About nine senior workers of Opportunity International Savings and Loans limited, now purchased by Fidelity Bank, have threatened legal action against the management and Board of the company for what they describe as unlawful dismissal.
The New Crusading GUIDE is informed that that the nine workers were dismissed by the savings and Loans company after it lost a huge sum of GHC1.2 million in a bleak loan transaction with Telexfree, a united states based company with subsidiary in Ghana.
The affected workers are: Benjamin Quarm; credit officer, Rabiatu Alidu; credit officer, Peter
Anaman; credit officer, Solace Twum Barimah; credit officer Linda Asante; Relationship Manager, Isaac Appiah; Relationship Manager, Prince Asamoah; Transformation Officer, Anita Tetteh; compliance officer, and Yvone Nortey; the Madina Branch Manager of the Opportunity Savings and Loans Limited.
Narrating the facts of the case to this paper in an interview, Mr Peter Anaman, a credit officer of the company said in December 2013, Prince Asamoah, who was the Transformation officer with the responsibility to out-source new projects and customers, brought a business from Telexfree Inc, a US based multiplayer marketing company that deals in the sale of VOIP(Telex99) products.
“This transaction was recommended to the branch manager who informed all the staff and copied same to the entire management of the company”. I got to know about Telex Free through the branch transformation officer, Prince Asamoah Welbeck, and the branch management committee members: Mrs. Yvone Nortey, Efia Acheampong , Linda Asante Isaac Owusu Appiah and Esther Torgbor.”
They said “We had a meeting and the Telexfree agents made a presentation of their business they wanted us to finance. We were given forms that had already been filled to complete and distribute without complaints. In our normal practice orientation and assessments are done before forms are filled but with the Telex Free loans, there was no orientation done”.
Mr. Anaman indicated that “on Tuesday 4th March 2014, I visited the Telexfree business centre at Legon to fill the forms for the clients that was when I got to meet some of them. No residential assessment was done. This was against the principle but the team leaders took responsibility during their meeting with the branch management team. Cash flow was prepared based on inflow and outflow of cash and commission on the investment”.
“In April 2014, he noted, “I saw some loans disbursed in my name which I had no Idea so I sent a mail to my immediate boss, my Isaac Owusu Appiah, asking him to transfer those loans into the portfolio of the right persons but nothing was done about it till date. So I don’t
know why the management of the bank will say they were not informed about the disbursement and that the transaction was done in secrecy at the Madina branch of the Opportunity Savings and Loans Limited”.
Also in her statement, Rabiatu Alidu, who has been affected by the exercise said “management knew everything about the Telexfree loan financing and that if it claimed it knew nothing about the facility why were the officials still keeping Efia Acheampong, the operations manager and Esther Torgbor, the relationship manager.
They are keeping them because the two persons have threatened to release all the official emails sent to inform them about the transaction and expose the management team should it attempt to relief them off their posts. All they are trying to do is to sacrifice us to save their image but this will not work. They claim to have reported us to the CID headquarters for questioning. This is a lie. No Police Officer has invited us for questioning”.
She also narrated that “When the management team realized the Telexfree loan facility was a bad deal it reported only the branch manager, Yvone Nortey and the transformation officer
Prince Asamoah, to the Police for questioning and they went with their lawyers to explain what happened. So why should they say that we have been invited by the Police. We have never been invited by the Police. The management team is only trying to cover up but it will be exposed”.
Rabiatu noted, “It will interest you to know that Prince Asamoah was adjudged best worker of the company last year for bringing this particular deal to the company after it generated a profit of GHC100, 000 in the first year. It will also interest you to know that one of the auditors of the company, Frank Abdullah Idrissu, summoned us to his office at the circle branch and forced us to write our statement on Police form he issued to us in the absence of a Police officer. He forced us to write our statement on a Police form when there was no
Police officer at the time. Where did he get the Police form? We have reported his activities to the Nima Police station and we are told he is being investigated by one CID Yakubu.”
Meanwhile, this Journalist, on 29th December 2014, visited the headquarters of Opportunity
International Savings and Loans Company in Accra to meet the Chief Executive Officer of the
Company, Mr. Kwame Boateng to deliberate over the issue. Also at the meeting were the Head of Human Resources Ebenezer Cofie- Aidoo, Head of legal Affairs Madam Augusta Andrews, and the chief Auditor. Victor Acquah
Speaking to the Journalist, Mr. Kwame Boateng, the CEO said, “I believe we have institutions in
Ghana like the Labour commission where they can go and lodge their complaints and they have the right to refer the case to their lawyers if they so wish and we can debate it. Apart from this, we cannot go further. There is no contract between opportunity international and Telexfree. The issue is with the Police CID and we have also reported it to the Bank of Ghana.
You are a journalist, go to the CID headquarters and meet the CID officer in charge of the case. The docket is with them. When you get there you will find him, I can’t give you his name. You are a Journalist and you know how to find him. I will not comment further. I sack staff based on internal policy and breach of contract. They have been sacked for breaching the contracts that we have with them. We have sacked all those involved at the Madina
Branch. We have also reported whatever we have lost to the Bank of Ghana. This loss has not
affected our ability to pay our depositors so there is no cause for alarm. The affected workers should pray that they don’t go to jail. The board and management were not aware of the transaction. They have gone against our internal policy and they have been sacked based on that. The money is not for them”.
He continued that, “This is an isolated incident so you cannot blame the entire management.
It happens everywhere. People collude to dupe. When people decide to team up and break the law time will catch up with them. We are hopeful the money will be recovered. Banking is about trust but when you betray… you are dealt with.
The one million would have been nothing big to complain about if it were banks like Barclays or Standard chartered banks. They would have let it go”.
Source: The New Crusading Guide
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