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Aftermath of $60m suit: NIB boils – Turf war rocks Bank

What started as smoldering infighting amongst staff, management and board of the nation’s premiere investment bank, the National Investment Bank (NIB), is escalating following the bank’s recent victory over Dominion Corporate Trustee Limited at the Supreme Court in the $60 million judgment debt suit.

Though many Ghanaians have been commending the state owned bank’s management and board headed by Managing Director, Mr John Kweku Asamoah and Togbe Afede XIV respectively, for saving the country from paying the whopping $60 million in judgment debt, information reaching The aL-hAJJ indicates that, some disgruntled staff of the bank have intensify their demand for the dismissal of the MD and board members.

Independent investigations by this paper revealed that, much as the NIB staff may have a genuine cause for their campaign, some leading members of the ruling NPP with interest in who heads the bank, are the ones fanning the crusade for the dismissal of the Kweku Asamoah led-management and Togbe Afede XIV’s board.

Though The aL-hAJJ has some names of the supposed faceless members of the governing New Patriotic Party who are said to be seething with rage over the continue stay in office of the bank’s MD and board despite several appeals to President Akufo-Addo to show them the exit, we shall however shelve them for now.

However, among those funding the “crusade” against the NIB beleaguered officials is an influential NPP member who heads an important state institution in Tema.

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The staff, The aL-hAJJ has gathered, have since the swearing into office of President Akufo-Addo written series of petitions, demanding the dismissal of Mr Kweku Asamoah and some management members.

They are also knocking on the doors of President Akufo Addo to dissolve the NIB board chaired by the Agbogbomefia of Asogli Traditional area over alleged mismanagement and stated malfeasance.

Flag Staff House sources told this paper the agitations by the staff is being fueled by some NPP heavyweights who are lobbying for their preferred ‘candidates’ to head the bank and also be appointed as board members.

The NPP kingpins are said to be mounting intense pressure on President Akufo-Addo to grant the staff their wish in order to pave way for their preferred choices to take over.

But the President, according to a source close to him, is in a fix due to his personal “relationship” with Togbe Afede XIV and Mr Kweku Asamoah’s exemplary leadership which has turned around the bank’s fortune.

“Whiles those calling for the head of the MD and Board may be making legitimate demands, the President’s hands are tied. Dissolving the Togbe Afede led-board could be catastrophic for the NPP as you know; the party is already seen as anti-ewe and Togbe is also a representative of chiefs in Ghana. Aside, the MD and his team, according to official financial reports, have turned the fortunes of the bank around thus, making the bank more attractive…so who changes a winning team..?” the source quizzed.

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Another source told this paper that the President may be hesitant in firing the MD and board because of their satisfactory management of the bank. The source cited the recent $60 million judgment debt case the bank won at the Supreme Court as testimony of the good works of the MD and the board, which he says, has saved the bank and country at large.

When The aL-hAJJ contacted a senior government official with oversight supervision over state financial institutions, he told this paper “The MD and board members are humans, they have their shortfalls but I don’t think the president can just fire people on the basis of allegations. The workers have alleged some wrongdoings at the bank by the MD and board members, these things must first be investigated before the president can take action” He noted

But the NPP heavyweights pushing for the firing of the MD and board members are arguing that since President Akufo-Addo has sacked heads of other state institutions and also dissolved virtually all boards constituted by President John Mahama, he must extend his rod to NIB.

The Board of NIB is made of Togbe Afede XIV, John Kweku Asamoah, Florence Chambas, Dedaa Wiredu-Agyei, Dr John Gatsi, Seth Ofori-Ohene, Hajia Zaynab Joyce Mahama and Mr Ernest Nunoo.

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According to the staff and the NPP big shots, most of the board members are known NDC members and cannot be allowed to remain in office while others suspected to be sympathizers of the biggest opposition party have been sent home in other state institutions.

They are also alleging that the MD and Board have colluded in siphoning the bank’s resources, diversion of monies meant for the bank, payment of “outrageous” legal fees to lawyers who represented the bank at the Supreme Court in its case with Dominion Corporate Trustee Limited among others.

“The state has been saved from paying $60 million dollars judgment debt and everybody is happy, but if you calculate the amount paid to the lawyers as legal fees to fight that case and the kind of looting going on here, you would realized that there is nothing to rejoice over so far as this case is concerned,” a worker at the bank who pleaded anonymity revealed.

But a source close to the management of the bank denied the worker’s allegations, claiming “these allegations are part of the grand scheme to kick Mr Asamoah and Togbe Afede out. There is no truth in what they are saying. They are churning out these things to force the President to sack the man.”