The Founding President of think-thank IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Franklin Cudjoe has challenged claims by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) that uniBank was financially insolvent, a situation that resulted in its takeover.
The BoG on August 1,announced that it had merged Unibank and four other banks under a new name Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG), with government committing 450 million cedis to support these banks.
According to the governor of the Central Bank Ernest Addison, the merger was crucial because the five banks including Unibank were in critical financial distress and that it will “help ensure that the banking sector maintains a strong indigenous presence.”
The Bank of Ghana increased the minimum capital requirement for banks from GH¢120 to GH¢400 million to improve stability in the banking industry whilst growing the industry.
Franklin Cudjoe sharing his view on the claims by the Central Bank to justify the take over of Unibank, wondered if the declaration that Unibank was broke was not a deliberate ploy to waste taxpayers’ monies.
According to him, after a lengthy engagement with Dr Kwabena Duffuor, founder of Unibank, he convinced the claims of the Central Bank were not convincing.
“The presentation from the Central Bank is x-rated and sadly it is mischievously being released without adequate notice to Unibank!” he stated Thursday in a Facebook post.
He added: “I have seen the papers and spoken at length to Dr Kwabeba Dufour, the former Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor… This is not how to treat even your worst enemy. While appearing to sanitize the financial industry let us be careful we do not create political arrangements that will be visited and changed by another set of politicians.”
Meanwhile, shareholders of uniBank led by Dr Kwabena Duffuor have sued the Bank of Ghana over its “arbitrary and capricious” decision to revoke the license of the indigenous bank.
The shareholders are praying the High Court to place an injunction on the BoG’s decision to revoke its license and restore it into private hands.
In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs are demanding:
“An order of injunction restraining the Defendant from expropriating uniBank by its purported vesting of “good assets and liabilities’ of uniBank in Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited and the revocation of the license of uniBank
“A declaration that the license purportedly granted to the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited was not granted in accordance with Act 930 and is null and void
“A declaration, consequent to ii) above that “good assets and liabilities of uniBank, including deposits of depositors, cannot be lawfully vested in Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited
“An order of injunction restraining the Defendant from arbitrarily and capriciously impairing almost the entire loan book, including debts of Government and quasi-Government institutions and shareholders’ advances in the accounts of uniBank, to justify its purported revocation of the license of uniBank
“A declaration that the purported revocation of the license of uniBank is null and void, being in breach of Articles 23 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana
“A declaration that the purported revocation of the licence of uniBank constitutes an unlawful expropriation of the properties, of the Plaintiffs and other shareholders of uniBank in breach of Articles 18 and 20 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana
“An order of mandatory injunction requiring the Defendant to restore uniBank to private management and shareholding
“Any other relief(s) which this Honourable Court deems fit or considers just.”