Thursday, October 29, 2020

Ghana: Former CEO of defunct Beige bank granted bail in corruption case


Michael Nyinaku, the Founder of defunct BEIGE Bank, accused of stealing more than GH¢340 million was yesterday granted GH¢352 million with two sureties by an Accra circuit court.

The court ordered as part of the bail condition that the sureties must be public servants earning not less than GH¢2,000 as monthly salary.

Justice Emmanuel S. Essandoh, a High Court judge sitting with additional responsibility as a Circuit Court judge, asked accused to deposit his passport with the registrar of the court, and report to the police twice every week on Mondays and Fridays.

The accused was further asked to notify the court anytime he needed the passport to travel with.

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Mr Nyinaku was arraigned in court on January 14 together with the former boss of UT Bank Prince Kofi Amoabeng, charged with stealing more than GH¢390 million and $8.6 million belonging to their respective banks.

Mr Amoabeng was granted bail, but Mr Nyinaku’s bail application was refused.

The case was adjourned to January 22, but counsel for Nyinaku, Mr Thaddeus Sory, filed a motion and argued that his client was entitled to bail under the 1992 Constitution.

He told the court that his client who passed out on January 16, while in lawful custody, and currently on admission at the Ghana Police Hospital, was innocent until he was found guilty by the court.

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Mr Sory said the only circumstance under which bail could be denied is when it appears accused would not come to stand trial or the likelihood that accused would commit an offence.

The facts according to the prosecution are that Mr Nyinaku allegedly stole GH¢340 million with the aid of eight others.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Nyamekye said in 2017, the BEIGE Group acquired a 90 per cent stake in savings and loans company known as First Africans Savings and Loans (FASL) for $2.5 million.

The court heard that as part of transaction, an account as FASL Operational Account was opened at the BEIGE Bank.

ASP Nyamekye said as at the time the BEIGE Bank went into receivership, the said account had about GH¢12 million in it, which was known to the leadership of FASL.

According to prosecution, the BEIGE Bank secretly opened another account in the name of FASL, which it used to channel funds to its entities and cronies.

He stated that withdrawals from the account were at the behest of Michael Nyinaku.

ASP Nyamekye told the court that the said false FASL account had funds close to GH¢340.94 million when it was initially opened, but some of the money was later transferred.

He said that the leadership of FASL was not aware of the second account in its name.

The case has been adjourned to January 22, 2020.


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