Banking sector crisis: Prosecutions should be comprehensive and not delay - Prof. Gatsi

BY WWW.CITIBUSINESSNEWS.COM - Jan 16, 2020 at 7:20am 100

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The Dean of the School of Business at the University of Cape Coast, Professor John Gatsi says the state would have to do more to win over the confidence of the public in its prosecutions of persons culpable in the banking sector crisis.

Professor Gatsi explains in an interview with Citi Business that the roles played by some persons currently on trial were known as far back as two years ago adding that the delay in prosecuting them is unwarranted.

His comments come after the state dragged two former CEOs in charge of two collapsed banks to court to answer for their actions.

Prince Kofi Amoabeng, a former Chief Executive Officer of defunct UT Bank and Mike Nyinaku, a former CEO of Beige Bank, yesterday, January 14, 2019, appeared in court and were slapped with various charges that relate to their roles in the two banks.

But Prof. Gatsi argued that the state must as a matter of urgency pursue a comprehensive prosecution of all persons that have played a role that led to the collapse of any of the nine banks in a timely manner.

“We need to do things in a comprehensive manner. At the time, when we were sure that licenses were going to be revoked due to the actions of certain people, we should not stay for long periods before we proceed to court. In that case, the linkages will be quite clear and strong,” the Dean of the University of Cape Coast Business School argued.

The banking sector clean up started in August 2017 when the UT and Capital banks had their licenses revoked for multiple regulatory breaches. Between 2018 and 2019, seven more banks also lost their licenses for other regulatory breaches.

But prosecutions of some shareholders and directors of these banks only commenced last year. While the government insists that every person culpable will be brought to book, Prof. Gatsi laments that any further delay erodes the confidence in the commitment that those who perpetrated these acts that led to the collapse of the banks will be dealt with decisively.

“And all manner of people the government identified and announced to the entire world that they were involved with destroying the confidence of customers and depositors — if all of these people are brought to book, then there will be confidence in what the government is doing,” he stated.

Ongoing prosecutions

Last year, the state commenced the prosecution of four persons involved in the collapse of Capital Bank. They include founder, William Ato Essien, Fritzgerald Odonkor, former MD; Tetteh Nettey, CEO of MC Management Company; and board member Kate Quartey Papafio.

An Accra High Court in October 2019 granted bail in the sum of GH¢200 million to the founder of defunct Capital Bank Ato Essien in the ongoing trial relating to the collapse of the bank.

The court also asked for two sureties of which the persons standing in should be of good standing in society. The same bail condition was granted to former MD of the Bank Fritzgerald Odonkor and CEO of MC Management Company, Tetteh Nettey.

The fourth accused person, CEO of Reroy Cables, Kate Papafio Quartey was also granted bail of seventy-five million cedis with two sureties.