Crime

Former Unibank Director discharged, charges against him dropped

Mr Owusu Ansah-Awere, the former Executive Director of defunct Unibank, who was put before court for alleged transfer of GH¢57 million shares to a Sierra Leone Insurance company, has been discharged by an Accra Circuit Court.

He was discharged of the offence on Monday, after the Attorney-General told the court it had dropped the charge against accused.

Mr Ansah-Awere, whose plea was not taken when he appeared before the court, was then granted GH¢10 million bail.

Joshua Sackey, a State Attorney, told the court presided by Mrs Harriet Jane Naa Akweley –Quaye that the charge was dropped pursuant to Section 59 of Criminal  and Other Offences (Procedure) ACT-1960 (ACT30).

The section  provides as follows: (1) In any trial or preliminary proceedings before a District Court any prosecutor, with the consent of the Court or on the instructions of the Attorney-General at any time before judgment is pronounced or an order of committal is made, may withdraw from the prosecution of any person either generally or in respect of any one or more offences with which he is charged; and upon such withdrawal-

The facts according to the prosecution are that, a special investigations team, was set up to probe the circumstances that led to the collapse of the Unibank, to bring the culprits to book.

The court heard that the team found as part of its investigations that the bank made payments of GH¢57 million  to WAICA Re( Sierra Leone) for equity and investments in WAICA Re for Unibank, House of Duffour Assets (HODA) Holdings and some other related entities.

Mr Sackey said Unibank had shares in WAICA Re and later transferred to HODA Holdings in June 2017 at the cost of $1 per share by accused without the approval of the board.

The prosecutor alleged that the transfers were not recorded in the books of Unibank.

The court heard that investigations revealed that Unibank did not receive any form of consideration for this sale.

He alleged that efforts to reach out to accused were unsuccessful until January 16, 2019, when a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

Mr Ansah-Awere earlier turned himself in and he was arraigned.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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