Court blocks government’s move to retrieve funds from Unibank

0
Comments

A high court in Accra has saved uniBank by the bell, preventing the government temporarily from clawing back monies which it believes belong to the state by law.

A high court in Accra has saved uniBank by the bell, preventing the government temporarily from clawing back monies which it believes belong to the state by law.

The monies, the government believes, deserve to go to the hundreds of thousands of ordinary Ghanaians who had deposits with uniBank, one of the defunct banks caught in the banking crash.

Application

In its ruling, the high court dismissed an application instituted by the receiver of uniBank, Nii Amanor Dodoo, which sought to retrieve from the 17 shareholders of the defunct bank debts of GHC5.7 billion owed to the bank.

The receiver contended that the defendants, shareholders of uniBank, “have breached their duties as directors of uniBank Ghana Ltd, and are liable for all the loss to uniBank Ghana Ltd”.

UniBank is one of seven local banks which collapsed as a result of what the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has described as poor corporate governance and mismanagement of depositors’ funds.

Receiver claims

The 17 uniBank shareholders, the receiver’s action alleged, were “jointly and severally liable for the repayment of the amount of GHC5,712,623,145 to uniBank Ghana Ltd”, a portion of the suit said.

The receiver also wanted the 17 shareholders to account “for all advantages, benefits, gains, profits derived from or obtained by virtue of assets referred to under relief”.

In its ruling, however, the court said the fact that the receiver, Mr Dodoo, has been so appointed does not earn him the status of a director of the bank with the capacity to sue on the institution’s behalf. To that end, “the application is incompetent and same is dismissed”, the court ruled.

Duffuor tussle

Dr Kwabena Duffuor, a former Minister of Finance in the John Evans Atta Mills NDC government, who was a director of the defunct bank, is fighting for an injunction restraining the Bank of Ghana from placing uniBank’s good assets and liabilities under the umbrella of Consolidated Bank Ghana Ltd.

UniBank was one of five institutions merged and relaunched as Consolidated Bank Ghana Ltd, which is 100 per cent state-owned.

The Bank of Ghana, among other things, argued that the affected banks had been operating with severe capital constraints.

Source: BnFT