Dr. Mensah Otabil: Prominent Ghanaian Pastor Under-fire Over Mismanagement of GHC610M ($150M) Granted To Defunct Capital Bank

Pastor and Founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Dr. Mensah Otabil, has come under intense criticism over his role in the collapse of Capital Bank owing to his position as then Board Chairman of the bank.

Dr. Mensah Otabil then-Board Chair of the now-defunct Capital Bank, is suspected to have been party to the misuse of liquidity support given the bank, by the Bank of Ghana (BoG). The Central Bank collapsed the Capital Bank in August 2017, over liquidity challenges.

Pastor Otabil stands accused of supervising the mismanagement of GHC610 Million ($150 Million) relief package, given to Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana.

According to a leaked investigative report, the GHc610 Million liquidity support given to Capital Bank in 2015, was used for other things instead of its intended purpose with the approval of the Board Chair, leading to the eventual collapse of the bank in August 2017.

A member of the Board, Ato Essien moved the money into companies believed to be owned by him and other people. Some of that money was allegedly presented as capital to secure a license for another collapsed bank, Sovereign Bank.

The major transactions were as follows; GHc 27.5 Million used for business promotion and handled by a board member; transfers to IFS amounting to GHc 23.9 Million, transfers to Nordea Capital amounting to GHc 65 Million, and transfers to Alltime Capital amounting to GHc 130 Million.

In the transfer to Alltime Capital, the report indicated that “Mr. Ato Essien stated that the placement of GHc 130M with Alltime Capital was strategic, and funds would be paid back by March 2016.” Dr Otabil also assured management that he would ensure the funds were returned by March 2016, which never happened.

Ghanaians have expressed their outrage over the leaked report, with many calling on the government to prosecute all the officials who contributed to the collapse of the Bank including then board chair, Pastor Mensah Otabil.

Collapse of Capital and UT Banks

The Bank of Ghana announced the collapse of UT and Capital Banks about a year ago, allowing GCB Bank to take over the two insolvent banks.

In March 2018, the Central Bank again announced that indigenous bank; uniBank,was also on the verge of collapse, and was taken over, with audit firm, KPMG Ghana as the administrator.

Again, in May 2018, BoG announced the appointment of an adviser to directly supervise operations of Sovereign Bank, which the Central Bank claimed faced governance and capitalization challenges.

Collapse of five banks in Ghana by BoG

Meanwhile, the Bank of Ghana has consolidated five local banks into what it calls the Consolidated Bank Ghana limited.

The banks are Beige Bank, Construction Bank, Royal Bank, UniBank and Sovereign Bank.

According to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, some of the banks obtained their licenses through false means by presenting documents that painted a picture, as though they could meet the new capital requirement.

“The government has recapitalized the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited, to take on including all liabilities of these five banks. The government has also issued a bond of GHc5.76 Billion to cover the gap between the liability and assets, assumed by the Consolidated Bank. The Consolidated Bank Gh. Ltd, is expected to play a strategic role in the transformational agenda of the government,” he said.

Dr. Addison however assured clients of the affected banks that “your monies are safe.”

Report by Gideon Sarpong | WakeUp Africa