Fact Check: Allegations against Gadzekpo and Ken Ofori-Atta false - Council

Fact Check: Allegations against Gadzekpo and Ken Ofori-Atta false - Council

- Lawyers for the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta and Keli Gadzekpo, a board member of the Bank of Ghana have debunked claims made by Ato Essien

- According to the lawyers, the claim by the Capital bank’s founder, William Ato Essien was “malicious”, and “plainly false

- They have however described the statement by Ato Essien as defamatory

Lawyers for the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta and Keli Gadzekpo, a board member of the Bank of Ghana have debunked claims that the two had initiated conversations to acquire Capital Bank in 2016.

According to the lawyers, the claim by the Capital bank’s founder, William Ato Essien, was “malicious”, and “plainly false”.

Ato Essien, in an interview on Good Evening Ghana, said the two founders of Databank Ghana in 2016 approached him with their intentions on how to acquire his Capital bank which is now defunct.

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However, lawyers of the two persons, in a response, said nothing of that sort happened.

“We wish to place on record that neither Mr. Keli Gadzekpo nor Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta communicated to Mr. William Ato Essien an intention to acquire Capital Bank in 2016 as claimed by Mr. William Ato Essien.
The claim by Mr. William Ato Essien against the two founders of Databank, a reputable Investment Bank, is plainly false, malicious and disingenuous.”

Ken Ofori-Atta and Keli Gadzekpo through their lawyers further condemned Mr. Essien over what they said were defamatory comments intended to link them negatively to the recent banking sector clean up that was championed by the Bank of Ghana.

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Read below the full statement:

Accra, Monday, 30 September 2019

FALSE AND MALICIOUS ACCUSATIONS AGAINST MESSRS KELI GADZEKPO AND KEN OFORI-ATTA BY MR. WILLIAM ATO ESSIEN, FOUNDER OF CAPITAL BANK (IN OFFICIAL LIQUIDATION)

On Thursday, September 26, Mr. William Ato Essien, the founder of Capital Bank (In Official Liquidation) appeared on Good Evening Ghana, a television interview programme on Metro TV, hosted by Mr Paul Adom Otchere.

During the said interview, Mr. William Ato Essien made inter alia, unsubstantiated and unchallenged claims, including a complete and palpable falsehood directed at Messrs Keli Gadzekpo (a board member of the Bank of Ghana since 2017) and Ken Ofori-Atta (the Finance Minister since 2017)(“our Clients”)

We have our Clients instructions to respond to the said unsubstantiated claims and falsehood perpetrated by the said Mr. William Ato Essien against our Clients as follows:

1. We wish to place on record that neither Mr. Keli Gadzekpo nor Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta communicated to Mr. William Ato Essien an intention to acquire Capital Bank in 2016 as claimed by Mr. William Ato Essien. The claim by Mr. William Ato Essien against the two founders of Databank, a reputable Investment Bank, is plainly false, malicious and disingenuous.

2. In any event, it may be worth stressing that an expression of interest, prior to examining the books of a Bank, cannot be stretched to mean or even imply an endorsement or confirmation that Capital Bank at that material time had a clean bill of health.

3. Our Clients reject and condemn the defamatory remarks and suggestions purporting to link our Clients in a negative way with the Banking sector clean up process that was decided, implemented, led and managed by the Bank of Ghana.

4. The role of the Ministry of Finance in the entire exercise was/is, primarily, focused on how to: (a) provide financial assistance within the country’s limited fiscal space to protect the funds of depositors; and (b) build stronger, healthier and internationally competitive Ghanaian-owned Banks.

5. It must also be underlined that the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, was/is not responsible for the events and/or decisions that led to the unfortunate collapse of any Bank in Ghana. His responsibility as Finance Minister was/is to manage the national economy and, more particularly the impact of such a major crisis – which commenced prior to the appointment of Mr Ken Ofori-Atta as Finance Minister.

6. Mr. William Ato Essien’s sensationalist attack on Messrs. Keli Gadzekpo and Ken Ofori-Atta is false, unnecessary and diversionary.

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