Crime & Punishment of 2014-01-29

UT boss Amoabeng and Aidoo ordered to open defence

A Circuit Court in Accra on Tuesday ordered Prince Kofi Amoabeng, Chief Executive Officer of the UT Bank to open his defence in respect of a fraud case brought against him.

Ruling on a submission of no case at the court, the trial judge Mr Francis Obiri noted that the prosecution had been able to establish a case against him and John Aidoo, a lawyer.

Amoabeng is accused of releasing title deed documents of one Naa Otuah Sawyne, which was in the custody of his bank to one Alexander Adjei, now deceased, to secure a loan of Ghc1,279,000 from the HFC Bank.

Amoabeng has been charged with fraud, and John Aidoo, a lawyer, is being held for abetting crime.

Though prosecution had called five witnesses to make its case, Amoabeng filed a submission of no case before the court.

The court noted that prosecution established that Amoabeng used the title deed of the complainant, Naa Sawyne, to secure a loan from the HFC bank.

It noted that the prosecution was able to establish that the title deed belonged to the complainant, but Amoabeng managed to write to the State Housing Corporation (SHC) directing that they should transfer the documents to bear the name of Alexander Agyei without the consent of the complainant.

According to the court, prosecution also established that it was Amoabeng who gave the documents to Alexander Agyei to secure the loan at HFC.

In the case of Aidoo, the court said that he (Aidoo) knew that the complainant had not given her consent for the title deed to be used as collateral.

Also, Aidoo gave his approval for the title deed to be changed and bear the name of Alexander Agyei, the court noted.

The case has been adjourned to February 11.

. While Amoabeng has been charged with fraud, Aidoo had been charged for abetting crime. They were both admitted to bail in sum of Ghc300,000 with two sureties, after pleading not guilty

Prosecution earlier said the complainant, Ms Sawyne is a novelist residing at Dansoman in Accra.

The prosecutor said in October 2005, the complainant decided to sell her house at Number 23 Ringway Estate in Accra; hence she entered into a sale and purchase agreement with the late Alexander Adjei.

Prosecution said the complainant and Adjei agreed on $280,000 as the purchase price, which was to be paid in three installments, in October, November and December 2005.

On October 14, 2005, Adjei paid $100,000 as agreed, but failed to pay the remaining amount, the prosecutor said.

According to the prosecutor, the complainant, being the vendor, was due to travel to UK, so she borrowed GHc25,000 cedis from UT Financial Services and used the title deed of her house as collateral.

The complainant, prosecution said, therefore prepared and signed a deed of assignment conditionally in respect of sale transaction with the understanding that after final transaction, which would be witnessed by her lawyer, one Martin Nwosu, it would be handed over to the buyer upon full payment.

Prosecution said, however, on May 22, 2006, Adjei now deceased, used the complainant’s title deed, which was all the time in the custody of Amoabeng, to obtain a loan facility from HFC Bank.

On September 27, 2007, Amoabeng, without recourse to the complainant, wrote a letter to State Housing Company informing them that Adjei had purchased the complainant’s house and requested them to issue their consent to assign the property to Adjei.

Aidoo, the solicitor Secretary of SHC, having records that the complainant owned property in question, signed a letter of consent to mortgage the property on July 23, 2009, an act which he (Aidoo) allegedly had no capacity to do.

Source: GNA
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