A letter alleged to have been sent by the Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Group Limited (EGL) Keli Gadzekpo, to the owner of Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, indicating EGL’s interest in investing in First Capital Plus Bank Limited has popped up.
Mr Gadzekpo in the said letter thanked the Vice Chairman of First Capital Plus Bank Limited, Dr Stephen Enchill for a favourable response to an earlier letter which was an expression of interest in investing in First Capital Plus Bank Limited.
“I have had a discussion with Mr I. Osah Thompson-Mensah with whom I am working to agree the earliest suitable date for our initial meeting,” the letter partly reads.
The lawyers for Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, and Keli Gadzekpo, who also doubles as a board member of the Bank of Ghana, (BoG), had debunked claims that the two had initiated conversations to acquire Capital Bank in 2016.
The lawyers in a statement had said, the claim by the bank’s founder, William Ato Essien was “malicious”, and “plainly false”.
Mr Ato Essien on Metro TV’s, ‘Good Evening Ghana’ alleged that the two founders of Databank Ghana in 2016 engaged him on plans to acquire his now defunct Capital Bank.
The claim made by Mr Ato Essien to buttress his point that the bank was highly solvent and the decision by the Bank of Ghana to revoke its license was not right.
“If the bank was that bad would the current Finance Minister and the board chairman of Enterprise Keli Gadzekpo come to my office to say we are interested to buy Capital bank? Ken Ofori-Atta came to my office in 2016 to make that proposal,” Ato-Essien said in the interview.
But the lawyers’ response said, “We wish to place on record that neither Mr Keli Gadzekpo nor Mr Ken Ofori-Atta communicated to Mr William Ato Essien an intention to acquire Capital Bank in 2016 as claimed by Mr William Ato Essien. The claim by Mr William Ato Essien against the two founders of Databank, a reputable Investment Bank, is plainly false, malicious and disingenuous.”
“In any event, it may be worth stressing that an expression of interest, prior to examining the books of a Bank, cannot be stretched to mean or even imply an endorsement or confirmation that Capital Bank at that material time had a clean bill of health,” the statement added.
The lawyers for Mr Ofori-Atta and Mr Gadzekpo further condemned Mr Essien over defamatory comments intended to link them negatively to the recent banking sector clean-up by the Bank of Ghana.
That clean-up has resulted in the number of commercial banks in Ghana reducing from 34 to 23.
“It must also be underlined that the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, was/is not responsible for the events and/or decisions that led to the unfortunate collapse of any Bank in Ghana. His responsibility as Finance Minister was/is to manage the national economy and, more particularly the impact of such a major crisis – which commenced prior to the appointment of Mr Ken Ofori-Atta as Finance Minister,” the statement noted.
Read Mr Keli Gadzekpo's letter to Vice Chairman of First Capital Plus Bank Limited below
12th May, 2015
Dr Stephen Enchill
First Capital Plus Bank Limited
Dear Dr Enchill,
RE: LETTER OF INTEREST TO INVEST IN FIRST CAPITAL PLUS BANK LIMITED
Thank you for your favourable response to our Expression of Interest to invest in your bank.
I have had a discussion with Mr I. Osah Thompson-Mensah with whom I am working to agree on the earliest suitable date for our initial meeting.
Thanks again for your favourable response and looking forward to meeting with you soon.
Chief Executive officer
Cc: Pastor Mensah Otabil, Chairman, First Capital Plus Bank Ltd
Mr I. Osah Thompson-Mensah, Director, First Capital Plus Bank Ltd