Court grants GH¢2m bail to Beige Bank former CEO
Michael Nyinaku, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Beige Bank Limited (Beige Bank) has been granted a GH¢2 million bail with three sureties by an Accra High Court over a GH¢1.2 billion alleged theft.
Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe ordered that two of the sureties should be justified with landed property equivalent to the bail bond and the assets should be valued by the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) or Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission.
She asked that the prosecution filed its disclosures by December 9, 2022.
The defense counsel is also expected to reply by the time the court had the Case Management Conference on December 22, 2022.
Nyinaku, the accused person, is to deposit his passport with the Court’s registry as well as report every Monday and Friday at 0900 hours to the investigator in the case.
The accused person has been charged with stealing, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering, which he denied in Court.
Mr Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, Deputy Attorney General, giving the facts, said Nyinaku was the former Chief Executive Officer of the Beige Bank and that on August 1, 2018, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) revoked the banking license of Beige Bank and placed it in receivership.
A review of the financial and other records of the Bank conducted by the receiver and his team identified several suspicious and unusual transactions, which were subsequently reported to the law enforcement agencies for investigations.
The prosecution said investigations revealed that between 2015 and 2018, the accused person as CEO of the Bank had allegedly used various means to transfer huge sums of monies to companies related to him and for his personal benefits.
The prosecution alleged that the fund transferred were depositors’ funds lodged with the Beige Bank.
It said between 2017 and 2018, Nyinaku had caused the transfer of GH¢10,071.00 fixed deposit account held with Beige Bank in which various customers placed a total of GH¢448,636,210.21 to Beige Capital Asset Management Limited (BCAM), without the knowledge and consent of the customers.
The prosecution said BCAM was a limited liability company wholly owned by the Beige Group Limited (Beige Group), an entity which in turn was wholly owned by the accused person.
Investigations also revealed that the accused person between 2017 and 2018 caused the transfer of 35 fixed deposit investments of 23 customers of Beige Bank valued GH¢141,042,348.92 to the Beige Group, a Company wholly owned by the accused person and its majority shareholders of Beige Bank.
The prosecution said further investigations revealed that in March 2018, the accused person had caused a “fictitious” second account to be opened in the name of First African Savings and Loans (FASL), an existing account holder with Beige Bank, without the knowledge of the board and management of FASL.
It said the accused person then caused the transfer of the sum of GH¢320 million from the accounts of various Beige Bank customers into the bank accounts of BCAM held with Beige Bank.
The GH¢320 million was subsequently transferred from the BCAM account held with the Beige Bank into the “fictitious” FASL account that had been opened in Beige Bank’s books on the instructions of the accused person allegedly, said the prosecution.
It said between March 2018 and August 2018, GH¢21,123,270.96 out of the GH¢320 million was transferred from the “fictitious” FASL bank account to some two individuals and ten companies, nine of which were related to Nyinaku, on his instructions.
Again, between 2015 and 2017, the accused person through the use of payment vouchers, had caused the sum of GH¢1,465,000.00 of depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank to be paid to himself and other persons, the Court heard.
It said the transactions were recorded in a general ledger account of the bank described as Directors’ account, adding that it came out that the accused person through the use of payment vouchers, e-mails and memos, had caused a total of GH¢20,599,052.58 of depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of a general ledger account of the bank described as shareholders’ account.
Additionally, between 2016 and 2017, the accused, through the use of payment vouchers, had caused a total amount of GH¢141,742,087.70 of depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of companies and individuals for his benefits allegedly, it said.
The prosecution said the transactions were recorded in the general ledger account of the Bank described as Prepayment- a Project Work Account, and that between 2017 and 2018, the accused person using payment vouchers, e-mails, and memo’s had further caused the sum of GH¢118,076,813.09 of depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to several companies and individuals for his benefit allegedly.
It said the transactions were also recorded in a general ledger account of the bank described as Beige Group Account.
The Court heard that investigations had established that the money the accused allegedly dishonestly appropriated from the Beige Bank remained unpaid as of August 1, 2018, when the Bank’s license was revoked by BoG.
Mr Addo Atuah, the defense counsel for Nyinaku in praying for bail said the accused had always appeared before the court since his arrest in 2018 and would always come to court to stand trial and would not interfere with witnesses.
He said the client also had a fixed place of abode and had people of substance to stand as sureties.
The prosecution did not oppose to the bail and expected to call eight witnesses to make its case.