…As Supreme Court Buries Him In $60million White Collar Scandal

A former managing director of the National Investment Bank (NIB), Mr. Daniel Charles Gyimah, has been marooned on a quicksand after the Supreme Court ruled that the NIB is not liable for a white collar ploy that he masterminded when he was in charge at the bank.

Yesterday, the apex court quashed a 2013 judgment of an Accra High Court that had ordered the NIB to pay a $60million and interest to Dominion Corporate Trustees, over a guarantee of $45million promissory notes in 2007.

Against the High Court (Commercial Division)’s judgment that NIB should pay the $45million value of the promissory notes, plus $15million contractual accrual on the principal, in addition to other interests, the SC rather dismissed the claim against NIB and ordered that the bank be paid Ghc500,000 in damages.

The judgment leaves Mr. Charles Gyimah, who is said to have used his position as MD of NIB to guarantee the promissory notes and later shared the proceeds among cronies, including his son, hot.

Since the mastermind of that ploy in 2007, the debt has fed on itself and grown into a humongous $106million.

In May 2007, Eland Ghana Limited issued promissory notes worth $45 million which was bought by various investors, including Standard Bank Offshore Trust Company. The promissory notes had been guaranteed by the NIB, which was then headed by Mr. Gyimah.

Under the agreement, the investors were to earn Ghc15million as profit in addition to the $45million principal, so that in all the investors would be paid back $60million upon the maturity of the notes which was to be in January 2009.

However, upon the maturity, the NIB refused to be saddled by the $60million debt, leading to Standard Bank Offshore Trust suing the Ghanaian bank at the Accra High Court, Commercial Division.

Later, Standard Bank Offshore Trust had been substituted by Dominion Corporate Trustees Limited. In a counterclaim, however, NIB had joined Mr. Daniel Charles Gyimah and Eland.

In the course of the trial, the NIB had led evidence to show that its managing director at the time, Mr. Daniel Charles Gyimah, had signed the guarantee without any authorization from the board of the bank.

The bank also led evidence to show that the US$45 million was not used for the purpose that it had been advertised for and that Mr. Gyimah had rather shared the money among Eland and firms connected to the company which had issued the promissory notes.

Other beneficiaries that had been allotted some of the cash included a London-based company called Iroko Securities Limited and other private individuals, including the son of Mr. Gyimah, one Stephen Gyimah.

According to the revelations in court, the largest beneficiary was Sphynx Limited, a company based in the US, which had been allotted US$24 million.

Interestingly, it later emerged that Sphynx Limited was a fully owned subsidiary of Iroko Securities Limited.

In a February 21, 2013 judgment, the High Court had declared NIB liable. Justice Amadu Tanko had ordered the bank to pay the $60 million, with 11 percent interest to Dominion Corporate Trustees Limited. The debt has since fed on itself and distended into some $106miillion.

Per the court’s judgment, payment was to take effect from January 2009 until the day of final payment.

However, NIB, led by respected Defence lawyer, Tsatsu Tsikata, appealed the judgment at the Supreme Court, leading to the SC quashing the earlier judgment of the High Court and an order to Dominion Corporate Trustees Limited to pay Ghc50,000 in damages to NIB.

The judgment leaves Mr. Daniel Charles Gyimah, against whom a bench warrant had been issued in 2013, saddled with the $160million hot mess.

As NIB is absolved of the Ghc45million debt, accruals of $15million and interest that has grown since 2009, Mr. Gyimah naturally comes under liability to pay the gargantuan dollar debt owed the investors who sank money into the promissory notes.

Dominion had been represented in court by Mr. Kwame Pianim, an investment consultant.



Source: Fiifi Samuels

The Republic News Online

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