General News of Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Capt Amoabeng granted bail

The Accra Circuit Court Tuesday admitted the Chief Executive Officer of UT Bank and Financial Holdings, Captain Prince Kofi Amoabeng (retd), to bail in the sum of GH¢300,000 with two sureties.

That was after he made himself available to the court following an order that should he fail to appear a bench warrant would have been executed for his arrest.

Capt Amoabeng pleaded not guilty to one count of fraud. Earlier on Monday, the court ordered that a bench warrant be issued for his arrest if he did not appear in court today to answer fraud charges.

Capt Amoabeng is standing trial with a solicitor of the State Housing Company (SHC), Mr John Aidoo, who is also facing a charge of aiding and abetment of crime.

Mr Aidoo has pleaded not guilty to the charge and has been admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢300,000 with two sureties.

Capt Amoabeng’s lead lawyer, Mr Addo Atuah, had furnished the court with a letter from the Attorney-General’s (A-G) dated August 28, 2012 to the Director-General of CID, asking that the prosecution of the accused persons should be suspended.

According to counsel, the A-G was mandated by law to appoint the police to prosecute on his behalf and, therefore, there being a letter from the A-G, the police ought to have complied and suspend the prosecution.

Mr Atuah said there was no criminal element in the facts as narrated by the prosecution.

However, the judge declined to be swayed by the letter and said that the letter was not addressed to the court and for that matter any attempt to discontinue the trial was incompetent.

The prosecutor in the matter, DSP Aidan Dery, said he had not received any instruction to discontinue with the prosecution.

Following that the court adjourned the matter to December 11, 2012.

The accused persons are said to have defrauded one Nana Otua Owusua I, also known as Naa Otuah Sawyne, a novelist, by allegedly releasing the land title document on her house at the Ringway Estates, Osu in Accra, which was in the custody of UT Bank, to one Alexander Adjei (now deceased) to use as mortgage in securing a loan of GH¢1,279,000 from HFC Bank.

According to DSP Dery, in October, 2005 the complainant decided to sell her house and subsequently entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Adjei, the supposed buyer.

He said the complainant agreed to sell the said house for US$280,000 and Adjei was supposed to pay the money in three instalments.

Adjei had, on October 14, 2005, made a payment of US$100,000 but could not pay the remaining amount and Madam Sawyne, who was to travel to the United Kingdom (UK), proceeded to UT Bank where she borrowed GH¢25,000, using the title on the house as collateral.

Madam Sawyne prepared and signed a deed of assignment, with the condition that the final transaction would be witnessed by Mr Martin Nwosu, her lawyer, and the document handed over to the buyer after full payment of the purchase price.

However, on September 27, 2007, Mr Aidoo, without recourse to Madam Sawyne, wrote a letter to SHC informing it that he had purchased the property and requested the company to consent to it by assigning the property to him.

The prosecutor said Capt Amoabeng fraudulently released the title document on the house to Adjei to secure a loan at HFC Bank, despite knowing that the house in question was still in the name of Madam Sawyne, since the purchase price had not been paid in full.