Kin JI\ now u( hlo111od momor)'

said and I quot e

 

"ft seems to me tlwr at arriving al a clecisio11, Ill<' aux o/'lh,• 111ul/1'I' Is wh,•thl'r thl' applicants have  s!,011111  co  11vi11ci11  f{  S/J<'Cial circ11111.,·tu11<· c.\· lo 1' 11C1h fr this c11111·1 ru grant  a  stay.   This   principle   < / s11e,·ial  circ11111s/w  l(' I'.,·   is   110 11'    jloll'i11g   ll'ilh

increasing  momentum  through  01111/icotions  ji,r  cstay  o/ exec11tion  and the

ingenuity  IVith  which   special   cirrn111.,·1w1 ces  have   been  invented   boggles  rhe imagination; lo gi,•e o few examples pneumonia, deadly diseases, inducement to move from rented premises lo disputed property and huge expenses in repairing  part of disputed property: building a shop in the property and ob1oi11i11g  o business registration certificate. /11 my judgment most of tl,e matt a s relied 011 /11

t /1e af/7davits in supporaspecial  ci rcumstances  relatto  tir i.\·s11e.\·  i11  tl1 e plead in g,vlr iclt  ,vere dealt  ,vit l,  i11 th e cour t  be/0,11.  No  d o uht  //,el' 111111 • he

g_rgued  i11  t ir e  p e11di 11g  appeal.  'J h e)'  are    b esr  hrou;:/11  uu,   1'!1e11  th e "  ['f'  e,d   is

argued; t!tey are 1101, i11 my op i11io 11 special cir c11111sta 11ce s in t /1e co11t ext o( stav of exec11tio 11

  1. In that case he then went on to establish the parameters for a  grant  of  stay,  noting  111  particular the ANNOT LYLE (18 86)1 I CPI 14 p 116 principle t ha t the cour t docs not make a pn1ctice of dcp,·ivin g a uc ccs sfu l  litig a nt  o f the  fr ui ts  of  h is  jud gmen t  pe nd ing  an  appeal:  good  reasons  go  hand  in   hand   with  special  circumstances.  Viewed   in   th at  light  ,  ..s pec ia l cir cums tances m ust mean cir cums ta nces hevond the us ua l; a sit uation that  is  un com mon and  dis tinct from  the  general  run  of  thing s".

 

 

 

 

  1. [t is for the applicant to bring or place betnrc t Iii:; court  Lhosc  facts  which he  be!ic, cs  const ilute special circum stances. But it is for that court to decide whether those facts indeed constitute special circumstances aslo warrant it exercisi ng its d iscretio n i n favour of granting the application. Each case stands on its own and will depend on its me rits. Where the facts are in the opinion of the court special circumstances then Stay of Execution wi ll  be granted  but if  not stn) wil l be refused; and it is left with the discretion of the COURT as wi t h t he dec isio n to gran t or ref use it as to the terms under whic h i t would grant it
  2. In its search  for what consti tutes spec ial circumstances  t he court  would  tr y to co11si tk r  l"ro111 the appli cant's affidavi t( s)

 

"wheth er a case has been made  out for dcprivinl! a liti1!1111t tla· h ·11,· fl t.oe of th e jud gment which he has obta i ned. It is for the np plil ·1111t for ii 11t11y to mak e that case before the court."

See the case of WILSON VS CIIURCII L R 12 C H AN C ERY 5-t 1'1-:1{ LOl{I> (;t{t\11/\M

PA UL C J.

 

  1. Looking at the affidavit  before me in this case, a lo t has been made about the    wrongness or

the J uc.lg·e s decision in the case whic h is appealed against. Whether right or wrong the same is bette r handled in the Arreal and does not in any  way  in  the orinion  of  this court  constilulc special circumstances whic h l dare say is th e onlv sub s tant ia l reason for which  stay can  be granted. ' Prima facic good grounds of Appeal' is often cited as reason for granting a stay of execution. Three 3 things ought  be said  on  this;  firstly,  of  itself ''prim:1  facie good  grounds of  1\ ppe:tl"  ,,ill  not grant a stay of execution anJ st:cunJ ly .  it is only relevant as prerequ isite. th.it is to say, you cannot ask for a stay when there has been no "Notice of Appea l" li kd a11d thi rd l y. that which is filed as Notice of Appeal must at least be arguab le, prima focic arguable. The L:lfcct here is once this prima facic lCSl is invariably satisfied, there ought always must be special circumstances and unless there are circumstances which constitute the spec ial circumstances the Application ought  be refused.

  1. In the case before me the Annote Lyle princ iple is paramount -The court does not make a practice of depriving a successful litigant of the fruits or his judgmen t pending an appeal. At the time  of the Application  for Stay  the  20th of March  2018 the Garnishee  Nisi  had  been  made

 

 

 

 

 

absolute  and  by  the  time  the  Applica  t io n  was  being  hea rd  on  the  23rd  March  2018  an  amount flo wing/ accruing from the said  garnishee  order  absolute  in  the  sum  of  Le  928,735,000/00,had  passed on to the res pondents So li c ifo r' s Account at Guaranty  Trust  Bank  Ltd  .Any  stay  of  this amount  ,vould  he  tantamount  to  breach  of  the  ANNOTE  Lyle  principle   and  even  goes  beyond  that as there is s tric tly speakin g nothing to stay on this /\  mount

  1. Against  the  forgoing,  all  things considered  this court  here by orde rs  as  follo ws:

 

  1. Stay  of  Exec ut io n  of   the  Court  of  Appeal  Judg ment  of  151   March  2018 confirm ing th,:

J udg ment of Justice M.M. Samba J dated  9th  May,  2016  in  res pect of  the  surn  ol'  l .1: l. 204,8  74,704.45 with in terest at the rate of  I Oo/ope r annum from 25th O t:to h1:r 20 l 1  to 9 111

May 2016 and thereafter at the rate of 4% per ann um  un til payme nt is ()II rlly nfHI ln[Kylv

r efu sed pending the hea ring and dete rmina tio n of this Ap peal

 

"

2. Th at the sum of Le 928,735,000 /00 whic h has been paid into the 111.:count of' \ho Res ponde nts  solicitor  held  at Guaranty Trust  13a nk  b<.: <.k alt  with  us  l'ollo wic, thnt  IN,  ho and is rega rded as part of the Judgment debt as rt:lk c t <:d in l s uprn (  lo  wit l.c l . 204,874,704.45 with interest at the rate of  I 0%  per annum   from 25111 <k    to hc r 20 l 1  to     <>1

May 2016 a nd thereafter at the rate of 4% per annum un til  r ayrm:n t ) 1111d  he p:r id ove r to the  respondent  forthwith  through  his so lic ito rs.

J.  That before wit hdra wing  the sum of Le928,735,000.00 th e  n.:s r unde nt  giv<.:s and  fi les  an unde rta ki ng tha t he  will  repay  the  sum  of  Le  928,735,000.00  if  the  Appeal  succeeds against  him  and  he  is required  to repay this amo un t .

  1. That execut io n of  the  bala nce of  the Judgment debt  being the diffe re nce  between  t he sum of  Le 928,735,000.00 and  Le I ,  20 4,874,704  .45 with in te rest  at the  rate of  1Oo/oper annum

from 25h1    October 201 3  to  9th May 2016 and  the reafter at the  rate of 4%  per annum  until

payment  be and  is hereby stayed  pending the  Appeal

 

  1. That cost is      ar    d   gainst the Appe                 e taxed

 

.. ...

#?        9!.,._ ".

li on Jus ti ce D. B. Edwards CJ

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.........ra:..tf!J. \   .......

lion Justice V.M.Solomon JSC

 

 

...      !  1...................

Bon   Justice A.B. Halloway  JSC-