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Beige Bank case: None of the over 10k customers ever rejected investment certificates – 8th Defence Witness

Eighth Defence Witness in the ongoing trial of founder of the Beige Bank Michael Nyinaku has said “none of the 10,000 plus customers is on record as having rejected the investment certificate issued to them following the purported unauthorised movement of funds from their account raises significant doubt about the substance of the allegation.”

The Witness also added that, allegations that funds were moved from these “customers accounts at the instructions of the accused, without the consent of the affected customers is untrue.”

Former Branch Chief Executive of the UTC and Kwashieman branches albeit periods of the Beige Bank, Seth Adu-Afram, also explained that, none of them “is on record as having lodged a complaint at the time the funds were moved from their account raises significant doubt about the substance of the allegation.

Prosecution has claimed that, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the defunct Bank, Michael Nyinaku siphoned customers funds without their knowledge.

But, Seth Adu-Afram, like previous other Defence Witnesses, said the allegations are “untrue” because as branch executives and relationship officers, they had these customers aligned.

While presenting his Witness Statement as his evidence-in-chief after its adoption to the High Court in Accra presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, the Witness who is also a banker and a financial analyst by profession said all the customers were engaged.

Mr Seth Adu-Afram who is currently engaged in General Trading, Food & Catering Services, also told the Court that, none of these customers is on record to have rejected the investment certificate issued them.

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“Finally, that none of the 10,000 plus customers is on record as having rejected the investment certificate issued to them following the purported unauthorised movement of funds from their account raises significant doubt about the substance of the allegation.

“It is on these bases that I conclude that the allegation that the funds were moved from customers accounts at the instructions of the accused, without the consent of the affected customers is untrue,” he told the Court.

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.

*Customers consent*

The former BCE, while providing basis to his assertions told the Court that, to the best of his knowledge and memory, “all of these clients knew that their FDs were with BCAM because as I have noted already, they would have been engaged by their respective ROs (Relationship Officers) about the change in the bank’s interest rates and they would also have signed IFs(investment forms) authorizing the movement of funds from their current accounts to BCAM because – as per standard banking procedures, they are the only ones with the capacity and mandate to authorise such movements.

To buttress his point, he said “I do not recall it ever being mentioned at any of our weekly or monthly business review meetings that customers of UTC or any other branch for that matter did not know where their funds had been placed or that any customers had complained of unauthorised debits to their account.”

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It was his case to the Court that, a lot of the customers that, “ I knew of as being customers of the UTC branch, there were a lot of them that I was still personally managing even after I had been transferred to Kwashieman.”

*Justification*

For example he said, “all of these six customers listed in the table above amongst many others that I personally managed, knew that their investments were with BCAM.

“I say this because I dealt with them personally and as has already been confirmed by Mr Julius Ayivor, they all had certificates of investments issued by BCAM which I personall delivered to them,” he stated.

“I also identified over 200 individuals and entities who were customers of the Kwashieman branch which was the branch I was managing up until the bank
was put under receivership,” he stated.

The Witness said, it is impracticable in banking practice for anyone who is not a signatory to an account to cause funds to be moved from that account.

“As a branch manager of the bank for a period long before it was put under receivership, I am very familiar with the internal processes of the bank as well as the happenings within the bank which includes branch management and banking operations,” he stated.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com

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