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13.02.2009 Business & Finance

NIB boss in court for wilfully causing financial loss

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Daniel Charles Gyimah, Managing Director of the National Investment Bank (NIB), on Friday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court charged with wilfully causing financial loss of 60 million dollars to the state.

Gyimah is alleged to have used his bank as a guarantor and issued 30 promissory notes valued at 60 million dollars on May, 2007 to Eland International (Ghana) Limited. The notes were to mature on January 29, this year.

This transaction was allegedly conducted without the bank's Board of Directors' consent.

Gyimah pleaded not guilty to the charge and he was admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢ 500,000 cedis with four sureties one to be justified.

The Court further ordered him to report once every week to the Police. He is reappearing on February 27.

Arguing for bail Mr. Ken Brookman-Amissah, who led a team of seven defence lawyers, pointed out that the prosecution's assertion to remand the accused pending further investigations amounted to the breach of his rights.

He said the accused who was also a “family man” was ready to help with investigations adding that he was not going to interfere with police investigations.

Mr. Brookman-Amissah said from the facts of the prosecution, no loss had been made against the state because no monies had been paid.

According him the promissory notes were to mature on January 29, this year noting that it was only two weeks after the date.

Mr Brookman-Amissah said Gyimah had surrendered his passport and he was not going to interfere with investigations and prayed the court to grant him bail.

Captain Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey, another defence counsel, said the accused, the MD of the Bank, should be admitted to self-recognizance bail because he was a not riff-raff who was going to run away.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Paul K. Frimpong, the prosecutor, told the court that, Gyimah was arrested on Thursday and investigations were ongoing.

According to DSP Frimpong if the accused was granted bail, he could interfere with investigations.

He said the Police needed more time to complete investigations.

When the court enquired from prosecution whether any money have been lost, the prosecutor replied in the negative, adding that the Ministry of Finance had been notified to redeem the notes.

“The state had not paid any money yet,” the prosecutor told the court.

The court, presided over Mr D.E.K. Daketsey in granting the MD bail pointed out that it took into consideration that fact that no monies had been paid.

According to the court, the Police had not stumbled on any money lost.

The prosecution has it that on May 7, 2007 Gyimah unilaterally entered into agreement with Eland International (Ghana) Limited in which he used NIB as a guarantor and issued 30 promissory notes valued at 60 million dollars.

The promissory notes were to mature on January 29, this year.

The prosecution said during that period, Eland contacted Iroko Security Company Limited and discounted the 60 million promissory notes of 45-million dollars.

The prosecutor said after January 29, this year, there was no sign of payment to Iroko hence a swift message was sent to Gyimah to confirm payment.

Immediately Gyimah received the message, he ordered International Banking section of NIB to confirm payment and that was done.

Meanwhile, the prosecution said most of the major documents covering the transaction between NIB and Eland could not be traced in the bank's records which raised suspicion of a scam.

Gyimah, the prosecution said, admitted in a statement having guaranteed the monies on behalf of the bank but made a mistake by not contacting the bank's Board of Directors.