A major shareholder of the defunct uniBank Ghana Limited, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, has sued the central bank over the revocation of uniBank's operating licence.
The former Governor of the Central Bank wants the High Court to order an injunction "restraining the [Bank of Ghana] from expropriating uniBank by its purported vesting of 'good assets and liabilities' of uniBank in Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited and the revocation of the licence of uniBank," a statement from him stated.
They argued in a writ issued at the court on August 20 that the government of Ghana significantly contributed the purported downgrading of the financial position of the bank by BoG from 10.7% in July 2017 to negative January 2018.
“The purported downgrading of the financial position of uniBank by the defendant was in significant part, due to the defendant unreasonably and unjustifiable impairing of government and quasi government exposures to uniBank, including validated payment certificates issued to contractors by government,” the documents stated.
The shareholdres are also claiming the audits and downgrading of uniBank’s credit facilities were carried out by the central “unlawfully” and in bad faith mainly aimed at “putting uniBank out of business”.
“The plaintiffs say that defendant acted unreasonably and in bad faith in the conduct of repeated audits and downgrading of the financial position of uniBank and thereby went outside the powers it had under…Act 930” they averred.
UniBank was in March 2018 placed under the administration of KPMG before the eventual takeover on August 1.
According to them, uniBank was the leading indigenous bank as at the end of July 2017 with the highest paid up capital of GHC370.13 million and a capital adequacy ratio of 10.7% as acknowledged by BoG itself.
“UniBank also had a total paid up capital including income surplus of GHC422.10 million,” the court documents filed by Atuguba and Associates quoted.
The shareholders want the court to restrain the BoG from expropriating uniBank by its purported vesting of good assets and liabilities in Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited.
In their view, the “good assets and liabilities of uniBank, including deposits of depositors, cannot be lawfully vested in Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited”.
They accordingly seeking a declaration that declaration that the purported revocation of the uniBank licence constitutes unlawful expropriation of their property and in breach of Articles 18 and 20 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.