General News of Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Source: The Herald
By Cecil Mensah
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UT Bank and Financial Holdings, Captain (rtd) Prince Kofi Amoabeng, who is at the centre of a property fraud, pending before an Accra Circuit Court, is expected in court tomorrow or risk a bench warrant being issued for his arrest.
The ex-accountant of the Ghana Armed Forces has proved very evasive in answering the criminal charges including forgery of documents brought against him by a 53-year-old queenmother of Akropong in the Eastern Region, Nana Otua Owusua I, for illegal disposing off her property, called “Naa Otua Plaza” at Osu-Accra.
So far, the case has been called twice with Captain (rtd) Amoabeng failing to appear in court, but with the intimidating presence of his seven lawyers, led by Mr. Yaw Addo Atua and Wendy Bannerman, facing a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Aidan Dery of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police.
The Herald is meanwhile informed that the National Security outfit, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Police have had to threaten the ex-soldier with an arrest assurance before he showed up at the CID Headquarters for interrogation, where he provided a written statement to the police and a charge of fraud slapped on him.
At the last sitting on Monday, September 3, 2012, DSP Dery drew the attention of the trial Judge, Mrs. Naa Adoley Azu to the unusual phenomenon of a criminal suspect, twice absenting himself from trial, while his lawyers jumped to his defense, claiming he was out of the country again.
Police sources told The Herald, that prosecution would push for Captain (rtd) Amoabeng’s arrest and detention should he absent himself from the Cocoa Affairs court for the third time running, and hoped that the judge would recognize this untenable conduct and correct the implication that the UT boss is above the law.
The queenmother who is known in private life as Otua Sawyne and is also a novelist, has accused the UT boss of illegally releasing her land title on her house at Ringway Estates-Osu, a suburb in Accra, which was in his custody, to the late Alexanader Adjei to use as a mortgage to secure a loan of GH¢1,279,000 from the Home Finance Company (HFC) Bank.
Mr. Amoabeng has been charged with fraud together with Mr. John Aiddoo, lawyer for the State Housing Company (SHC), for aiding and abetment of crime. Mr. Aidoo was, however, in court with his lawyer.
A plea from the defense lawyers to have the matter referred to the Attorney-General’s office for direction was declined by the trial judge, as she adjourned the case to October 2.
The complainant’s case is that she agreed to sell the said house for GH¢280,000 and one Mr. Alexander Adjei an interested party was supposed to pay the money in three installments.
But Mr. Adjei (now deceased) on october14, 2005 made a payment of US$ 100,000 and could not pay the remaining amount. Madam Swayne, was due to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) so she proceeded to UT Bank where she borrowed an amount of GH¢25, 000 using the title on the house as collateral.
The prosecutor said Madam Swayne prepared and signed a deed of assignment with the condition that the final transaction would be witnessed by one Martin Nwosu, her lawyer, upon which the dead would be handed over to the buyer after full payment of the purchase price.
The prosecutor, however, explained that on September 27, 2007, Mr. Aidoo, without recourse to Madam Swayne, wrote a letter to SHC bank, informing it that the deceased had purchased the property, therefore, requesting them to consent to it by assigning the property to him.
According to the prosecutor, Mr. Amoabeng fraudulently released the title document on the house to the late Mr. Adjei to secure a loan facility at the Home Finance Company Bank (HFC), despite knowing that the house in question was still in the name of Madam Swayne, as the purchase price had not been paid in full. Stay tuned more anon!!!!