Pix: Dr. Philip Yaw Bannor-Appellant/Defendant
A US Court of Appeal has detected the underestimation of value of marital property in a financial statement filed by Dr. Philip Yaw Bannor to a trial court.
Instead of $1,479,987, Dr. Bannor presented $837,955 in a financial statement to the trial court for the determination of a divorce suit against him.
The Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Knoxville, presided over by Judge Carma Dennis Mcgee on April 25, 2023 noted that the total amount of indebtedness of $837,955 owed to some banks as presented in the financial statement to the trial court was not correct because the said financial statement did not list the BB&T Line of Credit debt or the Bankers Healthcare Group debt.
“Even accounting for the omission of these debts in the total amount, the remaining debts added up to $1,112,915 making a total of $1.479 978 and not $837,955 as listed in Dr. Bannor’s statement of assets and liabilities”, it was stated in the Appellate court’s 21-page verdict.
In the opinion of the Court of Appeals, the trial court did not value the debts but only stated $837,955 as total amount of debt relying on the statement of the defendant, Dr. Bannor.
The Court of Appeal has therefore remanded the case between Dr. Philip Yaw Bannor and his estranged wife, Dora for further proceedings at the Judicial Circuit court for Hamilton County in the State of Tennessee.
The Court of Appeals, however, affirmed the decision of the lower court granting the divorce but vacated and remanded parts of the ruling of the trial court for further proceedings.
Judge Carma Dennis Mcgee joined by Judges John W. McClarty and W. Neal McBrayer, upheld the position of the trial court and granted the divorce on the grounds of “inappropriate marital conduct”.
Dora Bannor had in September 2017 filed a complaint for divorce alleging “irreconcilable differences and inappropriate marital conduct”.
The Judicial Circuit court for Hamilton County in the State of Tennessee in the United States of America on January 21, 2022 awarded majority of the real estate, estimated at $915,000 owed by Dr. and “Mrs.” Bannor in Ghana to the estranged wife.
The said estate include a Kwaming château, Pokuase House, a House at Medoma in Kumasi, two developed plots and four undeveloped plots at Prampram all estimated at $915,000, according to a verified Statement of Assets and Liabilities filed by Dr. Bannor before the court on September 4, 2020.
Judgment was also entered in favour of Dora Bannor on account that Dr. Bannor absconded to Ghana with most of the family’s money and allowed the family home to go into foreclosure.
The trial court ordered that all marital property in the US be awarded to Dora Bannor and that all marital liabilities are the responsibility of Dr. Philip Bannor.
The Registrar of the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA) is also to pay a total of $2,686 which had accumulated to $4,378.00 plus interest in arrears of child support as well as a monthly alimony of $1,000 to be paid to Dora Bannor from the Medical Clinic owned by Dr. Bannor in Hamilton County in Tennessee in the US.
The entire Vanguard account of the value of $185,000 as at January 2019 has also been awarded to Dora Bannor.
In respect of the over $300,000 of marital assets, Dr. Bannor invested in Menzgold which act was regarded as a “theft”, the court ordered that the value should be divided equally to the parties if the investment is liquidated.
The court also upheld that each party should keep household furnishings and motor vehicles in their possession.
However the Appeals Court has vacated the decision of the trial court on division of marital property and award of alimony noting that the trial court failed to make sufficient findings and referred the parties to the trial court to make additional findings regarding parties property and debt, both separate and marital and valuation for necessary division.
The Appeals Court therefore directed that the trial court reopens the proof on the question of alimony. It also directed that costs of the appeal are to be taxed equally between the parties.
BY Kow Richardson