Lawyers of the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the defunct Beige Bank Michael Nyineku have subjected the State’s Star witness Mr Julius Ayivor to further scrutiny exposing what they term as contradictions in the witness’s testimonies.
Lawyer Thaddeus Sory, has pointed out to Julius Ayivor, (First Prosecution’s Witness), a chartered Accountant with KPMG and a team member of the Receiver of Beige Bank what he had said in his witness statement adopted by the court as against his responses to questions under cross-examination.
Mr Sory said from the witness’ own Witness Statement he confirmed that BCAM (a registered fund manager) had placement with first Africa Saving and Loans amounting to over GHc200m.
But, the witness in his response disagreed and went ahead to offer explanation. He said “according to my witness statement funds of customers were siphoned off their accounts to the tune of over 448m into a fictitilious bank account that was opened in the name of First Africa Saving and Loans in the name of the accused.
Asked by counsel whether these funds were transferred directly from Beige Bank to First Africa Saving and Loans, the witness again offered explanation.
“The funds were transferred from the accounts of the affected customers held with beige bank into BCAM’s account also held in beige bank and then subsequently transferred from that same BCAM’s account into the fictitious firs Africa account Al’s held with beige.
“When it was put to him that funds in First Africa Savings and Loans could only have been dealt with by BCAM and not Beige Bank, the witness said, “My Lady ordinarily yes.”
He went ahead to say a customer’s account can only be dealt with by that customer and that should be the norm.
At this point counsel put to him that, the funds with First Africa Savings and Loans that were transferred from BCAM to first Africa stands to the credit of BCAM, the witness disagreed.
He said “once funds moved from one’s account to another account, those funds stand to the credit of the receiving account,” and “so the funds that were transferred into First Africa Savings and Loans stood in the account of First Africa Savings and Loans and not BCAM.
Pushed by counsel to the contrary, the witness agains said when customers deposit money into their accounts those funds will stands to the credit of those customers.
He however explained that, “the physical funds in terms of the cash become available to the bank to transact business with so the bank could decide to give this funds to people or companies as loans.”
He added that the bank can also invest those finds on interest bearing instruments in other to make a return to be able to pay back the amounts that stand to the credits of the customers that deposited those funds.
Rights to funds
Counsel said in the particular case of BCAM and First Africa Savings and Loans, BCAM has the right to call back some of the funds it had placed in first Africa.
But, the witness despite telling the court earlier that BCAM is a registered fund manager said those funds were not placement but rather those funds were siphoned from accounts of Beige Bank customers account into BCAM and then into the fictitious first Africa account.
He agreed with counsel of his earlier testimony that one of the Receiver’s statutory obligations is to retrieve funds owed the beige bank.
Motion on notice
Shown a document which was a motion on notice filed by the Receiver in the Commercial Division of the court against some 13 defendants, the witness agreed.
The witness then confirmed that the 13th Defendant in that suit is BCAM, a company owned by the accused.
Counsel put it to him that with that particular case, the Receiver was suing those 13 persons to recover monies owed the Beige Bank which the witness admitted.
Counsel then tendered it in evidence through the witness which was admitted by the court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah AsAre-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal.
Accounts, Assets and more
Asked by counsel if he was aware that BCAM did not have only one account as a fund management institution, the witness agreed saying “I’m aware that BCAM does not have one account with Beige Bank.”
When counsel put to him that BCAM has accounts even with other banks including Assets, the witness then said he does not know for a fact.
“My Lady, I don’t know for a fact that BCAM has other accounts with other banks but they would have asset I would expect,” the witness said.
Counsel however put to him that it was not correct to for him to say that just by looking at one statement of BCAM statsment of account with Beige bank, BCAM is incapable of paying the sun of over GHc4 million to William Addo, (a customer with Beige Bank).
In his response the witness said “I do not know the details of the other accounts so I will not be able to tell.”
The former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of defunct Beige Bank Limited has been accused of allegedly siphoning customers funds and is standing trial at the Economic and Financial Crime Division of the High Court in Accra presided over by Justice Afia Serwah AsAre-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge.
Nyinaku was charged for allegedly stealing GH¢1.21 billion of depositors’ money from the bank and has however pleaded not guilty to 43 charges of stealing, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering.
At the previous hearing, Mr. Sory continued with his cross-examination of Mr Ayivor.
Mr. Sory, in his cross-examination, had put to the prosecution witness that customer funds alleged siphoned from Beige Bank to BCAM, Nyinaku’s company, were done in the ordinary course of Beige Bank’s business and were, therefore, regular transactions as the Beige Bank had kept accurate records of those movements.
Mr. Sory suggested to the witness that before the bank’s licence was revoked, any customer that wanted their funds got those funds.
Mr. Sory had, during a previous hearing, tendered through the principal witness, a copy of what he said was an investment certificate that had been issued to an affected customer for a GH¢4 million fixed deposit investment that had been placed with “Beige.”
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Murtala Inusah