There are telltale signs that DKM customers who are hoping that the new NPP government will keep to the promise of refunding their monies may end up being disappointed…
Since after the transition of powers from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), affected members of the public have been raising concerns over the possibility of having their lost monies refunded according to the new government’s promise ahead of the elections. However, hopes were still high until the recent incident that occurred at the House of Parliament during and after the vetting of Finance Minister-designate, Kenneth Ofori-Attah.
During his vetting by the Parliament Appointment Committee (PAC), Ofori-Attah was asked by the MP for Asunafo South, if preparations are being made to retrieve DKM customers’ monies. In response to the question, the Finance Minister nominee said that the so-called promise is not captured in the NPP’s manifesto. This response implied that the NPP government is not committing to retrieving the monies.
The matter was again raised by Eric Opoku as the Parliament subsequently deliberated on the report of the PAC on the recently approved 8 ministerial nominees. A heated argument ensued, with the majority not allowing the minority to provide an evidence of the ‘promise’ made by the NPP leader prior to the 2016 election.
NPP’s Promise To Refund DKM Customers’ Monies
Prior to the 2016 elections, Nana Akufo-Addo reportedly promised to refund the monies of the defrauded customers if elected into office. According to reports, he made the promise during his campaign tour of the Brong Ahafo region in November last year. The NPP leader had then assured the people that he will do all within his powers to ensure that the monies were refunded in full when he becomes president.
To lend credence to Nana Addo’s promise, Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Nana Obiri Boahen reiterated that the NPP will refund the DKM customers’ monies if voted into power. Mr. Boahen gave this assurance in an address during the campaign launch of the NPP Parliamentary Candidate of Sunyani East, Mr Kyeremeh Cheremeh.
Speaking at the campaign launch, Obiri-Boahen told Ghanaians that the ball is in their court, as regards the refund of the monies of DKM creditors. According to him, if the people want to have their monies refunded, they should vote the NPP into power, but should do otherwise if they want the opposite.
Don’t Dare Me – Obiri-Boahen to Eric Opoku
Following Eric Opoku’s dare of President Akufo-Addo and the NPP to fulfil their promise to the DKM customers, Nana Obiri-Boahen warned him to keep his mouth shut or risk being exposed. Speaking on Ghana Te Sen morning show on Accra-based Top FM, Obiri-Boahen said that Erik Opoku is the last person he ever expected to raise concerns about the DKM scandal.
He went on to allege that some key NDC Municipal Chief Executives and District Chief Executives in the Brong Ahafo including Eric Opoku who was a Minister for the Brong Ahafo Region under the Mahama administration, were part of the scandal. He therefore warned Mr. Opoku not force him to mention how much he benefited from the scam.
The DKM Saga
DKM is a Ghanaian Micro-finance bank having its headquarters in Sunyani, the capital of Brong-Afafo region; with other branch offices located in Wenchi, Techiman, Nkoranza, Berekum, Wa, and Bolgatanga. The Bank of Ghana in 2015, ordered the investigation and audit of the bank’s assets by the Financial Intelligent Centre (FIC).
Findings revealed that the company collected ₵115.2 million from customers but had only ₵10.8 million in its accounts at the time of investigations. It was also discovered that DKM diverted an amount of GH77.2 million of its customers’ deposits to run its subsidiary companies some of which includes DKM Airline Company, DKM Fuel Station, DKM Transport, DKM Shea Butter Company and DKM Mining Company.
Following these findings, the BoG gave the micro-finance bank a month to raise GH₡50 million in addition to the GH₡10.8 million the firm’s vault, so it could be cleared to resume operations and pay its investors their due principals and accrued interests. But DKM was unable to do so. The Bank of Ghana therefore revoked the company’s licence to operate and as well ordered its liquidation over allegations of violation of micro-finance regulations and money laundering.
Close down of DKM by the BoG saw the accounts of thousands of Ghanaians frozen, with millions of fortunes trapped. The incident has been described as one of the biggest micro-finance disaster in the history of the industry. Since after the ugly development, it has been protests upon protests from the DKM creditors in the bid to have their monies back.
Reports have revealed that the incident has drastically affected economic activities since it affected the fortunes of numerous residents of the area. Several measures have been taken by the government to see how the situation could be managed to avoid further damages. According to reports, liquidation of the company’s assets and subsequent payment of her customers has commenced since the beginning of October.
Meanwhile, several cases of suicide, death and illness of DKM customers resulting from the shock of their losses have been recorded. The latest in the news is that of Mr Bra Kwasi, owner of Micky Enterprise in Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region, who died of shock after receiving GhC3,500 instead of the GhC600,000 he invested in the bank. Some other customers received GhC10 in place of whatever amount they deposited.
When the NPP came with the promise of refunding all the monies of the DKM creditors, many wondered if it is a feasible promise or just one of those propaganda to help them get the peoples’ votes. However, the aggrieved customers who are seeking help from all possible angles felt with promise, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel as many of them have revealed that Nana Addo’s promise of reimbursing them, was the main reason why they voted for him in the last election.