A Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central Constituency, Mr Isaac Adongo, has condemned President Nana Akufo-Addo and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for its poor handling of the financial sector crisis and damaging of the reputation of the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Pastor Mensa Otabil, who was Board Chair for the now-defunct Capital Bank – one of nine local banks that went under the central bank’s clean-up axe.
According to the Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, the “NPP used the financial sector clean-up to turn Pastor Mensa Otabil from a renowned international preacher to a man who presided over a board of directors that ‘chopped’ GHS620 million of central bank liquidity support and mismanaged another GHS837 million that was in the coffers of the now-defunct Capital Bank”.
Mr Adongo, who made the comment during a presentation at the Takoradi Technical University on Thursday, 17 October 2019, on the theme: “Assessing the financial sector reforms; The impact on the ordinary Ghanaian”, said: “Through the ‘face-looking’ clean-up, the NPP and its Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and the partisan Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison, have sought to tar the hard-earned reputation of Rev Dr Mensa Otabil with black spots; spots that aim to turn the man of God from an international motivational preacher of the gospel to a man who presided over a board of directors that ‘chopped’ GHS620 million of central bank liquidity support and mismanaged another GH?837 million that was in the coffers of the now-defunct Capital Bank”.
Mr Adongo believes the government has been unfair to Ghanaian entrepreneurs who set up banks and financial institutions in Ghana.
“The NPP, led by President Akufo-Addo, used the financial sector reforms to make mockery and nonsense of the entrepreneurial acumen of celebrated entrepreneurs like Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of Groupe Nduom fame, Capt Kofi Amoabeng (rtd) of UT fame, Dr Kwabena Duffuor of HODA Holdings and uniBank fame and Mr William Ato Essien of Capital Bank fame,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the now-defunct Capital Bank, Mr William Ato Essien, as well as two other officials of the bank and a businesswoman, are standing trial at the Accra High Court over the collapse of the bank. They have pleaded not guilty to the 26 charges against them. Pastor Otabil, who was the Board Chair of the bank was not included as a defendant in the suit.
Essien, Tettey Nettey, former MD of the bank Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor and Kate Quartey Papafio, the businesswoman, pleaded not guilty to various counts of stealing, abetment to stealing, conspiracy to steal and money laundering.
It is the case of the Attorney General that the three accused persons stole, conspired to steal or laundered more than GHS220 million belonging to the bank.
When the Bank of Ghana started its clean-up exercise of the banking sector in August 2017, nine local banks went under. While some of them were accused of using suspicious means and capital to set themselves up, others were also found to have been mismanaged by their shareholders.
The affected banks include Heritage Bank, Premium Bank, former Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffour’s uniBank, The Beige Bank, Sovereign Bank, The Construction Bank, The Royal Bank, Mr Prince Kofi Amoabeng’s UT Bank, and Capital Bank.
While UT Bank and Capital Bank were swallowed by the state-owned GCB Bank with the blessing of the Dr Ernest Addison-led central bank, the seven others were subsumed by an all-new state-owned bank, Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (CBG), which was created by the Bank of Ghana during the cleanup.
After cleaning up the banking sector, the regulator turned its focus on the microfinance and microcredit sector. The licences of 386 of them were revoked.