Legal Tussle In the Offing: ARB Apex Bank MD Alex Awuah and Board Chair Witch-hunting Former MD’s Associates?

The Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, Mr. Alex Kwasi Awuah and the Board Chairman, Dr Anthony Kwesi Aubynn, have been accused of been behind a witch-hunt agenda to remove all the old management staff who were in charge of critical departments and units and also worked closely with the former Managing Director, Mr Kojo Mattah.

It is alleged he has transferred all the Heads of critical Departments to less critical and in some cases to areas which have nothing to do with their field of speciality. In all these, the Board under the Chairmanship of Dr Anthony Aubynn approved these proposal to 'destroy' the legacy of the former Managing Director Mr Kojo Mattah.

It is alleged this witch hunting schemes with the support of the board has resulted in transfers and termination of staff appointment.

One of such termination is now being contested at the Accra High Court over wrongful dismissal of one of the heads of department.

According to a Statement of Claim chanced on by Peace FM, Mr. Alex Awuah is using the Board Chairman, Dr. Anthony Kwesi Aubynn and Vice Chairperson, Ms. Margaret-Ann Wilson coupled with Kwame Owusu Sekyere (Esq) who represents the Association of Rural Banks on the board to perpetrate his agenda.

He said Mr. Awuah has collapsed all the functioning management structures in the name of organizational restructuring with the support of the Board Chairman. These structures have been working efficiently and effectively for over 10 years whiles Alex Awuah was a management member and later became the Deputy Managing Director.

He claims things are moving from a state of bad to worse since July 2021 when Alex Awuah became the Acting Managing Director and in January 2022 when he was confirmed by Bank of Ghana as the substantive Managing Director.

ARB Apex Bank as a mini-central bank to over 144 rural and community banks in the country.

Statement of Claim

The Plaintiff avers that somewhere in the year 2021 when the position of Managing Director of the Bank became vacant, he applied for the job, as did by the current Managing Director of ARB Apex (the Defendant), Mr. Alex Kwasi Awuah.

He adds that upon the assumption of office as the Managing Director of the Defendant, Mr. Alex Kwasi Awuah evinced an intention to get rid of him.

He further avers that as part of the grand plan of Mr. Alex Kwasi Awuah to constructively dismiss the Plaintiff, he reorganized the Department the Plaintiff was heading into three (3) independent Units and two (2) different departments and assigned only one to the Plaintiff as the head which was outside of his core competence as an Information Technology Expert.

Yet again, in furtherance of the grand scheme to cause his employment termination with the Defendant, the Managing Director in October 2022 requested for an explanation in relation to cash imbalance at Cocoa House Branch of the Bank in April 2022, and cash shortage detected at the Bulk Cash Unit at Accra Branch in July 2022, to which the Plaintiff provided cogent response, which explanation was in line with the corporate culture and operations manual of the Bank.

Information gathered indicated that the Managing Director strangely referred the matter to the Board of Directors and the Board commissioned an ad hoc committee which Mr Alex Kwasi Awuah was a member to review the matter which ordinarily does not warrant such escalation but did that as a means of pursuing his grand agenda.

The Plaintiff says that, as a consequent of the successful meeting held with the ad hoc committee, it came to him as a great shock when the Managing Director of the Defendant wrote to him that the ad hoc committee had found him guilty of negligence and as such the board at its meeting held on 9th December 2022 directed that his appointment should be terminated with immediate effect.

Hence, on 13th December 2022, Mr Alex Awuah wrote to the Plaintiff to terminate his employment with the Defendant with immediate effect.

The Plaintiff contends that a careful review of the Defendant’s policies on the subject in issue will lead to a different conclusion from the hurried conclusion reached by the Defendant under the instructions of the Managing Director, Mr. Alex Kwasi Awuah, all in an effort to force his exit from the Defendant.

The Plaintiff states that Defendant is aware that the Plaintiff has spent almost the better part of his working life in the employment of the Defendant, hence, the termination of his employment which is unlawful exposes the Plaintiff to danger and grave injustice.

The Plaintiff says that the Defendant was aware of the Plaintiff’s critical medical condition and that the Managing Director knew the Plaintiff was on sick leave as he was recuperating from a dreadful medical procedure from an ailment which could have ended his life.

The Plaintiff further states that the Defendant is also aware of his current precarious health situation and the decision to unlawfully terminate his employment is to cut his source of income to cater for his medical bills.


Plaintiff claims against the Defendant

In the circumstances, the Defendant has evinced a clear intention to overreach the Plaintiff by unlawfully terminating his employment; and unless the High Court (Labour Division) intervenes, grave injustice shall be occasioned to the Plaintiff by the Defendant.

The Plaintiff claims against the Defendant is as follows

a. A declaration that the termination of the Plaintiff’s employment is unlawful and not founded in law.

b. An order directed at the Defendant to pay the Plaintiff’s accumulated salary and entitlements for the period of termination till date of judgment.

c. General Damages for wrongful termination of Plaintiff’s employment.

d. Cost including litigation expenses; and

e. Any other relief(s) as this Honorable Court deems meet.

The Plaintiff, a former Head of Department has also alleged that Mr Alex Awuah, the current MD of ARB Apex Bank is only deceiving the Board, Rural and Community Banks as well as the Bank of Ghana that he is performing well financially because he is engaging in “robbing Peter to pay Paul” business by withholding part of the interest on Treasury Bills purchase for the Rural Banks. This interest in the past was being paid fully to the Rural Banks after auction.

According to him this could be confirmed from ARB Apex Bank financial statement for 2021 and 2022.

Be glued for more updates as we bring you details from the Court proceeding.

Read attached the Writ of Summons