Dr Kwabena Duffour and 8 others plead not guilty to new charges by the State – UniBank Case

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Charges labelled against the founder of UniBank, Dr Kwabena Duffour and eight (8) others have seen amendment on the charge sheet, bringing the charge count to 71 from 68. The Attorney General has accused Dr Kwabena Duffour, the founder and also a shareholder of UniBank of using another firm, HODA Group, which was also founded by Dr Duffour to extort money from UniBank and “dishonestly” transferring depositors’ funds.

The former governor of the Bank of Ghana and the other eight (8) persons involved in the case have all pleaded not guilty to the charges. The court has admitted them to the same bail conditions as was earlier granted. Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Attakora Obuobisa briefed the court, which was presided over by Justice Bright Mensah that the state has available evidence against the accused persons and is ready to go ahead with a trail.

In the case charged against Dr Duffor and the eight (8) other persons, the Attorney General holds that the former Governor of Bank of Ghana and HODA group “dishonestly” received an amount over GHS 660 million from Unibank. The Attorney General has also pointed out Dr Johnson P. Asiama of resorting to his position as the 2nd Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana to approve the transfer of GHS 300 million, which was an unsecured loan amount from UniBank to Universal Merchant Bank (UMB).

The Attorney General claims the 2nd Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana knew that UniBank was in financial crises as at the time when the transaction took place but went ahead to approve the transaction. The additional charges extended to the previous charges by the state, thus, count on falsification of accounts and defrauding.

The defence Lawyers had earlier prayed the court to extend some time for them to pore over the extensive documents filed by the state against their clients. The court presided by Justice Bright Mensah, adjourned the case to July 16 and 17th, for case Management Conference.

Concurrently, the Commercial Division of the Accra High Court presided by Justice Jennifer Dadzie dismissed an injunction application filed by the Receiver heading the liquidation of UniBank, last week, to halt an arbitration hearing with the shareholders of the bank. The Receiver appointed to liquidate the Bank in June of 2019, applied to the court to cease an arbitration hearing with shareholders of the bank (UniBank).

The Receiver had earlier opted for an arbitration process. Thus, the court dismissed the Receiver’s application to injunct the parties to the case from adhering to the court’s order, explaining that the parties should go for arbitration. Lawyers of the Receiver filed an application requesting the court to also decide on the previous ruling which instructed the case for an arbitration hearing.

Shareholders of UniBank challenged the position to liquidate the bank by the Bank of Ghana, and this prompted the Receiver to refer the case to the court. Lawyer of the Receiver appointed to liquidate UniBank is Nii Amanor Dodoo of Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG).

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