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General News of Friday, 24 July 2009

Source: The Ghanaian Journal

Prudential Bank boss grilled

In what could be described as teacher-pupil session, the Managing Director of Prudential Bank, Mr Stephen Sekyere Abankwa, was on Thursday quizzed when he took his turn at the Presidential Commission mandated to investigate the activities of the Ghana @50 secretariat.

The first hefty punch which was thrown to Mr Sekyere Abankwa by Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah- Oppong- a member of the Commission was that : Did he (Mr Abankwa) sought to enquire whether the Ghana @50 secretariat was a corporate entity when it approached his outfit for loan?

In a shivering mood, the veteran economist (Mr Abankwa) directed the question to his counsel, Akoto Ampah who was sitting beside him to handle the question after sipping some water.

Interestingly, Mr Akoto Ampah's response to the question was that, “Mr Chairman, my client is not a lawyer so therefore; he can not answer legal questions.”

The answer which obviously made the Commission members to wonder why then did Mr Sekyere Abankwa responded to their invitation since he was aware that the Commission had the powers of a High Court.

He was further questioned on a wide range of issues including why the bank decided to grant the Secretariat the loan when in actual fact the project for which the loan was being sought for had already been completed.

But, Mr Abankwa had to constantly consult his counsel before giving any answer, attracting the attention of media cameras.

Mr Kofi Acolatsi, the financial Director of the Bank, was also present to answer some questions.

The three-member Commission has Justice Isaac Douse of the Court of Appeal as its chairman, with Osei Tutu, former Auditor General and Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah- Oppong, a legal practitioner, as members and Ms Evelyn Keelson and Mrs Barbara Tetteh-Charway as counsel and Secretary.

The Commission which was established by C.I. 61, issued by President John Evans Atta Mills on June 1, 2009 under Article 278 Clause 1(a) of the Constitution was inaugurated on June 17, 2009 by the Vice President, John Dramani Mahama.

The Commission started its work last Monday, collating and analyzing a large volume of memoranda and petitions from interested parties.