Mensa Otabil uses God to react to critics over Capital Bank collapse

Mensa Otabil uses God to react to critics over Capital Bank collapse

- Mensa Otabil has charged ICGC members not to respond to issues concerning the collapse of Capital Bank with hatred

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

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

General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Mensa Otabil, sent a message to his congregation last Sunday concerning controversies over the collapse of Capital Bank.

Making his first public statement behind the pulpit since the controversy erupted, Mensa Otabil began his sermon by telling his congregation how much of an explanation he owes them.

The pastor then gave, in his response, words of praise to his congregation in response to the collapse of Capital Bank. Mensa Otabil intimated the need for his congregation not to meet others over the role he played on the board of the collapsed bank.

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“…These are the three statements I will make with regards to the response I want to give, which I expect you to carry along to explain what is happening. My first statement is that God is good, my second statement is that God is good and my third statement is that God is good,” he stated.

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."

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.

"My position was a non-executive role. I was therefore not involved in the day-to-day management and operations of the Bank," parts of the statement read.

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.

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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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