Dr. Kwabena Duffuor and Dr. Johnson Asiama
The Attorney-General’s Department has officially charged former Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffuor and eight others for the alleged ‘dishonest’ spending of over GH¢5.7 billion belonging to customers and investors of the defunct uniBank Ghana Limited.
uniBank Ghana Limited, a private bank founded by Dr. Duffuor who once served as Governor of the Bank (BoG) of Ghana, was one of the insolvent financial institutions that was closed down by the government during the banking sector clean-up exercise between 2017 and 2018.
Among the accused persons charged is the former second Deputy Governor of the BoG, Dr. Johnson Pandit Asiama under whose watch over GH¢450 million was allegedly doled out to uniBank without following laid-down procedures, according to the A-G’s Department.
The charge sheet filed at the Criminal Division of the Accra High Court levels a total of 68 charges against all the accused persons.
Dr. Duffuor has been charged as a shareholder of uniBank; Johnson Pandit Asiama, the third accused person, was the second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) between April 2016 and January 2018; Kwabena Duffuor II, formerly a Chief Operating Officer (COO) of uniBank who subsequently became the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of uniBank between June 2017 and March 2018 and Ekow Nyarko Dadzie-Dennis, who was a COO of uniBank, is a member of the Board of Directors.
The rest are Elsie Dansoa Kyereh, a former Executive Head of Corporate Banking at uniBank; Jeffrey Amon, former Senior Relationship Manager of Corporate Banking at uniBank; Benjamin Ofori, a former Executive Head of Credit Risk at uniBank; Kwadwo Opoku Okoh, a former Financial Control Manager of uniBank and is Head of Finance of HODA, and HODA Holdings Company Limited (HODA).
Together, the accused persons are facing a total of 68 charges including fraudulent transactions and money laundering.
Dr. Duffuor, according to the charges, dishonestly appropriated the sum of GH¢48,269,477.75 which was entrusted to him in trust for depositors of uniBank Ghana Limited in 2014.
His son, Kwabena Duffuor II, is also alleged to have dishonestly appropriated the sum of GH¢164,051,706.14 which was entrusted to him in trust for depositors of uniBank Ghana Limited in 2015.
The two are facing multiple charges of dishonestly appropriating investors’ money, as well as laundering money belonging to the bank.
Again, Kwabena Duffuor II, Ekow Nyarko Dadzie-Dennis and Benjamin Ofori are said to have falsified the accounts of uniBank to reflect various sums – GH¢601,305,250, GH¢227,450,000, GH¢102,000,000 and $71 million of money as loans.
Deputy BoG Governor
Dr. Asiama is facing a charge of Contravention of the Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612) for granting GH¢300 million to Universal Merchant Bank for the benefit of uniBank Ghana Limited without satisfying the prescribed conditions set out in the Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612).
He is also facing a charge of willfully causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GH¢150 million sometime September 2016.
The fact sheet which has been filed at the court registry indicates that uniBank went into official administration on March 20, 2018 and was placed in receivership on August 1, 2018.
It said KPMG, the official administrator, in the course of its duties, discovered that about GH¢5.7 billion had become due from shareholders of uniBank as of March 20, 2018 but no security nor proper credit arrangements were made for the payment of the amount which remained unpaid.
According to the fact sheet, the debt of GH¢5.7 billion was made up of two components, namely, a Deferred Expenditure Account (DEA) together with other balances of about GH¢3.7 billion and secondly, Loans and Advances made up of about two billion cedis.
The DEA was a general ledger account created and operated for the benefit of shareholders of uniBank. The GH¢3.7 billion was also made up of a number of transactions of which about GH¢2.4 billion constituted direct payouts for the benefit of shareholders.
“Out of the amount of GH¢2.4 billion, the fourth (Kwabena Duffuor II) and fifth (Ekow Nyarko Dadzie-Dennis) accused persons acting in concert dishonestly appropriated funds out of customer deposits and borrowings from BoG for the benefit of shareholders through a variety of means including the use of petty cash vouchers and cash pay-in slips amounting to about GH¢613 million. Out of the amount of GH¢613 million, various payments were dishonestly made to the accounts of related parties of uniBank including the second accused person (HODA), HODA Properties, Numa Logistics, Integrated Properties, Topp Recruitment and Bolton Portfolio without recourse to due process contrary to proper banking practice. Corresponding entries were also dishonestly posted to the DEA,” the facts stated.
It further states that Dr. Duffuor and HODA holdings between January 2014 and February 2018 dishonestly received over GH¢663,283,917.19 through subsidiaries of the HODA out of customer deposits with uniBank that were dishonestly transferred and recorded in the DEA.
It also states that between December 2015 and June 2016, uniBank applied for various liquidity support of GH¢200 million, GH¢350 million and GH¢450 million from BoG, out of which only GH¢150 million was paid leaving an overdue amount of GH¢850 million excluding interest.
“Whilst still in default in the repayment of the BoG liquidity support of GH¢850 million, uniBank borrowed several amounts through overnight interbank borrowings,” it added.