Mr. Michael Nyinaku , the First Defendent in the ongoing Beige Case trial, has told the High Court in Accra that the institution to which customers’ deposits were periodically transferred from the defunct Beige Bank, was a sister institution named Beige Capital Asset Management (BCAM) which was licensed as a fund manager with Security and Exchange Commission ( SEC).
The witness said the funds that were allegedly moved (siphoned) from the Beige Bank to the Asset Management Firm were funds belonging to customers, hence, their consent ought to have been sought first.
But the Defence Counsel led by Thaddeus Sory while debunking the witness’ claims during further cross-examination that customers’ consent were not sought, confronted him with a certificate of investment of one of the said customers.
Mr. Sory argued that these customers were those who were no longer interested in the low rates of interest the bank was offering, but they were known for their investment.
Julius Ayivor, a Chartered Accountant at the KPMG and a lead team member of the Receiver of Beige Bank also said he does not “recollect” if they officially wrote to engage officials of BCAM on alleged monies siphoned by the accused.
According to Mr. Ayivor, though he can confirm to the court that they had an oral discussion, his response on whether there was a written document was negative.
Asked by counsel if he ever engaged BCAM in connection to monies that were moved from customers’ accounts into BCAM accounts, Mr. Michael Nyinaku, the witness answered in the affirmative.
When asked if the said engagement was oral or written correspondence, he said “I can’t recollect if there were any written correspondences but I can confirm oral discussions.”
Counsel again asked the witness if he could confirm to the court that he considered monies siphoned from the bank that they sought to recover through oral discussions, the witness offered explanation.
“The receiver took steps to recover these monies through the legal system (trial) which is currently ongoing.”Mr. Michael Nyinaku
Registered Fund Managers
The witness confirmed the registered business style of BCAM by checking their profile from the online platform of the Registrar General’s Department.
When the witness was again asked if he ever bothered to find out whether BCAM was registered by Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and whether it was licensed as a fund manager, he answered in the affirmative saying “that was done.”
Counsel then pointed to him in paragraph 11 of his Witness Statement where he said the Beige Group is not licensed to receive funds and the Witness said, it was “licensed to accept deposits.”
In paragraph 12, counsel said the witness never disclosed that BCAM is licensed as a fund manager. In his response the witness said yes and “not explicitly” stated.
At this point, counsel put it to the witness that he deliberately did not disclose in his witness statement that BCAM was a licensed fund manager because if he did, then his theory that funds were purported to have been siphoned to BCAM would only be an allegation shrouded in mischief because BCAM as a licensed fund manager, has capacity to receive and manage the funds belonging to those customers who no longer wanted the low rates being offered by the new bank.
The witness divulged the reason why the word “siphoned” was used to describe these transfers is because these monies were moved out of the accounts of the affected customers to the accounts of BCAM without their knowledge and authorization.
“My lady, in any bank it is only a customer that has the authority to instruct monies to be moved out of his or her account to the account of another.
“The fact that officials of the bank can see monies in their account does not give them the authorization to transfer these monies to another entity, in this case BCAM. Yes, so I still stand by the use of the word siphoned which has got nothing to do with the license BCAM was given to operate.”The Witness, Mr. Michael Nyinaku
The witness confirmed to the court an email from a certain daniel.darko@beigebankcapitalassetmanagement whose subject is Emanuel Richard Ofori, one of the then customers of Beige Bank.
He also confirmed to the court that the information on the said email indicated it is FYA – meaning (For Your Attention) dated, Thursday, March 22, 2018 and it was sent to email@example.com.
This counsel said Naomi’s attention was then being called to the certificate of investment about the said Emmanuel Richard Ofori’s investment placement.
But the witness said, “I’m not able to confirm by just the mere reading of this document what the specific attachment was.”
Certificate of Investment
Mr. Michael Nyinaku, the defendant has since failed to produce the investment certificates though it had been officially requested by the accused through the court.
But, when he was confronted with Emmanuel Richard Ofori’s investment certificate, he then said “I have seen the certificate before and I had it at the office.”
Counsel tendered the document through the witness which was not objected to by the prosecution.
The court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge said the document marked-Investment certificate of Emma Richard Ofori is admitted with objection as exhibit 2.
At this point, counsel drew the court’s attention to formal requests for the prosecution to furnish the defence with the investment certificates of some clients that the prosecution themselves had sampled.
But, prosecution failed to present these certificates saying that they do not have them.
The case has been adjourned to Friday, February 24, 2023, for continuation.