Former unibank CEO Dr. Kwabena Duffuor through his lawyer, Kissi Adjabeng, of Cromwell Gray LLP, has filed a motion at the High Court seeking to compel the Bank of Ghana to release some documents upon which the license of now-defunct financial company, uniBank was revoked.
The lawyers explained that, the action has become necessary because the central bank has refused to release the documents despite several requests.
Some of the documents Dr. Duffuor is demanding include: “notice by Bank of Ghana to uniBank Ghana limited revoking its banking licence, Bank of Ghana report that uniBank Ghana limited should be placed in official administration.”
Others include: “Purchase and assumption agreement between the plaintiff as Receiver of uniBank Ghana limited and four other banks and Consolidated Bank Ghana limited, all correspondence between the official administrator of uniBank Ghana limited and the Bank of Ghana in respect of the official administration of uniBank especially regarding the instructions and guidance of Bank of Ghana to the official administrator of uniBank Ghana limited.”
The Receiver had dragged the 17 shareholders of the bank to court to have them forced to repay a GHC 5.7 billion debt they allegedly owe the defunct bank.
The shareholders earlier filed a motion in court seeking to join the Attorney General to an ongoing case in which the Receiver of the Bank, Nii Amanor Dodoo, is pursuing them in court.
According to the shareholders, the central bank and the Government of Ghana revoked uniBank’s license because they were both misled by the audit firm, KPMG into believing that uniBank was being improperly managed and that the bank was likely to fall into insolvency.
To them, the erroneous report by KPMG formed the basis for the revocation of the bank’s license and its good assets handed over to the Consolidated Bank Ghana.
uniBank is one of the seven local banks that collapsed as a result of what the Central Bank has called poor corporate governance and mismanagement of depositors’ funds.
uniBank was also one the banks merged into the Consolidated Bank Ghana limited.
The central bank among others argued that the affected banks operated with severe capital constraints.
Back in March 2018, the central bank announced that uniBank was also on the verge of collapse, and was taken over, by the audit firm, KPMG Ghana.
The Bank of Ghana made it known that shareholders of uniBank used monies from the bank to acquire estate properties in their own names.
According to the central bank “uniBank’s shareholders and related parties admitted to acquiring real estate properties in their own names using the funds from the bank under questionable circumstances.”
The Receiver, Mr. Dodoo subsequently listed 34 properties acquired in the name of shareholders or related entities that could be used to recoup the debt.
Some of the properties run into millions of dollars.
He maintained that transactions that led to the acquisition of these properties should have been detected and prevented by the bank’s directors.
Dr. Duffuor’s suit against BoG thrown out
An earlier suit by Dr. Duffuor against the Bank of Ghana (BoG) over the revocation of the license of defunct uniBank had been struck out by the Supreme Court as of December 22, 2018.
The court presided over by Justice Angelina Mensah-Homiah, said Dr. Duffuor’s lawyers had used the wrong avenue for a legal address.
Dr. Duffuor sued to get the court to declare the license for the Consolidated bank, null and void.
The lawsuit came three weeks after the BoG revoked the license of UniBank and four other banks over severe liquidity issues.
The BoG, in turn, challenged the capacity of the General Jurisdiction Court hearing the lawsuit.