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Kwabena Duffuor, 16 others sued; to cough up ¢5bn of uniBank cash

The Receiver of uniBank Ghana Ltd has brought a suit against the Founder of uniBank, Dr Kwabena Duffuor and 16 others in the infamous bank collapse.

KPMG, among other things, is seeking an order of the High Court directing that Dr Duffuor and the defendants be held liable and made to repay an amount of ¢5,712,623,145 owed the bank. All the 17 defendants are directors, shareholders and debtors of the defunct bank.

In a statement of claim, a copy of which has been intercepted by Myjoyonline.com, the Receiver, Nii Amanor Dodoo who is the Senior Partner at KPMG, avers, directors and shareholders of the Bank engaged in illegal transactions by giving out unlawful loans and advances as well as illegal acquisition of assets in the name of related interests or persons related to the shareholders.

The petitioner wants a declaration from the court that the directors of uniBank breached their duties and must be made to answer for same

The defendants include Hoda Holdings Ltd, Hoda Properties, Alban Logistics, Starlife Assurance, Dr Kwabena Duffuor II, Boatemaa Kakra Duffuor-Nyarko and Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye.

The suit appears to be a counter to a similar one filed by Dr Duffuor and another challenging the revocation of the license of uniBank Ghana Ltd by the Bank of Ghana.

In that suit, Dr Duffuor sought to “restrain the [Bank of Ghana] from expropriating uniBank by its purported vesting of ‘good assets and liabilities’ of uniBank in Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited and the revocation of the licence of uniBank.”

While he fights to reverse the revocation of the license of uniBank, he must now, together with his legal team put up a defence for a suit that hopes to compel him and others to cough up more than five billion cedis or risk losing assets of companies which he and his family may have interest in.

Background

In March 2018, the Bank of Ghana announced a takeover of uniBank over what it said were liquidity challenges.

“uniBank persistently suffered liquidity shortfalls and consistently breached its cash reserve requirement,” Dr Ernest Addison, Central Bank Governor said during the takeover.

According to him, the bank “failed to comply with a directive of the Bank of Ghana dated 26th October 2017 under section 105 of Act 930, prohibiting the bank from granting new loans and incurring new capital expenditures.

“[It also] failed to comply with several other regulatory requirements, including:

“Lending to a number of borrowers in excess of its regulatory lending limit (single obligor limit) under section 62 of the Banks and SDIs Act, 2016 (Act 930).”

The regulator later handed a temporary management of the Bank to KPMG.

However, in August, BoG announced the official collapse of uniBank together with four others- Construction Bank, Beige, Royal and Sovereign Banks- and merged them into one Consolidated Ghana Bank.

Last month KPMG issued a report claiming depositors money had been used by the shareholders of the bank to open several other allied businesses in their names or that of their associates.

The report, the content has been challenged by uniBank also averred that proceeds from uniBank were used to cater for workers of allied companies set up by shareholders of the bank.

uniBank has not only challenged the contents of the report but has proceeded to sue the BoG for an illegal takeover of its assets.

The defendants must now answer for allegations of breaches and impropriety brought against them by the Receiver.

The plaintiff wants a declaration that the various transactions identified by the receiver and variously described in the Statement of Claim, resulting in the “unlawful loans, unlawful advances and the acquisitions of assets in the names of shareholders, their related interests and or persons related to the shareholders are unlawful.”

Mr Dodoo also wants “An order directing the defendants to account to the plaintiff for all advantages, benefits, gains, and profits derived from or obtained by virtue of assets…

“An order compelling the Respondents, their servants, agents privies, assigns and any other persons representing them or acting on their behalf or at their behest, or anyone in possession, custody or control of the assets to allow access to the assets to facilitate the inspection of same,” the plaintiff demanded.

The defendants have eight days within which to respond to the writ filed on September 4, 2018.

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