BEIGE BANK CASE: Defence Lawyers demand full disclosure from prosecution

Defence lawyers in the case of the Republic versus Micheal Nyinaku, are demanding a pre-trial disclosure of all documents and evidence the State intends to rely on to establish her case against the accused person.



Addressing the Circuit Judge, Emmanuel Essandoh, this morning, lawyer Baffour Gyawu Bonsu Ashia, indicated that his request for pre-trial disclosure is in line with practice directives issued by the office of the Chief Justice in 2018 with regard to criminal prosecutions.






Police Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police, (ASP) Emmanuel Nyamekye, in response to the request of the defense team assured the Court that they file same at the Court registry and ensure service on the defence team and accused person before the next hearing date of the case in Court.

Circuit Court Judge Emmanuel Essandoh, in a short ruling, directed the prosecution to ensure that they file all the documents and evidence they will be relying on for the trial and to serve the defence team before the next Court sitting which he fixed for the 5th of February 2020.

Background

The Managing Director of the defunct Beige Bank, Michael Nyinaku, is on a GhC352,000,000 Cedis Bail with two surieties. The embattled businessman was first arraigned on the 14th of January, 2020 before Circuit judge Emmanuel Essandoh, where his charges were read to him. He pleaded not guilty to both counts of Stealing and Money Laundering.

The Charges

The Managing Director of The Beige Bank, which is in receivership, Michael Nyinaku, has been charged with two counts of Stealing contrary to section 124 (1) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act 1969 (Act 29) as amended by part 4 of ( NLCD) No. 398/69 and Money Laundering contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2008 (Act 749).

“Michael Nyinaku: For that you between the 14th day of March, 2018 to August, 2018 in Accra in the Greater-Accra Circuit and within the jurisdiction of this court with 8 others dishonestly appropriated the sum of GHC340.94 million, the property of clients of Beige Bank,” the charge sheet stated.

Facts of the Case

Addressing the facts sheet as filed at the Registrar of the Circuit Court, “The Beige Group (TBG) a subsidiary entity to the Beige Bank in the latter part of the year 2017 had deliberations with the leadership of First African Savings and Loans (FASL) to acquire 90% equity shares in the savings and loans entity. The value of the 90% shares was USS2.5 million. The discussions led to the preparation of various documentation to formalize the purchase process.

“TBG eventually paid GHC9 million as part payment of the equity shares intended to be purchased. This was captured in the letter captioned, ‘Re-Capitalization of First African Savings and Loans Limited,’ written by the Managing Director of FASL, Hon. Gifty Affenyi Dadzie (Mrs.) to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TBG, Michael Nyinaku. The two (2) companies agreed that FASL leadership should send a write-up to Bank of Ghana (BoG), the regulator, to regularize the agreement.”

The facts sheet further stated that, “TBG deployed Vanessa Akorfa Atsu to serve as a Responsibility Officer, to propagate the Beige culture within the confines of the FASL setup at the Headquarters of the entity at Circle-Accra. Some employees of TBG including Winfred Kwaku Sefogah, Vivian Amponsah, Daniel Debrah, and Jasmine Agyemang were sent to the Circle Head Office, Makola, Awoshie and Kasoa offices of FASL to work in the interest of TBG. As was the practice, FASL, being a subsidiary, was made to open an account with The Beige Bank (TBB).”

The account, the facts sheet says, christened FASL Operational Account and numbered 038152041412, was opened in
November, 2017 and it had Gifty Affenyi Dadzie, and Kwabena Osei Bonsu the General Manager of FASL as signatories representing FASL, and Vanessa Akorfa Atsu and Yvonne Phillips serving as signatories from TBG. At the time TBG went into receivership, this account contained about GHc12 million, which was known to the MD of FASL Mrs. Gifty Afenyi Dadzie.

“Unknown to the authorities of FASL, TBG secretly opened a second account in the name of FASL known as the control account with account number 0381520414122 which had an outstanding balance of GHc 299 million at the time TBB went into receivership. The account was opened by Susannah Philips. This account had suspects, Vanessa Akorfa Atsu, Yvonne Phillips, and Yiadom – Boakye Augustine all from TBG as its signatories though the account was opened in the name of FASL,” the facts sheet continues.

The account, according to Prosecution, is said to have had funds close to GHc 340.94 million in it initially but some of the monies totaling GHc 21,123,270.96 were transferred to affiliate entities of TBG and others including:
(i) Beige Capital Ltd, an amount of GH2.2 Million,
(ii) Beige Care, an amount
GHC392,000.00,
(iii)Beige Academy, an amount of GHC250,000.00, (iv) Beige Assure, an amount of GHC627,000.00,
(V) Beventure, an amount of GH@1,740,000.00,
(vi) Legacy Pensions an amount of GHC427,000.00, (vii) Bidvest Micro Finance, an amount of GHc 3,142,270.96,
(viii) DYI Ltd, an amount of GHC6 Million,
(ix) Adelia Ltd, an amount of GHc 1,010.000.00,
(x) Albery, an amount of GHC5,240,000.00,
(xi) Nana Afia Evelyn Kyei an amount of GHc 80,000.00, and
(xii) Godwin Nordjo an amount of GHC15,000.00.

“The withdrawals from the false FASL account were at the behest of suspect Michael Nyinaku, through suspects Yvonne Nana Etruba Phillips, and Yiadom Boakye Augustine, who co-signed the documents instructing transfer of funds from the false FASL accounts to the beneficiaries,” the facts sheet states.

“One such request was made to the Consolidated Bank Ghana on August 8, 2018 and the amount to be transferred was GHc 38,101,095.89 from the false FASL account into Beige Capital Asset Management Limited, account number 001078031121 situated at the Head Office. The leadership of FASL’s attention was drawn on the transfer request and they denied it and even challenged the amount in question which far exceeded what they had in their accounts. Investigations disclosed that the false second FASL account was created without the consent of FASL authorities and transactions took place on it without their knowledge,” the facts sheet records.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/102.5FM/Wilberforce Asare

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