Joy FM, flagship of the Multimedia Group, appears to be perpetrating crony journalism over the scandalous collapse of Capital Bank, as the vociferous radio station, is seen to be uncharacteristically scratching only the surface of the big story.
The super-hits radio, with its reputation for unleashing reporters and anchors, including Manasseh Awuni Azure and Kojo Yankson, to pedantically scrutinize everything that the erstwhile Mahama government did in the past, is seen not to be exhibiting the same fastidiousness on the Capital Bank issue.
The Bank of Ghana’s strange use of the GCB Bank to acquire the collapsing bank, which is seen as a means of saving the skin of cronies of the NPP government, including Pastor Mensah Otabil of the International Central Gospel Church, has not received the usual finicky analyses that Joy FM is known for.
The situation has led to people asking whether Joy FM is tip- toeing around the truth – that the BoG is robbing GCB shareholders, including poor Ghanaian pensioners, to pay irresponsible shareholders of Capital Bank, including Pastor Otabil.
Tongues are also wagging that Joy Fm’s perceived hypocrisy over the issue is due to the influence of Keli Gadzekpo, current CEO of Enterprise Group.
Mr. Gadzekpo is a Board Member of Multimedia Broadcasting Company Limited, owners of Joy Fm.
As a concurrent Board Member of the Bank of Ghana, Keli Gadzekpo shares status with Mrs. Comfort Ocran, who is the wife of Motivational Speaker, Albert Ocran. Mr. Albert Ocran is the CEO of Pastor Otabil’s ICGC.
Mr. Gadzekpo is also special advisor to the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.
With the interesting linkages, tongues are wagging that Joy Fm’s failure to unleash the likes of Manasseh Awuni Azure and Kojo Yankson to rove through the issue inside-out, as the station used to do during the erstwhile Mahama government era, is because it wants to protect its friends.
ICGC, along with Otabil and Associates, was said to own some 10% shares in the collapsed Capital Bank which the BoG strangely used the GCB to acquire, without recourse to the GCB shareholders or the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) of Ghana.
As the acquisition of Capital Bank by GCB means Pastor Otabil has now become a shareholder of the GCB, when he and his church, should have borne the misfortune of Capital’s collapse, many are pointing out that Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, had used the BoG Board tainted with Keli Gadzekpo, his business partner, to save the skin of his friends, including Pastor Otabil.
Last Thursday, the Finance Minister was billed to join Albert Ocran, Comfort Ocran, Pastor Mensah Otabil and Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor to lecture on corporate excellence at the Labadi Beach Hotel.
It is noteworthy that while Pastor Otabil was Board Chairman of Capital, Rev. Odonkor was the CEO.
The platform, ‘Festival of Ideas,’ had been created by Albert and Comfort Ocran’s Legacy and Legacy.
Unhappy analysts, including Hon. Isaac Adongo, Member of Parliament for Bolga Central, who smell cronyism in the GCB takeover of Capital Bank, have pointed out that the GCB’s acquisition of the collapsed bank, along with the UT Bank, is a move that will not benefit the GCB.
Calling the two collapsed banks, “toxic assets,” Hon. Adongo, for instance, pointed out that the liabilities of the collapsed banks include extravagant branch buildings, some of which cost as much as $3million.
Along with the fact that the acquisitions are shrouded in secrecy with nobody really knowing the total liabilities that the GCB is inheriting, the whole takeover sticks out like a white colour move to use state money to save private cronies.
In the mafia game, the Finance Minister, who has made both the Finance Ministry and the BoG, extensions of his private bank, Databank, by appointing officials of Databank to those government institutions, stands smelly with suspicion.
It is amidst the suspicious involvement of Ken Ofori-Atta that Keli Gadzekpo, Mr. Ofori Atta’s business partner and co-founder of Databank, straddles both the Bank of Ghana and the Multimedia Group as member of the Boards of the two bodies.
Suspicious members of the public have speculated that Joy FM’s uncharacteristic tip-toe around the acquisition of Capital Bank by GCB Bank is due to the deep involvement of Multimedia Group’s friends, including Board member, Keli Gadzekpo, in that stinking deal.
Keli Gadzekpo is seen as using his influence on the Multimedia Board to gag Joy Fm from delving deeper than the surface as far as the suspicious acquisitions are concerned.
Interestingly, while a member of the Boards of the Multimedia Group and the Bank of Ghana, Keli Gadzekpo is also the CEO of Enterprise Group, whose Board Chairman is Trevor Trefgarne.
Trevor Trefgarne is the man who is also concurrently a director in Franklin Templeton, the company which acquired 95% of the $2.25billion bonds that Ken Ofori-Atta suspiciously issued in March, this year.
Recall that in issuing that bond, Ken Ofori-Atta had not obtained Parliamentary approval, Cabinet approval and the approval of the Securities and Exchanges Commission of Ghana.
Mr. Ofori-Atta had also sidelined the Attorney General, who was supposed to have given legal advice on the transaction.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels