Court orders Stanbic Bank to produce original cheque in traditional ruler case
The case was adjourned to enable Stanbic Bank to produce the original cheque issued to the accused person for examination.
The court ordered the bank to produce the document in the two previous adjournments but they are yet to make it available to the prosecution.
The cheque for $150,000 was meant for the people of Banka to facilitate development projects in the area.
Nana Osabarima Twiampomah is being held for allegedly misappropriating the money, which was a lease sum paid by Gulf Coast Resources Limited, a mining company, to the people, after using their land for mining for 10 years.
Charged with stealing, 52-year old Nana Twiampomah, pleaded not guilty. The accused person is currently on bail in the sum of GH₵50,000 with one surety to be justified.
The surety deposited a title deed equivalent to the principal sum of $150,000 to the Courts Registry.
Nana Twiampomah was also ordered to sign a bond not to travel outside the country until the matter was disposed off.
The facts of the case as narrated by Mr Amponsah, the prosecutor, were that the complainant is one Nana Yeboah, acting on behalf of the people of Banka.
According to the prosecution, in 2000, the Gulf Coast Resources Limited (GCRL) acquired a mining lease for a period of 10 years from the Minerals Commission to operate a gold mine on Banka lands. The mining lease, however, expired in 2010.
When the lease expired, GCRL wrote a letter to the Minister of Land, Forestry and Natural Resources, for the renewal of their mining lease on Banka lands. The community spearheaded by the accused person, vehemently challenged the move.
Mr Amponsah said in a letter dated June 10, 2010, the accused person and the people of Banka petitioned the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Natural Resources, protesting the renewal of the lease, because GCRL had failed to fulfill its corporate social responsibility for the past 10 years.
Following this challenge, Mr Amponsah said, GCRL entered into negotiations with the accused person and the people of Banka. During the said negotiation, the company promised to pay $150,000 to the community for development.
The accused person and the people, therefore, in a letter dated January 13, 2011, withdrew their petition and the mining lease was renewed for another 10 years beginning from 2011.
Mr Amponsah said after the renewal, the GCRL paid the $150,000, and transferred their rights to another mining company known as Banka Gold Limited.
The prosecution said, GCRL paid the amount as per a Stanbic Bank Cheque on June 14, 2011, and the accused person acknowledged receipt of the money, and issued a signed receipt on June 14, 2011.
Mr Amponsah said the accused person failed to inform his people after receiving the money, and that, despite several demands by the people over the payment, the chief denied receiving the money, and the matter was reported to the Police.
In the accused person’s statement to the Police, he admitted receiving the money, saying the money was for his personal use.
The accused person, the prosecution explained, used some of the money to defray his legal expenses when he engaged GCRL in a legal battle.