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General News of Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Source: Daily Guide Network

Duffuor, others trial pushed to April


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The trial of former Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, founder of the defunct uniBank Ghana Limited, and eight others has taken a one-month adjournment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The case was expected to resume yesterday and the prosecution led by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, expected to tell the court about the progress made in the disclosure of documents for the trial.

But in the light of the growing numbers in the coronavirus cases being recorded, as per the Chief Justice’s directive, the prosecution and the defence lawyers have agreed to adjourn the matter for one month.

The large numbers involved in the case being nine accused persons, their respective lawyers, some of whom come to court with their supporting colleagues as well as the prosecution team, not to talk about the courtroom staff including the judge and journalists who are interested in the case were all expected to converge on the courtroom.

Meanwhile, sources have told DAILY GUIDE that prosecution was yet to file all the documents they intended to rely on, as they are unable to meet some of the witnesses due to the social-distance policy in place following the outbreak of the virus.

The source said the decision to adjourn the matter for a month has also affected the trial of Former Chief Executive Officer of insolvent UT Bank which is now defunct, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, and five others charged with their alleged conduct leading to depositors of the bank losing money.

Trial

Dr. Duffuor and eight others are before an Accra High Court for their alleged ‘dishonest’ spending of over GH¢5.7 billion belonging to customers and investors of the insolvent private bank which is now defunct.

Among the accused persons charged is the former 2nd Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Johnson Pandit Asiama, under whose watch over GH¢450 million was allegedly doled out to uniBank without following laid-down procedures, according to the AG’s Department.

Dr. Duffuor, Dr. Asiama, Kwabena Duffuor II, Ekow Nyarko Dadzie-Dennis, Elsie Dansoa Kyereh, Jeffrey Amon, Benjamin Ofori, and Kwadwo Opoku Okoh are facing a total of 68 charges including fraudulent transactions and money laundering but they have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr. Amoabeng, on the other hand, together with Dr. Asiama and four of his former employees are before the court facing some 42 charges including causing financial loss to the state.

Mr. Amoabeng is alleged to have transferred the investment of some 15 companies totalling GH¢51,334,387.08 and $8,799,917 from UT Bank to UT Holdings, a company he owns without the knowledge and consent of the investors.

Dr. Asiama, on the other hand, is accused of allegedly causing financial loss to the state by approving GH¢460 million liquidity support for UT Bank without following laid-down procedures.

Apart from Mr. Amoabeng and Dr. Asiama, other persons charged are Raymond Amanfu, Catherine Johnson, Robert Kwesi Armah.

The accused persons are facing a total of 42 charges including fraudulent breach of trust, abetment of crime and causing financial loss to the state.

Mr. Amoabeng is also facing charges of fabrication of evidence with intent to pervert the course of justice in a document containing a false statement that an amount of $7,000,000 had been deposited into an escrow account in the name of the Registrar of the High Court with intent to mislead a Justice of the High Court in a judicial proceeding.

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