Pastor Mensa Otabil has said his long public silence on the collapse of Capital Bank, which he chaired, should not be mistaken as his admission of guilt.
“For some time now, many discussion platforms have made varied references to me and to my perceived role. Some have reached out to me for clarifications regarding issues that have been raised. I have preferred not to respond in the public domain, not as an admission of guilt, but out of respect for the due process and the ongoing investigations”, he said in a statement he issued on Tuesday, 14 August 2018, exactly a year after the bank went under.
Following the collapse of the bank, it emerged that Pastor Otabil sanctioned the misapplication of GHS610 million liquidity support given by the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
Instead of using the money to restore Capital Bank to its knees, the management, with the approval of the International Central Gospel Church founder, diverted the money for other uses, leading to the eventual collapse of the local bank in August 2017.
The monies were moved by a member of the Board, Ato Essien into companies believed to be owned by him and others, on the Board. Some of that money was reportedly presented as capital to secure a licence for another now-defunct bank, Sovereign Bank.
Among the flagged transactions were GHS 27.5 million used for business promotion which was handled by a board member; transfers to IFS amounting to GHS 23.9 million; transfers to Nordea Capital amounting to GHS 65 million, and transfers to All-time Capital amounting to GHS 130 million.
In Pastor Otabil’s statement, however, he said: “My position was a non-executive role. I was, therefore, not involved in the day-to-day management and operations of the Bank”.
Below is Pastor Mensa Otabil’s full statement:
PRESS RELEASE FROM PASTOR MENSA OTABIL
RE: CAPITAL BANK AND RELATED MATTERS
1. I have observed with concern, the ongoing media discussions regarding developments in the Banking Sector and my role either directly or indirectly.
2. I accepted to be Board Chairman of Capital Bank in a bid to help strengthen a promising Ghanaian enterprise that had potential but also challenges. I was excited about the prospects of a young man from a disadvantaged background who was daring to create opportunities and employment.
3. My position was a non-executive role. I was therefore not involved in the day-to-day management and operations of the Bank.
4. In the course of time, some decisions made turned out well while some did not turn out as well as had been anticipated. As far as I can tell everything was done with the best of intentions and the interest of various stakeholders in mind.
5. My foremost concern, as has been the case over the past year, is for the well-being of those who lost their jobs and those who may have been adversely affected in any way as a result of these developments.
My heart goes out to them and to their dependents. I continue to pray for God’s guidance and sustenance as they navigate the course of their lives.
6. Since the takeover of the bank exactly a year ago today, various mandated state institutions have been investigating and working to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of what happened, why it happened and who was responsible for what. I have been invited by EOCO and I have submitted myself to their processes and answered all their questions faithfully.
7. For some time now, many discussion platforms have made varied references to me and to my perceived role. Some have reached out to me for clarifications regarding issues that have been raised. I have preferred not to respond in the public domain, not as an admission of guilt, but out of respect for the due process and the ongoing investigations.
8. Notwithstanding some unforeseen outcomes, I remain resolute in my belief in the Ghanaian and African entrepreneurial spirit. I will, therefore, continue to lend my support and mentorship to inspire others who dare to dream and work towards the promise of Africa’s growth and transformation.
9. Meanwhile, as a believer in the rule of law, I will continue to cooperate with the mandated institutions of state as they complete their investigations.
I am confident that in the process, the national interest and the rights of all parties involved will be protected.
Shalom, peace and life to you.
Pastor Mensa Otabil.