Customers who stormed a church, Zoe Embassy, to demand locked-up investment have said their trust for the leader of the church made them invest in his company without due diligence.
According to Mustapha Alor and Thompson Agyeman, they neither sought professional advice nor checked the registration status of EL Real Estates and Tikowre Capital with the regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, because their trust in the head pastor was sufficient.
They added that even when other Microfinance institutions were going through crises, Pastor Kelvin Kobiri, owner of the companies and head pastor of Zoe Outreach Ministries was able to honour his companies’ financial obligations to them by paying ¢90,000 of the invested capital,¢150,000.
They, therefore, had no reason to doubt the pastor when he promised to pay them the rest later. That, however, failed.
The trust has now waned, they said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday.
The customers, who have promised to lodge an official complaint with the police Monday morning, failed on Sunday to use force to retrieve their locked up capital.
During church service at the Zoe Outreached Embassy on Sunday, some customers butted into the tongues-speaking congregation and startled solemn worshippers with their shouts, insults and threats.
The chaos took several minutes to quell. The disappointed customers have promised to use every legal means to redeem their investments.
The current wave of panic follows a series of actions by the Bank of Ghana to clean the microfinance sector.
The Bank of Ghana has revoked the licences of 386 insolvent microfinance and microcredit companies.
This includes 192 microfinance companies which had their licenses revoked with another 155 insolvent companies that have ceased operations.
The Central Bank in a press release also revoked the licences of 29 insolvent microcredit companies.
The BoG explained that regarding the microfinance companies, it took the action pursuant to section 123 (1) of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).
This action requires the Central Bank to revoke the licence of a bank or Specialised Deposit-taking Institution (SDI) where the Bank of Ghana determines that the institution is insolvent or is likely to become insolvent within the next 60 days.
Consequently, the Bank of Ghana appointed Eric Nipah as Receiver for the specified institutions in line with section 123 (2) of Act 930.
Recounting the sequence of events Mustapha Alor said they invested in EL Real Estates and Tikowre Capital on 24th April 2018. They did so with sales personnel of the company in Tarkwa, who were junior pastors of the Zoe Outreach Ministries.
The maturation date for the investments was three months but others were for a year.
According to him, the company paid them quarterly dividends twice but could not meet its third obligation.
The Chief Executive of the company, Kelvin Kwasi Kobiri explained this was due to the crises in the financial sector.
The Securities and Exchange Commission had given his outfit 60 days to fold up.
All promises to pay customers have consistently failed.
The challenge now is that neither the Chief Executive nor his sales representatives can be located, the investor regretted.