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21.03.2009 General News

Fresh Charges For NIB Boss

By Daily Guide
Fresh Charges For NIB Boss

Daniel Charles Gyimah Two fresh charges have been leveled against the former National Investment Bank (NIB) boss, Daniel Charles Gyimah.

The accused person who appeared before Justice D.E. K. Daketsey, an Accra Circuit Judge, was initially standing trial for allegedly causing financial loss to the state to the tune of $60 million.

The 58-year-old banker is now facing fresh charges of attempting to cause financial loss to the state and also for allegedly forging documents on the deal he made with Eland International, the organisation he was said to have given the 30 promissory notes to. In addition, the facts of the matter as presented by the prosecutor, DSP P.K. Frimpong, have changed.

Gyimah pleaded not guilty to both counts and has been granted bail while his lawyers complained that they had no idea that he would be facing new charges. He is also expected to report to the police once every two weeks.

Retired Col. Alex Johnson, counsel for the former NIB Managing Director (MD), accused the prosecuting officer of bad faith in the course of trying to seek justice, and said his client had been unlawfully detained for five weeks in a matter which had gone wrong and painted him black in the eyes of the public.

DSP Frimpong, who said he was at a loss as to why he was being blamed, said the accused had earlier been cautioned about the statement.

The officer also told the court that the Attorney-General could call for the docket at any time, saying if that happened, he would not be in charge of the case.

Presenting the facts of the case, the prosecutor told the court that the suspect is the former MD of NIB and resides at Adjirigano at East Legon in Accra.

According to him, the suspect, in an attempt to willfully cause financial loss to the state on May 7 2007, unilaterally entered into an agreement with Eland Ghana in which he used the bank as a guarantee by issuing 30 promissory notes valued at $60 million to Eland International Ghana. His son, Stephen Poku Gyimah, is the secretary of Eland International Ghana.

He said though the notes were to mature on January 29 2009, Eland contacted Iroko Security Company in London who quickly discounted the money to $45 million so on the same day, the International Banking Section of the NIB received a swift message requesting NIB to confirm payment of the promissory notes.

The prosecutor said the accused person was notified on the irregularity of the message by the International Banking Department Head; however on receipt of the notice, he ordered the International Banking Section to confirm that the order had been complied with.   

Explaining further, he said major documents on the deal with Eland could not be traced as Gyimah claimed they were missing from the bank's record but after his arrest, he admitted in his caution statement to having used the bank to guarantee the deal, adding that it was a mistake that he did not consult the Board of Directors of the bank.

Furthermore, he said in the course of investigations, several documents were found including the deal between the bank and Eland and on 12 December 2008, documents suspected to have been forged by the suspects were found.

He said the accused was charged after police investigations.

By Fidelia Achama