Suit against Otabil, others “long overdue” – Ex-Capital Bank staff

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Former employees of the now-defunct Capital Bank have welcomed a suit filed by two officials of PricewaterhouseCoopers against Pastor Mensa Otabil, his International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) and 13 other shareholders of the bank, in connection with its collapse.

Mr Raymond Addae Danquah, a former deputy head of e-banking at Capital Bank and a leading member of the ex-staff told Moro Awudu on the Executive Breakfast Show on Monday, 5 November that: “I think it’s long overdue based on the reports that have been published”.

The suit was filed by Messrs Vish Ashiagbor and Eric Nana Nipah.

Capital Bank and UT Bank were both declared irredeemably illiquid by the Bank of Ghana in August 2017 and taken over by the state-owned GCB Bank.

Pastor Mensa Otabil was the Board Chairman of the bank before it went down.

In their writ of summons, the two plaintiffs argue that Capital Bank collapsed as a “direct result” of the defendants’ “misgovernance” and “willful” breaches of banking regulations.

The plaintiffs say the bank’s founder, William Ato Essien, used depositors’ funds as his ‘personal piggy bank’, and cited an example of his request for the transfer of GHS130m of rescue funds advanced to the bank by the Bank of Ghana, to Capital and More Ltd., an investment company he had interest in.

Dr Otabil provided a personal guarantee for the repayment of the loan despite the senior management of the bank having earlier stopped the transaction.

According to the plaintiffs, the GHS130 million has still not been paid since it was advanced to Capital and More Ltd. in 2015.

The plaintiffs said in their writ that they had issues with Pastor Otabil’s personal guarantee for the transaction despite the “express opposition” of the senior management of the bank to same.

They argued that the motivational speaker was “conscious at all material times” that the transaction was in contravention of banking regulations.

Apart from the GHS130 million, Mr Ato Essien is also said to have taken a loan of GHS29.9 million for some companies he was related to, another GHS78.9 million in loans.

The plaintiffs have asked Mr Essien to repay all the loans he took as shareholder totaling GHS580 million.

ICGC, according to the plaintiffs, also owes GHS51.6 million being its share of a GHS482 million fund kept by the shareholders in “non-existent investments” on their books.

A third defendant, Oheneba Osei-Akoto also took a GHS2.42 million loan in December 2016 using his residential property at Regimanuel Gray Estates at East Legon as collateral but has failed to pay back.

The plaintiffs said these defendants are responsible for ‘serious financial loss’ at the now-defunct Capital bank.

Speaking on behalf of the ex-staff concerning the latest development, Mr Addae Danquah said: “When GCB took over Capital Bank, these were some of the reasons that were given for the takeover and the collapse of the bank”, adding that: “It’s been over a year now since Capital Bank collapsed, and I think we are in the 15th month, so, for me once there were findings to that effect, I believe the suit should have happened a long time ago because it is based on the realisation of this money that we will be paid our exit packages”.


 

Credit: Ghana Classfmonlone.com

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