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Collapse of Unibank, UT Bank: Committee directs BoG to submit response

BY: Emmanuel Bruce

The Parliamentary ad hoc committee probing the collapse of Unibank Ghana Limited and UT Bank has asked the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to submit its response to the issues raised by the petitioners by Tuesday, May 18, 2021.

As such, the committee has also directed its clerk to make copies of the petitions available to the central bank.

Upon receiving the responses from the BoG, the committee will fix a date to determine whether the petitioners and respondent will be invited to meet the committee.

These decisions were agreed on when the committee held its second meeting on Monday, May 10, 2021.

Committee

On March 22, 2021, the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, set up a nine-member committee to probe the collapse of the UT Bank and the uniBank Ghana Limited.

It followed a petition presented to Parliament by the founders of the two banks - Mr Prince Kofi Amoabeng of UT Bank and Dr Kwabena Duffour — over the collapse of the banks.

The committee, chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, will commence work while Parliament is on recess, and is expected to submit its report to the House at the commencement of the second meeting of Parliament on May 18 this year.

Other members of the committee are the Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin; the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Essikado, Mr Joe Ghartey; the NPP MP for Okaikwei Central, Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah and the NPP MP for Abuakwa South, Mr Samuel Atta-Akyea.

The rest are the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr James Klutse Avedzi; the NDC MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson; the NDC MP for Bolgatanga Central, Mr Isaac Adongo, and the NDC MP for Techiman North, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare.

Petition

The NDC MP for Bawku Central, Mr Mahama Ayariga, presented the petition on the matter from the two founders, on the floor of Parliament.

On March 22, 2021, when the petition was laid before the House, a number of MPs from the Majority side, including the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, raised objections as to the appropriateness of the procedure adopted by the Speaker in admitting the petition.

They also questioned the reasons by the Speaker to allow the House to consider the petition since the cases involving the two banks were pending in court.

Issues

Per the petition, the two personalities are appealing to Parliament to investigate the conduct of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) the revocation of the licences of the banks in 2018.

They claimed that the central bank revoked the licences of the two banks without due regard to the rules of Administrative Justice guaranteed under Article 23 of the constitution.

They, therefore, want Parliament to direct the restoration of the banking licences and remedying of the harm done the shareholders’ property rights as a result of the conduct of the central bank, as well as give any other directive the House may deem appropriate.

For Mr Amoabeng, he wants Parliament to investigate the conduct of the Ghana Stock Exchange for delisting the bank without regard to the rules of Administrative Justice guaranteed under article 23 of the Constitution.

In the case of Dr Duffour, he wants Parliament to investigate the conduct of the BoG in the takeover, appointment of an official administrator of uniBank Ghana Limited and the circumstances surrounding the revocation of the banking licence of the bank.

He also wants Parliament to give other directives that Parliament may deem appropriate, according to the petition.