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Rawlings settles Taxi driver, Melbond case

The taxi driver, Fio Yohannes, who sued a microfinance company for breach of contract with the backing of former President Jerry John Rawlings, can now heave a sigh of relief.

Information available to Myjoyonline.com indicates that the Melbond Microfinance Company has agreed to settle the driver and is expected in court today to file the terms of settlement.

A Fast-Track High Court in Accra last week asked Mr. Rawlings to seek an out of court settlement in the case that he backed the taxi driver to bring before the court.

Fio Yohannes had accused the company of breach of contract and had the full backing of the former president.

Mr. Rawlings, who was personally in court when the case was first called, had tried to have the matter settled, but a letter he wrote to the company following an appeal to him by the driver had been ignored.

Through Kwabena Andoh, his secretary, Mr. Rawlings in a letter dated February 2, 2015 said, “Our office will be grateful if you can urgently look into the matter and review your stance as the economic circumstances of Mr. Yohanes have been negatively affected by your failure to heed his calls for a replacement of vehicle. He is only but a poor, vulnerable young man seeking to work hard to sustain his family.”

But Melbond Microfinance ignored the letter, compelling the driver to, with the support of Mr. Rawlings, head to court.

Yohannes’ case was that, on May 10, 2013, he entered into a hire purchase agreement with Melbond Microfinance for a Nissan Almera at the cost of GH¢15,172 and an interest of GH¢15,172.

The plaintiff, according the statement of claim, “paid a contribution of GH¢2,400 towards the purchase of the said vehicle and made a weekly installment payment of GH¢236.2 for 12 months totaling about Gh¢9,140.” The contract was for a period of 30 months.

He further averred that, “Clause 5 of the other terms and conditions of the said agreement stated that the Defendant as lender would provide financial assistance to the Plaintiff as borrower in the event that the vehicle experiences any breakdown in body works, engine or gear box and such assistance will be added to the Plaintiff’s obligations towards the Defendant.”

Twelve months into the contract, the vehicle was involved in an accident on May 31, 2014.

Yohannes contended that even though he “paid the insurance premiums for comprehensive insurance cover for the said vehicle and incurred expenses after the accident, he was informed that the Defendant was the loss payee on the insurance policy and as such the Defendant was paid the full amount recoverable from the insurance policy for the said vehicle on or about 17th October 2014.”

All attempts to get Melbond Microfinance to replace the vehicle proved futile forcing him to bring the suit.

Yohannes demanded an immediate purchase of a new vehicle for the hire purchase agreement to continue or in the alternative “refund the total amounts of money he expended on the said vehicle as follows: GH¢2400 contribution he made towards the hire purchase agreement; GH¢9140 being the total of the weekly installment payments he made to Defendant without ever defaulting; GH¢850 as expenses on the vehicle after the accident consisting of police report and vehicle test; the insurance premiums he paid on the said vehicle and damages for breach of contract and loss of income of GH¢20,000.”

The has now agreed to settle the aggrieved driver even though the details of the settlement are not yet known.

Mr. Rawlings is not going to Court today.

Source: myjoyonline

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