Poor BOG supervision caused banking crisis – Mahama confesses

Former President and NDC Flagbearer John Dramani Mahama has been very vociferous about how the Akufo-Addo administration has handled the banking sector reforms but a Parliamentary record has exposed his inconveniencies.

According to him, the current government should have concentrated on injecting more cash into the struggling banks in order to keep them afloat, instead of collapsing and consolidating them.

In his many declarations, Mr Mahama has postulated that the methodology used to sanitize the banking sector leaves a lot to be desired and that it has led to job losses of what he describes as innocent employees in the banking sector.

This accusation of the supposed collapse of the banking sector by the Akufo-Addo government is being heavily propagated by members of the opposition party’s communicators.

Available documents, however, indicate that former President John Mahama admitted to the very same banking sector he accuses Akufo-Addo for supervising.

In the 2016 State of the Nation’s Address delivered in Parliament by the former president, the NDC flagbearer made these admissions;

“Mr Speaker, over the past five years, there has been a proliferation of microfinance companies. These companies come under the direct supervision of the Bank of Ghana. Unfortunately, lack of effective supervision has resulted in many cases in which microfinance companies licensed by Bank of Ghana have breached the rules and created supposed pyramid schemes that have eventually come crashing down”

The former President, by this statement in the 2016 version of the State of the Nation’s Address, confessed to the banking sector crumbling down under his tutelage.

This admission as captured in the former president’s own speech makes nonsense of his accusation that the Presidency of Akufo-Addo is to blame for the crisis we have witnessed in the banking sector.

Though he has chosen to be dishonest in his commentaries on the banking sector reforms, his own words have come back to haunt him.

Mexico is very interested in a partnership with Ghana for economic development – Mexican ambassador

The Ambassador of Mexico to Ghana Her Excellency Maria de Los Angeles Arriola Aguirre, has called on the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority as part of her nation’s initiative to enhance economic relations with Ghana.

The Mexican ambassador, who was speaking to Management of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, stated that although her country has little presence in Africa, Mexico identifies Ghana as a strategic point of African development, hence chose to re-establish its embassy here.

She described her country’s reinvigorated relationship with Ghana as essential, because Ghana is playing a key role in the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area and would be key for Mexico to do business with Ghana.

“Today, Ghana will head the African Free Trade Area Secretariat. That means a lot. It means Ghana has gained reputation inside Africa and Ghana will be the Gateway for Mexico to come and do more business with Africa”, she stated.

She revealed that with political dialogues between Ghana and Mexico having taken place recently, Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assured to reopen its embassy in Mexico to take advantage of Mexico’s interest in Ghana.

She said her country takes significant interest in the widening of the Ghana’s ports which would open up new opportunities for Ghana’s economic partners like Mexico.
“We are interested in the opportunities for this Port which is widening to become the most important port in West Africa”, she added.

The Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje said, the Ports Authority is taking ambitious strides to provide the needed supply chain logistics to support Ghana’s current attractiveness to the trading world.

“All the ambitious projects that we have in place, including the port expansions in both Tema and Takoradi. We are even building a new port in Keta. All that is to make sure we are a step ahead of the demand of trade”, he revealed.

He said his outfit would seek to rally stakeholders to investigate possibilities of collaboration between Ghana’s ports and Mexico.

“Mexico is a significant economy in Latin America, and we certainly would be encouraging our trading community to find what the competitive advantages are in trade with Mexico”, he asserted.

Some members of Ghana’s trade industry, who were present at the meeting, expressed some enthusiasm, to see Ghana break boundaries in trade with other countries for economic development.

“We have always been looking for ways of registering our products outside the boundaries of Ghana. We want to go global, so when there is an opportunity like this, we take it”, Elvis Blankson, Marketing Manager of GIHOC Distilleries expressed.

Accept new statuses or forget about elections – FIFA tells Ghanaian clubs

The Normalisation Committee of the Ghana Football Association has proposed a reduction of the number of delegates for Congress from 124 to 120.

This figure signifies an amendment from the earlier proposal of 98 which was met by a lot of objections by the clubs before today’s meeting.

So the new proposal is 120. This is, however, awaiting approval or disapproval.

The proposal which is article 26 of the GFA revised Statutes, allocated 2 slots for each Premier League club, making it a total of 32 votes for the top division clubs, 8 for elite Women’s League Competition, “5 of which should be women” and 48 delegates restored for Division One League Clubs.

Christian Atsu pays admission fee of University student

The dream of 17-year-old Abdul Hamid Ibrahim to become a mining engineer has come alive after Black Stars and Newcastle midfielder, Christian Atsu paid his university admission fees.

Hamid, from the mining town of Obuasi in the Ashanti region of Ghana had 7A’s in his West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination,WASSCE, but because his mother, Hajaratu Osman invested her savings with one of Ghana’s ailing banks, there was no way the young man could have achieved his dreams, as all efforts by the mother to retrieve her money had proven futile.

After hearing of the CCF Educational Support Scholarship which has Christian Atsu as a sponsor, Abdul Hamid and his mother rushed to Accra to access the scholarship.

The young man was full of joy as he received the scholarship and money to return to Obuasi to prepare for school. “I am highly grateful to Christian Atsu for his support. Without him, I was going to stay at home”, the teary young man told crimecheckghana

His mother was full of joy, “may God bless Christian Atsu and give him more football playing years. He has brought hope to my son”

The CCF Educational Support Scholarship targets brilliant but needy students in Ghana who cannot make it to the university because of financial difficulties.

35-year-old Ghanaian arrested in $2.1m romance fraud in USA

A 35-year-old Ghanaian Rubbin Sarpong, 35 has been arrested for his involvement in $2.1m Romance fraud in the United States of America (USA).

The suspect who faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted is reported to have in concert with others scammed over 30 victims identified so far as 27 sent more than $823,000 to him mainly by wiring money to his bank accounts. He transferred more than $454,000 to co-conspirators in Ghana.

One of his victims is reported to have committed suicide after sending more than $93,000, according to investigators.

Sarpong who flaunts dollar bills at the least opportunity was on Wednesday charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and will have a first court appearance on Wednesday afternoon.

Sarpong and his co-conspirators, several of whom live in Ghana, ran the scheme starting in January 2016 until this week.

They set up phony profiles on various online dating sites posing as U.S. military personnel and would pretend to forge romantic relationships with their victims, authorities said.

In one of the scenarios, the scammers would then ask for money to ship gold bars they had recovered while stationed in Syria back to the United States, authorities said.

There were no gold bars and the scammers kept the money, authorities said.

The victims, who met the scammers via sites including Plenty of Fish, Ourtime.com and Match.com, communicated with the scammers via phone and email.

The criminal complaint references a victim who committed suicide after wiring $93,710.

The scammer in this case told her he was a soldier serving in Syria and that he was awarded a box of gold bars worth more than $12 million. What followed was an elaborate story about how she could help get the gold to the U.S. by paying various fees and taxes. She was told her money would be returned once the gold arrived.

Chief Justice caught in drama over collapsed banks

Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, on Monday surprised many people following the uniCredit Savings and Loans Company case against the Bank of Ghana (BoG) over the recent revocation of its license, when she changed the High Court Judge sitting on the case filed by a shareholder of the company, leaving the courtroom with lots of unprintable speculations.

The case was placed before the Human Rights Court presided over by Justice Nicholas Abodakpi, who started hearing on August 26, 2019, and adjoined it to September 2, to enable BoG respond to the writ, having pleaded late service.

However, lawyers for Kwame Ohene Boakye, the plaintiff, were shocked to discover that the case had been taken away from Justice Abodakpi by the Chief Justice and handed over to another High Court Judge; Justice George Kingsley Koomson, to start afresh.

Ahead of this sudden change, The Herald is privy to phone calls, secret meetings by officials of BoG, a National Security invitations with Minister of State at National Security, Brian Acheampong, the Director of Operations at National Security, Colonel Michael Kwadwo Opoku, the National Security Coordinator, Joshua Kyeremeh and Charles Nii TeikoTagoe, a Presidential Staffer at Jubilee House present all in an attempts to have the case dropped.

The plaintiff, who is also a lawyer by profession, has confirmed the interesting developments to The Herald, since he filed the writ.

The Herald’s checks at the court, has also revealed that the Justice Abodakpui, has since been sent packing to Ho, the Volta Region regional capital.

Kwame Boakye, is asking the High Court Human Right division to quash the Central Bank’s August 15, 2019, decision declaring Unicredit Ghana Limited insolvent and revoking its license to operate as a specialized deposit institution,

Multiple court officials familiar with the matter told The Herald that lawyer of BoG led by Accra-based lawyer, Frank Davies, had last week filed an application challenging the Human Right Court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter, but instead of allowing Justice Abodakpui to rule on the matter of jurisdiction, he was written to late last week, to hand over all cases before him and leave for Ho.

What makes this more bizarre is that ahead of the trial, court clerks were not prepared to receive and process the writ submitted to them on August 19, saying they had been warned not to accept any writ against BoG, especially coming Dr. Kwabena Duffour, owner of Unicredit and Unibank.

The Herald is informed that there were back and forth between officials of the High Court Registry and a clerk from Mr Ohene Boakye’s lawyers, until one of the lawyers stormed the Court Complex in Accra, with a threat to go to the media over the matter.

With the documents filed, serving officials of BoG equally became a challenge with security men and receptionists, saying they had been warned not to allow bailiffs to serve writs on the Central bank.

This led to the bailiff waiting and dropping the court documents in the car of an officer of BoG, who eventually agreed to sign as the necessary papers as proof of service.

With writ served on BoG, some seniors officers, including Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, and Elsie Addo Awadzi, the First and Second Deputy Governors, put out a scheme to have Mr Ohene Boakye drop the case. As telephone calls could not yield any result, a meetings was scheduled at Kwabenya in the home of another officer of the BoG, who is related to the plaintiff.

With the Kwabenya secret meeting also failing to yield any result, Mr Ohene Boakye, was summoned to the National Security with Brian Acheampong, Col. Opoku, Mr. Kyeremeh with the surprise personality there Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe present.

The Herald was told Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe’s attempted to interrogate Mr Boakye, but was rebuffed by the plaintiff and the meeting ended inconclusively, because Ohene Boakye, according to The Herald’s National Security sources, decided to be uncooperative.

In court on Monday, Justice Koomson, adjourned the case to September 19, 2019 as a result of the inability of the BoG to serve lawyers of uniCredit with a motion they filed relating to the case.The new Presiding Judge, requested that both parties serve each other with all the processes in other to expedite the hearing.

The shareholders of uniCredit, Hoda Holdings and CDH, sued the Bank of Ghana and its governor, Dr. Ernest Addison, after the central bank revoked the license of the company.They want the court to quash the BoG’s revocation of their license which declared uniCredit as insolvent, thus compelling the company to cease operations.

Lawyer Emmanuel Darkwa and Frank Davies are the lawyers for BoG, while Lawyer Kwasi Adu-Mante is lawyer for Kwame Ohene Boakye. Aside asking the revocation quashed, Kwame Ohene Boakye also a shareholder, wants the court to refer the matter to arbitration.

The writ sighted by The Herald, said that the company cannot be described as insolvent, because it had an estimated GHc54 Million with Unibank, which had been taken over by BoG as part of the Consolidated Bank, and the majority shareholder of Unibank is in court with the same BoG fighting to have Unibank, back.

It explained that on March 20, 2018, the BoG, had appointed an administrator under Act 930 to take over and streamline the activities of Unibank.

The said appointment placed restriction on HODA Holdings, which gravely affected the company’s financial situation, but attempt are under way to retrieve the company’s investment with the Consolidated Bank.

Aside, a GHC54 million, Unicredit’s investment totaling an estimated GHC 164 million is also held by Unisecurities Ghana Limited, however, the said investment with Unisecurity, were impaired with the capital adequacy ratio contrary to the regulatory standards set by the BoG as a result of the takeover of Unibank.

The lawyers insisted that, BoG is aware of the situation Unicredit finds itself, as a result of BoG’s restrictions on the company to access its own funds through the receiver appointed to oversee the transaction occasioned by the revocation of Unibank license, yet went ahead to revoke the license of Unicredit.

The writ said that BoG, had acted beyond it powers under Act 930 by unduly interfering in the affairs of the Unicredit by revoking its license, adding the central bank’s inexplicable attitude, points directly to a premeditated agenda to cause it a grave economic hardship.

The writ insisted that as at August 16, 2019, Unicredit, was solvent in terms of Act 930.Ohene Boakye, described the decision by the BoG, as arbitrary, malicious and capricious, because it contravene the Constitution of Ghana.

Unicredit, further insisted that at no point in time, did BoG indicate to them that the company, had become insolvent to warrant a revocation of its license based on empirical facts, adding BoG’s action is purely on deductions informed by deliberate creation of an extreme difficult financial situation to induce the company and its shareholders to give away Unicredit.

The writ said Ohene Boakye, stands to lose gravely if the decision of the BoG is not quash by the High Court, adding that unless the Supreme Court restrains BoG, it agents, assigns will go ahead and take control and interfere with the operations of the company, to his detriment and the detriment of depositors of the company.

In announcing the revocation of the license of uniCredit last month, the Bank of Ghana said the savings and loans company’s adjusted net worth was negative GH¢221.32 million as of the end of May 2019 and revealed that its paid-up capital was impaired in violation of Section 28(1) Act 930.

The BoG report also said uniCredit’s adjusted capital adequacy ratio of negative 97.83percent as of the end of May 2019 was in violation of Section 29(2) of Act 930.

“This was mainly due to the non-performing related party exposures of GH¢160.10 million to uniSecurities which is far in excess of its negative net worth.”

“The institution has been breaching the statutory cash reserve ratio requirement since April 2018 while also it was unable to meet the deposit withdrawals of customers due to its severe liquidity challenges. The BoG received many complaints from the institution’s customers about their inability to access their funds. And the institution had a high percentage of non-performing loans,” BoG’s report remarked.

But in its affidavit, challenging the Central Bank’s decision in court, Hoda Holdings, said its funds of over GHC54 million were locked up with Unibank before it was forced to cease operations by the Bank of Ghana in 2018 and it has since been trying to retrieve it.

More to come!

Nigerians attack Sonnie Badu over xenophobic comments

Nigerians have descended heavily on UK-based Ghanaian gospel artist Sonnie Badu for xenophobic comments he shared on social media against the people of Nigeria.

Sonnie Badu in a Facebook post claimed Nigerians have attacked and robbed some Chinese and whites all in the name of retaliation.

He stated that Nigerians are attacking their fellow Nigerians and believes that such an act will not solve the attacks in South Africa in any way.

However, some Nigerians who felt offended about Sonnie Badu comments criticized him for spreading lies about their country.

They rained insults on him and asked him to verify his fact before spreading false stories;

See the comments below;

Kingsley Iserhienrhien had this to say; “Sonnie am not surprised ? you sharing what you heard without facts. You Ghanaians do maltreat Nigerians in your own country, you guys are not different from SA. Am talking out of experience but you, you heard. Ghanaians are nursing such hatred towards Nigerians in your neighborhood”.

Uchechukwu Okoronkwo also wrote; “Badu has acted irresponsibly. You don’t share what you hear…you confirm it first. FYI no foreigner has been attacked in Nigeria”.

Rosemond Idun commented; “Where was Sonnie Badu when The South Africans were attacking the Nigerians. Sometimes I don’t want to understand some of these hypocrites”.

Otunba Dotun also added; “Sonnie Badu you need to stop spreading fake news about Nigeria. Otherwise, God will deal with you”.

Hockey: Africa Road to Tokyo 2020 qualifier: Ghana meet South Africa in must-win clash

Ghana’s male hockey team returns to action today after a day’s rest to face a tough encounter against hosts South Africa as they chase a qualification ticket for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Today’s clash at the hockey stadium of the Stellenbosch University in South Africa pits two sides with a perfect run in the competition, but for Ghana, it is a chance to claim maximum points and also end their opponent’s dominance over them at major international competitions.

Must-win affair

After victories over Kenya and Namibia, the Ghanaian side are geared up for their toughest test yet against a free-scoring South African side who were on rampage with a 9-0 drubbing of Zimbabwe on Tuesday, August 13 having earlier beaten Namibia 3-1 a day before in their opening fixture of the African 2020 Olympic Games qualifying competition.

The last time the two sides clashed at the 2017 Africa Nations Hockey Cup in the Egyptian city of Ismailia, South Africa ran away with the maximum points with a 3-2 victory and went ahead to win the continental competition.

Incidentally, all the players who scored in that match -South Africa’s Taine Paton and Ntuli Nqobile, Ghana’s Michael Baiden and Ernest Opoku – are expected to feature in today’s must-win clash.

With just one slot up for grabs, today’s game is a win-or-bust affair for either side, especially as group leaders Egypt are also in a good position to qualify for next year’s summer Olympics.

Ghana coach confident

Ghana’s Head Coach, Ebenezer Frimpong, told Graphic Sports Online via telephone from their Stellenbosch base that his players were confident they would turn the tables against their highly-rated opponents no matter the resistance they may pose.

Coach Frimpong’s side have been dealt a big blow going into today’s clash after losing two key players through injuries, while two others are also in a race to recover from knocks they sustained in the competition.

“We lost one of our best players, Emmanuel Ankomah, through an ankle injury during one of our training sessions in South Africa and another quality player, Christopher Dobge also sustained a head injury and ruled out of the tournament.

“Christopher was replaced by Sylvester Apronti, while Francis Tettey replaced Emmanuel Ankomah, but in our opening match against Kenya, Francis was carried off the pitch after he was hit by a stick, while Michael Baiden was also carried off for thigh injury,” bemoaned the Ghana coach.

“The team is well settled now and getting used to the bouncy turf, and against South Africa, we will not only control our balls, but also carry the game to them and manage each quarter as it comes.”

In the other matches, Kenya and Zimbabwe will be eyeing their first win of the competition when they clash, with table-topping Egypt tipped to put fourth-placed Namibia to the sword.

Karela United duo Keyekeh, Taylor arrive in Hungary

Ghana Premier League side Karela United midfielder Emmanuel Keyekeh and striker Diawise Taylor have touched down in Hungary to begin trials with Hungarian first Division side Nemzet Bajnoksag Footballmadeinghana can exclusively confirm.

The duo left the shores of Ghana to Hungary on Tuesday and touched down on Wednesday.

Keyeke and Taylor were explosive figures in the Karela United set up in the NC Special Competition.

They finished second in the competition after they suffered defeat in the hands of Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

The players were left out from Karela United preseason squad preparing for the upcoming Ghana Premier League.

Andre Ayew touched by special love from Swansea City fans

Andre Ayew says his full focus is on performing well for Swansea City after his match-winning brace against Northampton.

The Ghanaian made his first Swans appearance in 15 months when he was summoned from the bench in the Carabao Cup clash with the Cobblers.

The 29-year-old did not take long to make an impact as his two headers – his first Swansea goals in over three years – helped Steve Cooper’s men turn around the first-round tie and set-up a home assignment against Cambridge United in the next round.

Ayew recently returned to training after being on African Cup of Nations duty during the summer, and head coach Cooper has acknowledged the forward could yet leave the club with a number of transfer markets still open.

But, as long as he remains a Swansea player, Ayew has vowed to do as much as he can to help Cooper and co build on their unbeaten start to the season

“I’m a Swansea player and I am working hard for the games that are coming up. The gaffer has been clear and honest with me and I want to thank him for that,” he said.

“He’s given me a lot of confidence and trust in the way that he speaks to me. I really feel like I’m welcome and that’s a good feeling.

“A lot of things have been said but, for me, what’s important is to work hard, try to get to full fitness and, if I’m here, go for it.”

Ayew also thanked the Swans fans for the reception he received on Tuesday night, with his name ringing round the Liberty after his goals.

“The fans gave me an unbelievable welcome. I’m so happy and touched and that sort of thing makes you want to work hard,” he said.

“They have always been great with me and supporting me. That’s why, so long as I’m in a Swansea shirt, I try to give everything I have for the club. I just want to do my best on the field for everyone.”

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