GGAGG accuse GCB Board of Directors of corruption, abuse of office

Advocacy group, Good Governance Advocacy Group Ghana (GGAGG) has accused the Board of Directors of the Ghana Commercial Bank Limited of graft, abuse of office and conflict of interest.

According to the group, its investigation has revealed “several cases ranging from corruption, abuse of office, capricious use of discretion, conflict of interest, etc”.

At a press conference held on Tuesday, 9th March 2021, the Executive Director of GGAGG Listowel Nana Kissi-Poku, alleged that “we uncovered Bad Loans, Non-Performing Loans and Bad Debts among other things during our contrary to the recommendations of the Risk Control Department of the bank, which is supposed to be an internal control mechanism”.

The group cited a number of cases where it believes amount to an abuse of office, bad loans, conflict of interest and corruption.

On the issue of bad loans, the group alleged that one Yaw Addo was granted a loan of over Two Hundred and Ninety Million Ghana Cedis (GHS 290,000,000.00) which amount the group says was about 53% of the bank’s stated capital.

This GGAGG argues puts the bank at a high risk in the event that the customer defaults in repaying his loan.

“The customer, as anticipated, defaulted in payment and as we write to you, the loan has gone bad. In fact, the loan went bad the very day it was granted and there has not been any repayment on this loan by the customer.

“What is so shocking and alarming is that despite all the failures and default by the customer, Yaw Addo, the bank has not activated the process to take the security attached to this loan. This is because the board chaired by name Jude Arthur is shielding Yaw Addo, from all the bank’s debt recovery processes”, the group revealed.

Kumasi City Mall, Erduk Company Limited among others are customers that have been cited by GGAGG to have benefitted from the “maladministration” of the Jude Arthur led Board of GCB.

On the issue of conflict of interest, GGAGG accused one Mr. Nik Amarteifio who is a Non-Executive Director (Board Member) of the bank, for using his influence and position in the bank to secure a loan facility for Starwin Products Limited and Ayrton Drugs Limited.

“This gesture, we find an affront to Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which unequivocally states that “A public officer shall not put himself/herself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of the office,” and Act 29 of the Criminal Act which brands it a crime for a public officer to put himself or herself in a situation where their personal interest will conflict with the performance of their duty” the group added.

The office of the Special Prosecutor, Parliament of Ghana, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, and the Economic and Organised Crime have been petitioned by the group to conduct an investigation into the allegations raised.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, let it be recorded that before our meeting this morning, GGAGG had submitted petitions through the various state institutions under listed;

  • Parliament of Ghana, through office of the Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, respectfully seeking Parliament of Ghana to carry out financial oversight responsibilities on GCB Bank Ghana Limited before corrupt conducts of the Bank’s Board of Directors, chaired by Mr. Jude Arthur collapse it.

We encouraged that the august house invokes Standing Order 151 (2) of Parliament which established the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to exercise an oversight function over the Executive (in this case the Board) on public expenditure on behalf of Ghana’s Parliament and the people of Ghana by extension.

  • Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), through the office of Mr. Joseph Akanjoluer Whittal, Commissioner, Commission on human rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) purely on Administrative Breaches and Conflict of Interest at GCB Bank Limited engineered by the bank’s board chaired by Mr. Jude Arthur.
  • Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), through the office of DCOP Frank Adu Poku (Retd), the Executive Director, on issues of alleged Economic Organized Crime,
  • Office of The Special Prosecutor, through Ms. Jane Cynthia Naa Korshie Lamptey, seeking her high office to investigate specific cases of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption-related offences at GCB bank limited involving public officers and politically exposed person (board of directors of GCB bank limited) chaired by Mr. Jude Arthur in the performance of their functions as well as persons in the private sector involved in the commission of alleged or suspected corruption-related offences, prosecute these offences and provide for related matters before GCB Bank collapses”.

Read the Full Release below

PRESS STATEMENT

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

TOPIC: MISMANAGEMENT OF GCB BANK GHANA LIMITED BY BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIRED BY MR. JUDE ARTHUR.

Good Morning Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,

With great pleasure, we welcome you to this very important press encounter organized by us, from Good Governance Advocacy Group Ghana (GGAGG) in respect of the maladministration of GCB Bank Ghana Limited by the very people entrusted with oversight duties, i.e. the Board of Directors of the Bank.

Colleague Journalists, as you are aware, the people of Ghana have at least 73.14% shares in GCB Bank Ghana Limited. This makes you and I, the people of Ghana majority shareholders. Hence, our apprehension about dangerous happenings which have dire consequences of collapsing the Bank thereby making the people of Ghana lose our shares which is Financial Asset that constitutes a public property.

The objectives of this press conference are;

  • To inform the general public on the key findings of GGAGG’s investigations done into the unprofessional conduct of the Board of Directors of GCB Bank,
  • share vital documents of our search with the media, and the general public,
  • to inform the public on how citizen observation/monitoring could help on mitigating mismanagement of public funds by public officials,
  • and to remind all stakeholders to play by the rules at this critical stage of the life of GCB Bank before its eventual collapse.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let it be recorded that before our meeting this morning, GGAGG had submitted petitions through the various state institutions under listed;

  • Parliament of Ghana, through office of the Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, respectfully seeking Parliament of Ghana to carry out financial oversight responsibilities on GCB Bank Ghana Limited before corrupt conducts of the Bank’s Board of Directors, chaired by Mr. Jude Arthur collapse it.

We encouraged that the august house invokes Standing Order 151 (2) of Parliament which established the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to exercise an oversight function over the Executive (in this case the Board) on public expenditure on behalf of Ghana’s Parliament and the people of Ghana by extension.

  • Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), through the office of Mr. Joseph Akanjoluer Whittal, Commissioner, Commission on human rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) purely on Administrative Breaches and Conflict of Interest at GCB Bank Limited engineered by the bank’s board chaired by Mr. Jude Arthur.
  • Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), through the office of DCOP Frank Adu Poku (Retd), the Executive Director, on issues of alleged Economic Organized Crime,
  • Office of The Special Prosecutor, through Ms. Jane Cynthia Naa Korshie Lamptey, seeking her high office to investigate specific cases of alleged or suspected corruption and corruption-related offences at GCB bank limited involving public officers and politically exposed person (board of directors of GCB bank limited) chaired by Mr. Jude Arthur in the performance of their functions as well as persons in the private sector involved in the commission of alleged or suspected corruption-related offences, prosecute these offences and provide for related matters before GCB Bank collapses

We are looking forward to their swift intercessions to rescue GCB Bank Limited from extinction.

Friends of the media, it is unfortunate how a well-intentioned bank has become bastardised and turned out to be a drainpipe for a greedy few. Who are those implementing the programmes of the Bank? Who are those involved in draining the vault? Who is responsible for shortlisting and authorizing loans? And who is responsible for debt recovery?

Ladies, and Gentlemen, if you do an audit of the tray, you will shockingly discover a clear idea about the manifestation of corrupt practices under the present board, and its grasping-greedy members.

Turning to the rots in GCB Bank, Ladies and Gentlemen, per our independent investigations, we have stumbled on several cases ranging from corruption, abuse of office, capricious use of discretion, conflict of interest, etc.

We uncovered Bad Loans, Non-Performing Loans and Bad Debts among other things during our contrary to the recommendations of the Risk Control Department of the bank, which is supposed to be an internal control mechanism.

For clarity, and brevity, we have thus classified the nature of cases, and corresponding offenders below;

CASE NUMBER 1

YAW ADDO-(CUSTOMER)

Yaw Addo was given a loan of over Two Hundred and Ninety Million Ghana Cedis (GHS 290,000,000.00) an amount which was about 53% of the bank’s stated capital putting the bank at great risk in the event that customer defaulted in payment. The customer, as anticipated, defaulted in payment and as we write to you, the loan has gone bad. In fact, the loan went bad the very day it was granted and there has not been any repayment on this loan by the customer.

What is so shocking and alarming is that despite all the failures and default by the customer, Yaw Addo, the bank has not activated the process to take the security attached to this loan. This is because the board chaired by name Jude Arthur is shielding Yaw Addo, from all the bank’s debt recovery processes.

CASE NUMBER 2

KUMASI CITY MALL (CUSTOMER)

It will shock to learn that some hundreds of millions of Ghana Cedis have been granted to the above-named customer without regards to the bank’s process. The board, due to its bad cooperate governance approach, sidestepped the existing procedure in giving out loans and usurped the powers of very important departments of the bank such as Risk and Credit committees.

CASE NUMBER 3

ERDUK COMPANY LIMITED (CUSTOMER)

This customer was given over Five Hundred Million Ghana Cedis (GHS 500,000,000.00) before the assumption of the Jude Arthur led board. As a matter of fact, this loan generated a lot of issues where the bank’s reputation was subjected to ridicule on many media stations. For example, Mr. Commissioner, on Paul Adom Otchere’s Good Evening Ghana programme on metro TV, the previous board chairman, Mr. Daniel Owiredu, granted Paul an interview to provide some clarity on this bad loan when the bank had been dealt with heavily in the court of public opinion.

Strangely however, upon the assumption of the Jude Arthur led board this bad loan was restructured by the board without recourse to the bank’s bureaucratic structures.

Please refer to the document (Schedule of bad loans) attached, which total billions of Ghana Cedis.

CASE NUMBER 4

ATTITUDE OF THE BOARD

Ordinarily, one would have thought that most of the board members would have learnt from what the country is struggling with following the collapse of some banks especially when it has become a national security threat to Ghana but very unfortunately, this is not the case with the Jude Arthur led board.

In actual fact, the behaviour of the board depicts of one that is interested in collapsing the bank. The preoccupation of the Jude Arthur board smacks much of an Organised Crime against the people of Ghana. To the extent that they impress upon department heads to change credit reports for them to approve even when the Risk department declines them, it depicts of dangers to come.

The thrust of the matter is why is the Board usurping the powers of the main administration of the bank? Because all these bad facilities are devouring the bank as a result of the very bad practices the board has resorted to. It is that bad to the extent that even when the risk department declines some facilities, they ignore them and approve as board members.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

On conflict of interest, we have a litany of them that involve the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Jude Arthur and some Members of the Board. However, the one that we find most awkward is one incident that involves a Non-Executive Director (Board Member) of the bank, Mr. Nik Amarteifio, who, in his pursuit to acquire Starwin Products Limited and Ayrton Drugs Limited, secured a huge loan facility from GCB Bank Limited owing to his current position in the bank. This gesture, we find an affront to Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which unequivocally states that “A public officer shall not put himself/herself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of the office,” and Act 29 of the Criminal Act which brands it a crime for a public officer to put himself or herself in situation where their personal interest will conflict with the performance of their duty.

A FUNDAMENTAL BREACH OF THE LAW BY THE BOARD WITH IMPUNITY

We refer you to Section 60 (7) of the Banking Act (ACT 930) which unambiguously points out that where the Chief Executive is unable to perform the official function of Chief Executive officer, the Deputy Chief Executive or a designated person shall act as the Chief Executive officer after notifying the Bank of Ghana as soon as practicable.

There is serious disregard for the laws with impunity which we strongly believe your noble office has to address. This has to do with how it became possible that the Jude Arthur led Board could constitute a Board Exco to run the affairs of GCB Bank Limited when the contract of the Managing Director, Mr. Anselm Ransford Adzetey Sowah’s ended.

PAYMENTS TO KPMG

Having done all these wrongful acts, the board, under the guise of investigation, has engaged a private Audit firm, KPMG and GCB Bank is paying KPMG hundreds of thousands of dollars to consult on the above-mentioned loans. What are they consulting for, especially, when the loans the board without recourse to good governance practices paid have gone bad?

Ladies and Gentlemen, our main concern is that if the board had allowed management to use established processes and policies in granting these loans, there wouldn’t have been the need to use the back door (KPMG) to create wrong impression that there is something to be done when the loans have already gone bad.

As part of this press encounter, we believe it is important to demand that investigations are conducted on KPMG about their activities in GCB following the assumption of office of this board chairman, Mr. Jude Arthur.

Ladies and gentlemen, our pivotal concern here is in respect of the Contracts are given to KPMG unilaterally by the board chairman. For example, interview reports are skewed in favor of the board chairman’s choices, Reports are manipulated to satisfy the interest of the board chairman without recourse to other board members.

We believe investigations will unravel many things including financial benefits.

Friends of the press, it may interest you to note that Jude Arthur, the Board Chair of GCB Bank, is representing the interest of GCB Bank Limited in Ghana International Bank (GhIB) based in London – United Kingdom as a shareholder.

Judging his conduct and involvement of graft under his watch as Board Chair, then, we are safe to conclude that Jude Arthur is unfit, improper, unmerited and undeserving to represent the interest of GCB Bank and for that reason Ghana as a GhIB board member as and his continuous membership of the board could lead to the revocation of the GhIB universal banking license by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

We are determined and ready to petition the Financial Conduct Authority to independently investigate Jude Arthur as a Board member of GhIB- London.

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