Mensa Otabil breaks silence on death of Capital Bank

Mensa Otabil breaks silence on death of Capital Bank

- Pastor Mensa Otabil says he was not involved in the routine management of Capital Bank

- Mensa Otabil, in a statement, says he has submitted himself for investigations by EOCO

- The Bank of Ghana has revealed telling reports on how managers of UT and Capital Banks caused the collapse of their banks

General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Dr. Mensa Otabil, has finally broken his silence over the collapse of Capital Bank.

In a 9-point press statement, the pastor, who was then the board chair of the bank, argued that his position as board chairman of Capital Bank was a "non-executive role."

Mensa Otabil stated that he was not "involved in the day-to-day management and operations of the Bank."

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The pastor further clarified that it was not intended of him to watch the bank collapse. Mensa Otabil clarified that he was only helping a young man (the CEO) who had wanted to change the fortunes of other people through Capital Bank.

Touching on the thousands of workers severely affected by the collapse of the bank, Dr. Otabil revealed that they always remain in his prayers as a pastor.

Below is the full statement of what Mensa Otabil wrote concerning the collapse of Capital Bank:

1. I have observed with concern, the ongoing media discussions regarding developments in the Banking Sector and my role either directly or indirectly.

2. I accepted to be Board Chairman of Capital Bank in a bid to help strengthen a promising Ghanaian enterprise that had potential but also challenges. I was excited about the prospects of a young man from a disadvantaged background who was daring to create opportunities and employment.

3. My position was a non-executive role. I was therefore not involved in the day-to-day management and operations of the Bank.

4. In the course of time, some decisions made turned out well while some did not turn out as well as had been anticipated. As far as I can tell, everything was done with the best of intentions and the interest of various stakeholders in mind.

5. My foremost concern, as has been the case over the past year, is for the well-being of those who lost their jobs and those who may have been adversely affected in any way as a result of these developments. My heart goes out to them and to their dependents. I continue to pray for God’s guidance and sustenance as they navigate the course of their lives.

6. Since the takeover of the bank exactly a year ago today, various mandated state institutions have been investigating and working to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of what happened, why it happened and who was responsible for what. I have been invited by EOCO and I have submitted myself to their processes and answered all their questions faithfully.

7. For some time now, many discussion platforms have made varied references to me and to my perceived role. Some have reached out to me for clarifications regarding issues that have been raised. I have preferred not to respond in the public domain, not as an admission of guilt, but out of respect for the due process and the ongoing investigations.

8. Notwithstanding some unforeseen outcomes, I remain resolute in my belief in the Ghanaian and African entrepreneurial spirit. I will, therefore, continue to lend my support and mentorship to inspire others who dare to dream and work towards the promise of Africa’s growth and transformation.

9. Meanwhile, as a believer in the rule of law, I will continue to cooperate with the mandated institutions of the state as they complete their investigations. I am confident that in the process, the national interest and the rights of all parties involved will be protected.

Background

Seven local banks have all collapsed in the past few months and recent audit reports from the Bank of Ghana has shown that one of the major issued that collapsed these banks were poor decision making.

The defunct bank which has attracted much controversy of late is Capital Bank which had Pastor Mensa Otabil as the board chairman.

Mensa Otabil's wrongdoing so far has been his inability to ensure due diligence in a loan he granted some key players in the collapse of Capital Bank.

Funds raised through the commercial paper issuance by MC Management Services Limited and Breitling Services were used as capitalization for the establishment of the Sovereign Bank Limited.

The Bank of Ghana in its report spotted some red flags including some 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 all this, the General Overseer of the ICGC, Dr. Mensa Otabil assured management that he would ensure the funds were returned by March 2016.

After these damning reports, there have been calls for heads to roll. In fact, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has mounted investigations into the matter.

Calls for Otabil's prosecution

The question that remains unanswered is if Mensa Otabil could face the full rigors of the law should he be found guilty of financial malfeasance.

Amidst the expression of dissatisfaction over the telling reports from the Bank of Ghana is a general call for Mensa Otabil to be prosecuted. According to the Member of Parliament for Kumbungu Constituency, Ras Mubarak, Mensa Otabil must not be left out of any prosecution.

“Anyone, including MensaOtabil who’s responsible for the current banking crisis must face the music. You can’t use the people’s money anyhow. Let’s see if this administration has the spine to go after the rich and powerful,” he posted via his Twitter handle.

Despite calls for his prosecution, Mensa Otabil seemed to have gained some popularity in social media from supporters and congregants of his church who have expressed their solidarity.

The "I stand with Mensa Otabil" tagline has literally swamped social media as supporters including popular journalists and media personalities.

READ ALSO: I have shamed my critics - Nana Addo

So far, the presbytery of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), has also issued a press statement hailing Mensa Otabil as a man of integrity.

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