Lawyers for Duffuor and son deny charges filed against them

The lawyers for a former governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and his son have denied charges filed against them following the collapse of uniBank.

The Duffuors

The former governor of the BoG, Dr Kwabena Duffuor founded the defunct uniBank and his son Kwabena Duffuor Jnr who was the Chief Executive Officer of the Bank when it collapsed.

Lawyer for Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Charles Puozuing, said the charges leveled against his client were misplaced.

“We have not been served with any charges by the state, either filed or unfiled. Therefore we have no knowledge of whatever is being discussed. We have also not been invited as to when we are supposed to appear in court to be charged or for the charges to be read to us.”

“Dr. Duffuor is not guilty of these claims and if indeed they did proper investigations they would have been clear in their minds that they were not even supposed to make these charges,” Mr Puozuing added.

On his part, the lawyer for Kwabena Duffuor Jnr., Edudzi Tamakloe prayed for a fair trial.

“It is within the preserve of the state considering what facts are available to them to proceed to court. What I do know is that facts that are attached to a charge sheet does not constitute evidence. Our only prayer is that, consistent with article 19, we would have the benefit of a fair trial,” he said.

The Duffuors and a former Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Johnson Asiama, along with six other senior-level officials of the defunct Bank, have been charged with 68 counts including Fraudulent Breach of Trust, Money Laundering, Dishonestly Receiving and Falsification of Accounts.

The Facts Sheet as filed by the Attorney General said “Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, the 1st accused person, is a shareholder of uniBank Ghana Limited (uniBank) and the ultimate beneficial owner of HODA Holdings Company Limited (HODA).

The 2nd accused, HODA, is a holding company and the majority shareholder of uniBank. Johnson Pandit Asiama, the 3rd accused person, was the 2nd Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BOG) between April 2016 and January 2018.

The 4th accused person, Kwabena Duffuor II, formerly a Chief Operating Officer (COO) of uniBank subsequently became the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of uniBank between June 2017 and March 2018.

The 5th accused person, Ekow Nyarko Dadzie-Dennis, who was a COO of uniBank is a member of the Board of Directors of WAICA Reinsurance Corporation Plc (WAICA-Re), Sierra Leone.

The 6th accused person, Elsie Dansoa Kyereh, was an Executive Head of Corporate Banking at uniBank. The 7th accused person, Jeffrey Amon, was a Senior Relationship Manager of Corporate Banking at uniBank. The 8th accused person, Benjamin Ofori was the Executive Head of Credit Risk at uniBank. The 9th accused person, Kwadwo Opoku Okoh, was a Financial Control Manager of uniBank and is Head of Finance of HODA”.

UniBank collapsed on August 1, 2018 after it went into official administration on March 20, 2018.

The local bank was one of five banks merged by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) into the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited.

The receiver discovered that about GHC5.7 billion was owed by shareholders of uniBank as of March 20, 2018. This amount was the focus of a previous suit by Nii Amanor Dodoo who was acting as the Receiver.

Among other things, the bank’s interest income and other sources of income were insufficient to cover the associated cost of funds of underlying borrowings and liabilities, as well as overheads of about GHS0.31 billion per annum.

These claims have, however, been challenged by the bank’s directors and Dr Duffuor also sued to get the court to declare the license for the Consolidated Bank null and void.

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