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Beige Bank case: No payments were made to Accused – 5th Defense Witness to Court

The former Finance Manager of Beige Care Health Insurance Scheme Limited, a subsidiary under the Beige Group, Emmanuel Anyedina, has told the High Court that, “there were no payments” made to the founder of defunct Beige Bank, Michael Nyinaku.

This is in a direct response to prosecution’s claims that, two separates payments GHc330, 000 and GHc62, 000, were taken from First Africa Savings and Loans to the Beige Care on the instructions of the accused which were used by the Beige Care for its office operations.

Mr. Nyinaku, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the defunct bank has been charged for allegedly stealing GH¢2.1 billion of depositors’ money from the bank.

He has since pleaded not guilty to 43 charges including stealing, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering and has been granted bail.

Testifying as the 5th Defense Witness for Michael Nyinaku’s, the former Finance Manager said, the accused did not receive any funds from Beige Care nor any benefits from the transactions undertaken by Beige Care.

“Based on the documents I have attached and marked EA 4, EA 4A and EA 5, there is no doubt that the funds transferred to Beige Care were used by the company itself.

“The bank statement provides a clear record of how the funds were utilized, including the payees and their purposes,” the Witness Stated in his Witness Statement which was adopted by the Court as his Evidence-in-Chief.

The Witness, who is also an Accountant by profession, added, “It is noteworthy that there were no payments made to the accused person.”

“As a result, to the best of my knowledge, the accused did not receive any funds from Beige Care nor any benefits from the transactions undertaken by Beige Care,” he told the Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge.

Events following the Receivership

It was the testimony of the Defense Witness that, following the receivership of the bank, “the bank accounts of Beige Care were frozen by the Receiver of the bank.”

He added that, “this action significantly affected our operations,” and “Several attempts to get this resolved were not successful.”

The 5th Defense Witness said, “eventually, we had to downsize our operations significantly as we were no longer receiving working capital from TBG (The Beige Bank).”

He told the Court that, the accused, “met the leadership of Beige Care in August or thereabout 2018 and started proceedings to voluntarily wind up Beige Care operations, and by December 2018, the list of creditors and accounts receivable from Beige Care was completed.”

New bills

“Between January 2019 and December 2020, new bills were received from healthcare providers and the list of creditors including accrued staff salaries, statutory deductions and tax obligations were updated and sent to National Health Insurance (NHIA) for further action geared towards the settlement of creditors and the final dissolution of the company.

“I wish to state that during this period, I continued to offer assistance to TBG by providing and updating information about Beige Care.

“Occasionally some of my colleagues would also come in to help provide information for use by TBG.

“We all did so in the capacity of unpaid consultants as our interest was in the hope that our unpaid salaries would eventually be settled.

“When it became evident that court proceedings initiated against the CEO of the Beige Group would not result in the payment of creditors of Beige Care including unpaid staff anytime soon, all of us abandoned the process,” the Witness told the Court.

The 5th Defense Witness who was led by Counsel for the Accused, Thaddeus Sory to give his evidence in Chief, has been discharged after State Prosecutors led by Mrs Evelyn Keelson, cross examined him.

Justice Afia Asare-Botwe, has since adjourned the case to May 22, for next witness to be called.

Find attached the Cross Examination of DW5

 

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE,
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE,
ACCRA – A.D. 2024.
CASE NO: CR/0045/2023.
THE REPUBLIC
VRS
MICHAEL NYINAKU
WITNESS STATEMENT OF EMMANUEL ANYEDINA
I. PRELIMINARY.
Introduction & Background.
My name is Emmanuel Anyedina. I reside at House No. 8M206, Ethiopia Street, Madina Estates, Opposite Redeemed Baptist Church, Accra, in the Greater Accra Region of the Republic of Ghana.
I am an Accountant by profession and in the course of my career I have worked with several institutions. I began my career in accounting as a Finance Officer with Masai Group (EA Group) in March 2002 and worked there until June 2003.
After that, I joined Vanguard Assurance Company Limited in July 2003 as an Assistant Accounts Manager. Initially, I was responsible for managing life transactions, but later I became the head of accounts for Vanguard Life Assurance Company. This happened when life businesses were separated from the general business of the entity. The National Insurance Commission at the time required that life businesses operate as separate business entities (companies).
I resigned from Vanguard Assurance Company in November 2007. Between January 2008 and January 2010, I joined Royal Accounts, an auditing firm, as a Senior Auditor to gain practical accounting and auditing experience.
Between February 2010 and October 2012, I worked with Ghana Specialty Fats Industries Limited (GSFIL), a subsidiary of Wilmar Africa as an Internal Auditor/Cost Controller in charge of management reporting, cost analysis, internal controls and budgeting, standard operating procedures implementation and checklists.
From January 2013 to April 2014, I was the Finance Manager for Atlas GSA Ghana Limited, an airline ticketing and consulting company and the sole representative of Asky Airlines in Ghana. From July 2014 to July 2016, I taught as a Lecturer in Accounting and Business subjects at The Wintech Professional Institute at Nyamekye Junction, Accra.
From July 2016, I worked with Empire Health Insurance Company as the Finance Manager of the company which was subsequently acquired by The Beige Group [TBG] and renamed Beige Care Health Insurance Scheme Limited.
My witness statement.
In early March 2024, the accused person contacted me and requested that I provide testimony regarding the operations of BCHI/Beige Care in his ongoing trial. The accused informed me that he had been accused of stealing funds that were transferred from the accounts of a company called First Africa Savings and Loans Limited (FASL) to Beige Care.
The accused informed me that the court needed to understand the reason for which the funds were transferred to Beige Care and how Beige Care used the funds. I agreed to the accused’s request and the accused further requested that I meet with his lawyer, Mr. Thaddeus Sory, who would provide me with more information regarding the nature of the proceedings.
Subsequently, I had discussions with Mr. Sory concerning the matters the accused needed me to testify about in court and I can confirm that all the statements in my present witness statement result from my discussions with Mr. Sory.
During our conversation, Mr. Sory asked me several questions relating to my work at Beige Care. He asked about Beige Care’s operations, transactions into the company’s bank account, whether I had any involvement with the receiver, and the operations of the company after the bank’s receivership. Mr. Sory inquired about all these matters during our discussion.
Mr. Sory also referred me to certain documents that were provided by other witnesses as evidence related to the bank transactions. He asked me several questions regarding these documents and I provided him with the necessary answers. My current witness statement includes all the details of our conversation and my responses to his [Mr. Sory’s] queries.
History of BEIGE Care and my role.
As already stated, in July 2016, I joined Empire Health Insurance Company as the Finance Manager of the company. Empire Health Insurance was a private company registered under the Companies Act and licensed by the Private Health Insurance Scheme (PHIS) unit of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to carry on the business of private commercial health insurance.
When I joined Empire Health Insurance Company in 2016, The Beige Group (TBG) was already in the process of acquiring Empire Health Insurance Company which had been in operation since 2012 and this acquisition was officially completed sometime in the year 2016. This acquisition meant that TBG apart from owning the Beige Bank had added health insurance to its business portfolio. Attached and marked as EA 1 is a news website publication confirming the acquisition of Empire Health Insurance Company by TBG.
When TBG acquired Empire Health Insurance Company it changed its name to Beige Care Health Insurance Limited and I was retained in office as the Finance Manager. Beige Care thus became one of the subsidiaries of TBG. I resigned from Beige Care in December 2017 but rejoined the company in March 2018 when the company appointed a new Manager Director. Attached and marked as EA 2 is my Appointment letter to Beige Care.
Mr. Sory has referred me to exhibit J7 which is attached to the witness statement of a gentleman known as Julius Ayivor. It is the company profile of the Beige Care. A reading of exhibit J7 will confirm that Beige Care’s business objects were principally for the provision of health insurance services.
My responsibilities as a finance manager of Beige Care were to:
Supervise the preparation of vouchers and related documentation for posting into the accounting system.
Ensure that all transactions are recorded in a manner consistent with the entity’s policies and in compliance with international accounting standards.
Supervise the completion, updating of financial records of the company and compilation of reports to the holding company and the National Health Insurance Authority [NHIA] who were the regulators of BEIGE Care.
Ensure all statutory payments are made to GRA, SSNIT, and
General finance office functions.
Evolution of Beige Care’s business
The business experienced rapid growth in its clientele base and a significant transformation both in terms of how internal processes were conducted as well as how service was delivered after Beige Care had taken over the business of Empire Health Insurance Company Limited. The profile of Beige Care’s clients included staff of all subsidiaries of the Beige Group, staff of other companies such as Ideal Finance, Ideal Capital Group, First Trust Financial Services and a multitude of individuals.
The Beige Bank (the bank) had the highest number of employees among all the subsidiaries of TBG. Consequently, the bank was also the largest client of Beige Care. Attached and marked as EA 3 and EA 3A are a copy of an email and an agreement between the bank and Beige Care Health Insurance (Beige Care) for providing health insurance coverage to the bank’s employees and their dependents submitted to the Board of Directors of the bank.
Funding for the operations of Beige Care was primarily from insurance premiums received from our clients. However, when we had working capital challenges, we requested financial support from TBG, the parent company.
As a subsidiary of TBG, Beige Care maintained accounts with the Beige Bank. Beige Care had both a control and operations accounts with the bank. The policy at BEIGE was that control accounts were managed by officials of the Holding company. Operations accounts were managed at the subsidiary level. The practice was to lodge all insurance premiums received into the control account and as and when Beige Care required funds for operations, we would submit requests to TBG and upon approval, funds are transferred into the operation’s account for disbursements to be subsequently made from that account.
The disbursements that Beige Care makes or the requests that Beige Care makes for funds required in respect of its operational activities are not made at random. They are made based on the company’s operational budgets for the month, general administrative expenditures necessary to keep the office running as well as unforeseen events that impact the operations of the business.
In the normal course of Beige Care’s operations, the type of expenditures incurred by the company included the following:
Payments for medical bills incurred by Beige Care’s customers [policy holders].
Procurement of office equipment and related items for office use.
Vehicle usage and general transportation expenditure.
Staff salaries and related staff costs.
Other office administration and business management expenses.
II. THE TRANSACTIONS.
GHS 392,000.00 transferred to BCHI.
Mr. Sory shared with me a copy of exhibit K. It is the bank account statement of a financial institution known as First Africa Savings and Loans Limited [FASL] with the bank. He referred me to two transactions involving the sums of GHS330,000 and GHS62,000. All of these amounts were credited to the bank account of Beige Care from FASL on the 2nd of May and 1st of June of 2018 respectively. I am informed by Mr. Sory that it is these sums of money that the accused is charged with stealing.
Mr. Sory further shared with me exhibit U. The documents contained in exhibit U are related to the transfer of GHS 392,000 from FASL’s accounts to Beige Care. I am familiar with the officials who signed these documents because I routinely engaged with them particularly concerning TBG’s oversight role over Beige Care as well as when Beige Care needed funds for its business operations. Some of them were actually signatories to the bank accounts of Beige Care.
Mr. Sory drew my attention to the fact that the GHS392,000 was transferred from FASL to Beige Care and not from TBG. I explained to Mr. Sory that to the best of my knowledge, I was aware that FASL was one of the subsidiaries of TBG. However, for further clarity, I enquired from Mr. Augustine Boakye who was the CFO for TBG about why the transfer came from FASL and not TBG. Augustine explained to me that the transfer came from FASL because at the time the funds were needed by Beige Care, TBG did not have funds to advance to Beige Care therefore TBG had to borrow from FASL to meet the needs of Beige Care.
The clarification from the CFO of TBG sat well with me as I knew that Beige Care and FASL were all part of TBG. What was important for us at Beige Care was that an amount of GHS392,000 had been received and it stood as a liability in our books.
I informed Mr. Sory that when Beige Care received the said funds, they were utilized in furtherance of the operations of Beige Care. I confirmed to him that none of the funds out of the GHS 392,000 were paid to the accused.
To confirm the statement I have just made above, I have attached to my statement the following information:
A report that shows how these funds [GHS392,000] as received, were utilized by Beige Care. This report is attached to my present statement and marked EA 4. This report is a summary of information already recorded in BCHI’s bank statement.
The bank statements of Beige Care which are attached to my present statement and marked EA 4A.
Mr. Sory also told me some payment vouchers for Beige Care were already in evidence and marked as exhibits 55, 55A, 55B, 55C, 55D and 55E which he has shown to me and I am very familiar with.
I have also attached other payment vouchers supporting the disbursements made out of the bank accounts which are attached to my present statement and marked EA 5, EA 5-1, EA 5-2 through to EA 5-91.
 A detailed review of all the documentation referred to above will reveal the following:
All the disbursements made by Beige Care were in furtherance of Beige Care’s normal business activities as the expenditures were all consistent with the nature of expenditures expected of Beige Care due to the nature of its business.
Most of the vouchers were supported by emails containing details of pre-approved budgets, on which the disbursements were made. Examples of such budgets can be found in exhibit EA 5 series and attached to exhibits EA5-2, EA5-5 and EA5-91. The court would note that the emails attached to these vouchers are attached to a lot of other vouchers in the EA 5 series. This is because although operational budgets may be approved in bulk, the execution of the individual transactions incidental to the operations happened on a piecemeal basis.
From exhibits EA 5 to EA 5-91,  none of those disbursements were made to the accused either in his personal capacity but were made to finance the routine operations of Beige Care.
All the disbursements were approved in compliance with the internal governance procedures of Beige Care as well as TBG and documented by Beige Care in a manner consistent with proper bookkeeping practices.
 As further confirmation of the statements made above, I have selected three disbursement transactions from over 90 listed on exhibit EA 4, which I will now proceed to discuss.
The first one is listed as numbered 1 on the document marked EA 4 and reveals the following details;
The pay voucher supporting this transaction is marked EA5-1.
This voucher was dated April 30, 2018, involved an amount of GHS42,734.67 and was signed by me on April 30th 2018, by David Osae-Akoto [the Managing Director of Beige Care] on May 2nd 2018, and Augustine Boakye of TBG on May 3rd 2018.
 The narrations on the voucher read ‘Payment of staff salary for the month of April 2018”.
The same officials had signed a form labelled “check disbursement form” attached to this voucher.
 Further attached to this voucher was a letter dated April 30th 2018, addressed to the beige bank instructing the bank to effect salary payments supported by a check numbered 001752. This letter was stamped and received by the bank on the 3rd of May 2018.
Other documents attached to this voucher included a “payroll request form”, “Payroll pre-submission checklist” among others.
From exhibit EA 5-1, it seeks to tell a simple story that funds are being disbursed to pay the salaries of staff of Beige Care for the month of April 2018. By his approval of this transaction, Augustine Boakye [who was CFO of TBG] was aware that funds must be availed to Beige Care to undertake this activity. If Beige Care at the time did not have adequate funds to undertake the activity, then TBG would come in to support Beige Care.
The second one I will discuss is listed as numbered 28 on the document marked EA 4 and reveals the following details;
The pay voucher supporting this transaction is marked EA5-28.
This voucher dated May 8, 2018, involved an amount of GHS31,350 and was signed by myself on May 8th 2018, by David Osae-Akoto [the Managing Director of Beige Care] on May 9th 2018 and Augustine Boakye of TBG on May 9th 2018.
The narrations on the voucher read ‘Final payment of development and implementation of a USSD & WEB applications for retail insurance module”.
 The same officials also signed a form labelled “check disbursement form” attached to this voucher.
Also attached to this voucher was a receipt from BBEDA Consult dated May 10th 2018.
 Another document attached to this voucher was a copy of the check itself.
From exhibit EA 5-28 the simple story it seeks to tell is that Beige Care has acquired a software to manage its retail clients and is making the final payment for it. When Augustine Boakye, who was the CFO of TBG, approved this transaction, he knew that funds must be made available to Beige Care to undertake this activity. Thus, if Beige Care did not have sufficient funds at the time to carry out the task, then TBG would provide support to Beige Care.
The next one I will proceed to discuss is listed as numbered 50 on the document marked EA 4 and reveals the following details;
The pay voucher supporting this transaction is also marked EA5-50.
 This voucher dated April 24th 2018, involved an amount of GHS3,790.20 and was signed by me on May 8th 2018, by David Osae-Akoto on May 9th 2018 and Augustine Boakye of TBG on May 10th 2018.
This voucher was also signed by the recipient on May 15th 2018.
The narrations on the voucher read ‘Payment of medical bills for the month of January 2018”.
The same officials had signed a form labelled “check disbursement form” attached to this voucher.
Also attached to this voucher was a receipt from Lapaz Community Hospital dated May 16th 2018.
Further attached to this voucher are several documents, including a bill summary and a letter dated February 15th from Lapaz Community Hospital, as well as a claims vetting report and an expense request voucher.
From the document marked exhibit EA5-50, the simple story it seeks to tell is that Lapaz Community Hospital, a healthcare provider accredited by Beige Care, has been paid by Beige Care for the services the Lapaz Community Hospital provided to Beige Care policyholders in January 2018. Augustine Boakye, who was CFO of TBG, approved the transaction and was aware that funds needed to be made available to Beige Care for this purpose. Thus, if Beige Care did not have enough funds at the time, TBG would provide support to ensure that the payment was made.
All the documents that make up the three vouchers discussed above (exhibits EA5-1, EA5-28 & EA5-50), as well as all the other vouchers that make up the EA5 series, show evidence of requests being made and approvals being given, with clear indications of segregation of functions and extensive documentation preceding the actual disbursement of funds, both at the level of Beige Care and TBG. This demonstrates the extent to which due process was followed in the administration of funds by Beige Care.
A review of exhibit EA 4A would reveal that prior to the receipt of the GHS330,000 on May 2nd 2018, Beige Care had a credit balance of GHS64,405.99 in its account. Throughout the month of May 2018, total inflows into Beige Care’s account [which inflows comprised insurance premium and interest income] totalled GHS 8,181.56. These are listed in the table below. They exclude support received from TBG.
Date
Narration
Amount – GHS
May 15, 2018 Cash Deposit by Cecil Acquaye 10.00
May 15, 2018 Transfer B/O BCAM – Premium payment 6,667,50
May 16, 2018 Check# 000047 B/O Alex Bobby Benson 1,355.27
May 31, 2018 Interest on Account 148.79
8,181.56
In the same month of May 2018 only, a reading of exhibit EA 4A would reveal that Beige Care made disbursements in excess of GHS344,579.64 and the majority of these disbursements were in respect of medical claims. Beige Care was able to achieve this because of the financial support of GHS330,000 it received from TBG on May 2nd 2018. If TBG had not provided this support to Beige Care, healthcare providers may have suspended offering services to clients of Beige Care [including staff of the bank] and that would have negatively affected the business of Beige Care whilst having a ripple effect on the productivity of all of Beige Care’s client’s whose access to health care services would have been interrupted.
Again, a review of exhibit EA 4A would reveal that prior to the receipt of the GHS62,000 on June 1st 2018, Beige Care had a credit balance of GHS58,007.91 in its account. Throughout the month of June 2018, total inflows into Beige Care’s account [which inflows comprise insurance premium and interest income] totalled GHS 189,106.69. These are listed in the table below. They excluded support received from TBG.
Date
Narration
Amount – GHS
June 6, 2018 Transfer from Control Account 169,000.00
June 28, 2018 Transfer from Control Account 20,000.00
June 29, 2018 Interest on Account 106.69
189,106.69
In the same month of June 2018 only, a reading of exhibit EA 4A would reveal that Beige Care made disbursements of about GHS308,368.91 and the majority of these disbursements were in respect of medical claims. Beige Care was able to achieve this because of the financial support of GHS62,000 it received from TBG on June 1st 2018. If TBG had not provided this support to Beige Care, healthcare providers may have suspended offering services to clients of Beige Care [including staff of the bank] and that would have negatively affected the business of BCHI whilst having a ripple effect on the productivity of all of Beige Care’s client’s whose access to health care services would have been interrupted.
 I told Mr. Sory that for the reasons noted above that I could confirm that none of these funds went to the accused. I would say also that the transfer of funds to Beige Care was routine for Beige Care’s business operations and this transfer of GHS 392,000.00 was no different from past transactions made to Beige Care for its business operations.
As far as I know, this transaction was solely a business deal between parties who are related due to having a common shareholder [TBG]. The transaction was carried out by officials who were simply doing their job, and all the necessary documentation was properly completed.
Therefore, based on my knowledge of and understanding of the transaction involving Beige Care the following issues can be established without controversy from the documentation available to me:
Beige Care received funds for its operations which funds were received following a request made to TBG, the parent company.
TBG upon approval of Beige Care’s request caused the funds to be issued by FASL to Beige Care.
The funds were utilized for the normal business operations of Beige Care.
In the records of Beige Care there’s a liability to TBG for the amount received.
In settling the liability of Beige Care to TBG, Beige Care could pay TBG directly or be caused to pay FASL directly.
Events following the Receivership
Following the receivership of the bank, the bank accounts of Beige Care were frozen by the receiver of the bank. This action significantly affected our operations. Several attempts to get this resolved were not successful. Eventually, we had to downsize our operations significantly as we were no longer receiving working capital from TBG.
The Chief Executive Officer, the accused, met the leadership of Beige Care in August or thereabout 2018 and started proceedings to voluntarily wind up Beige Care operations, and by December 2018, the list of creditors and accounts receivable from Beige Care was completed.
Between January 2019 and December 2020, new bills were received from healthcare providers and the list of creditors including accrued staff salaries, statutory deductions and tax obligations were updated and sent to National Health Insurance (NHIA) for further action geared towards the settlement of creditors and the final dissolution of the company.
I wish to state that during this period, I continued to offer assistance to TBG by providing and updating information about Beige Care. Occasionally some of my colleagues would also come in to help provide information for use by TBG. We all did so in the capacity of unpaid consultants as our interest was in the hope that our unpaid salaries would eventually be settled.
 When it became evident that court proceedings initiated against the CEO of the Beige Group would not result in the payment of creditors of Beige Care including unpaid staff anytime soon, all of us abandoned the process.
III. CONCLUSION
Based on the documents I have attached and marked EA 4, EA 4A and EA 5, there is no doubt that the funds transferred to Beige Care were used by the company itself. The bank statement provides a clear record of how the funds were utilized, including the payees and their purposes. It is noteworthy that there were no payments made to the accused person. As a result, to the best of my knowledge, the accused did not receive any funds from Beige Care nor any benefits from the transactions undertaken by Beige Care.
                                          ………….………………………
EMMANUEL ANYEDINA
STATEMENT OF TRUTH.
I, EMMANUEL ANYEDINA do hereby verify the contents of my present statement as true to the best of my knowledge and honest belief.
                                          ………….………………………
                               EMMANUEL ANYEDINA
DATED AT SORY @ LAW, ACCRA THIS 20TH DAY OF MARCH 2024.
THE REGISTRAR,
HIGH COURT,
ACCRA.
AND FOR SERVICE ON THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL, ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT, MINISTRIES, ACCRA.

 

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Source: Kasapafmonline.com

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