General News of Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Source: The Herald

Court orders the arrest of UT boss

An Accra Circuit Court yesterday issued a 24-hour Bench Warrant for the arrest of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unique Trust (UT) Financial Holdings, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, to answer charges relating to property fraud and forgery.

Mr. Amoabeng, who was adjudged the most respected CEO for 2012 whilst his company UT Bank was also adjudged the most respected company for the year 2012, has been instructed to appear before the court on Tuesday, 13th November, 2012, failure of which he would be arrested by the police and dragged before the judge, Nana Adoley Azu, who sits at the Cocoa Affairs Court.

The ex-military accountant, has over the past months shown total disrespect to the court by failing to appear before it for all the four times the criminal case was called, hence a plea by the prosecutor for a bench warrant to have him arrested.

Meanwhile, reports available to the Herald suggest that lawyers of Mr. Amoabeng, are fighting tooth and nail to have the tough judge replaced. They are said to have petitioned the Chief Justice Georgina Wood, in this regard.

Ex-Captain Amoabeng has been charged together with a solicitor of the State Housing Company (SHC), John Aidoo for fraud.

Since the trial began, Mr. Amoabeng in spite of the criminal nature of it, contemptuously refused to appear before the judge.

According to the warrant, if the Mr. Amoabeng fails to appear in court today (13th November, 2012), his arrest must be effected to compel him to appear in court to answer the criminal charges.

Mr. Amoabeng, who is also the patron of the Scotch Whisky “Johnnie Walker” has been accused by one Naa Otuah Sawyne, a novelist, of fraudulently releasing land title documents to her house at Ringway Estates-Osu a suburb in Accra, to the late Alexander Adjei to secure a mortgage priced at GHC1,277,000 from the Home Finance Company (HFC) bank.

The documents were in the custody of UT boss while the owner of the house was away in the UK attending to her family.

A State Housing Company (SHC) lawyer Mr. Aidoo, who has been charged with aiding and abetting the crime, but has pleaded not guilty to the charge, was granted a GHC300,000 bail.

The Prosecutor, DSP Aidan Dery has informed the court that in October 2005, the complainant decided to sell her house and subsequently entered into a sale and purchase agreement with the late Alexander Adjei, the supposed buyer.

The prosecutor told the trial judge that the complainant agreed to sell the said house for US$280,000, and Mr. Adjei was supposed to pay the money in three installments.

The deceased Mr. Adjei on October 16, 2005 made a payment of US$100,000 but could not pay the remaining amount.

Madam Sawyne, who is a vendor, was due to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) and was introduced to the UT bank where she was convinced to borrow an amount of GHC25,000 using the title deed on the house as a collateral.

The borrowed money was to be deducted from the price of the house by UT, when that transaction between her and Mr. Adjei was completed.

The prosecutor said Madam Sawyne, prepared and signed a deed of assignment with the condition that the final transaction would be witnessed by one Martin Nwosu, her lawyer, who once served as the head of Legal Aide Board, and handed over to the buyer after full payment is made.

The prosecutor explained that on September 27, 2007, Mr. Aidoo, without recourse to Mdama Sawyne, wrote a letter to SHC 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 prosecution, Mr. Amoabeng fraudulently released the title document on the house to Mr. Adjei, to secure a loan facility at the HFC, despite knowing that the house in question was still in the name of Madam Sawyne, as the purchase price had not been paid in full.