Story: Today Correspondent
A few months ago, the Today Newspaper published a story with the headline, “What Happened to Transparency and Human Rights in Ghana – SEC and RGD?” In the past few days, news stories have been published in the media that require that Today brings an update on this important topic to the attention of our numerous readers.
A group calling itself Aggrieved Customers of Gold Coast Fund Management threatened last week to sue government for not paying to them validated claims even though the promise had been made to them. This is after several of these customers had been mobilized allegedly by the agents of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to flood the court hearing the Registrar General’s petition to liquidate BlackShield/GCFM, in order to influence the outlook of the judge. It is this move that seems to have backfired as many of the people now understand that the solution is not in liquidating any company but dealing with the indebtedness of government agencies to Groupe Nduom companies.
By seeking to liquidate BlackShield, legal experts are convinced that SEC and the Registrar General have misfired. BlackShield has consistently informed the authorities that the bulk of customer funds were invested in government contracts. It is government and its agencies that have failed to pay what’s due on the contracts and in some cases, even cancelled a number of the contracts. So many are asking, “Will the Registrar General take the government agencies to court to liquidate them if it wins the court case?” Why not, they ask, go directly through government channels to collect the contracts so that the BlackShield customers can be paid?
In another twist, it turned out that Parliament authorized the payment of the claims of BlackShield customers more than two years ago. We wonder what has prevented this from happening.
Today has also been made aware that the President H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appointed a Mediator to resolve the matter between Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, his companies and SEC, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana. So why is the Registrar General in court over the same matter?
Will the Registrar General be able to cause the liquidation of government or its agencies?
We reproduce below, the news story we published in April 2022:
What Happened to Transparency and Human Rights in Ghana – SEC and RGD?
On 27th November 2019, the Registrar-General Mrs. Jemima Oware filed a petition at the High Court (Commercial Division) in Accra asking for BlackShield Capital Management Limited (formerly Gold Coast Fund Management Company) to be wound up under the provisions of the Bodies Corporate (Official Liquidations) Act, 1963 (Act 180). This petition was filed only some 19 days after the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked the license of BlackShield on 8th November 2019. There appear to be reasons best known to the actors on the stage for the seeming haste and lack of transparency in these two related actions.
For the records, it is important to note that it is SEC that asked the RGD to liquidate BlackShield. SEC, our research shows, and they admit so on their own website that unlike the Bank of Ghana, it does not have powers to liquidate any company. This clearly is the reason for bringing in the Registrar-General’s Department.
It is instructive to note that at the time of these actions, Mrs. Oware the Registrar-General was also a member of the Board of Directors of SEC. She was a customer of BlackShield.
The Shareholders of BlackShield it must be pointed out had also engaged the RGD with proposals that would lead to the sorting out of the issues at hand.
Furthermore, is should be pointed out that the founder of BlackShield Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom had sought the assistance of SEC, the regulator in a letter dated 22nd June 2019 to retrieve significant accounts receivable being held by government agencies that today are valued at almost GHS4 billion. The position of BlackShield has been that the receivables would be able to sort out customer demands for the redemption of their investments after proper valuation of each account given the liquidity crisis provoked by the non payment of the accounts receivable.
It is noteworthy that Mr. Paul Ababio SEC’s Deputy Director General after the request for help to retrieve the receivables went on public radio to claim that SEC is not a “debt collector”.
The records also show that BlackShield following the revocation of its license petitioned SEC in 2019 through the administrative hearing process to reconsider its revocation decision. This administrative hearing process was abruptly truncated unilaterally by SEC. After this, BlackShield sought assistance from the judiciary system to get SEC to return to the administrative hearing. This case has not been concluded.
What our investigations uncovered, a breach of the rights of shareholders, is the fact that while the administrative hearings were pending, the RGD on the blind side of BlackShield had filed for the liquidation in court. The RGD, it appears quite deliberately failed to serve BlackShield until after the hasty decision to stop the proceedings made by the Administrative Hearing Committee set up by SEC to study the appeal of BlackShield for the reconsideration of the license revocation decision. All this they did in the name of the Government Administration headed by H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo.