Three persons, Norman Owusu-Bannie, Charles Asabre and Kwame Brenya are standing trial at the Kumasi Circuit Court, for attempting to sell the Kumasi Club, an organisation whose life patron is the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
They are alleged to have defrauded a Turkish business man to the tune of $1.4 million with the intention of selling the Club.
The accused have been charged with defrauding by false pretences contrary to section 131 of 29/60, conspiracy to defraud and defrauding by false pretences contrary to section 23(1) and section 131 of the criminal offences Act 1960 (Act 29), deceiving public officer contrary to section 251 of the criminal offences Act 1960 (Act 29) and attempting to steal contrary to 18)1) and section 124(1) of the criminal offences act 1960.
What we know so far
Our sources from the court tell us the suspects, Norman Owusu Barnie, Kwame Brenyah who are both members of the club and one Charles Asabere, a dismissed staff of the club, were investigated on October 21, 2019 after registering the club in their names in order to own it.
They are alleged to have used it as a mortgage to take an amount of $1.4 million from some investors.
According to our sources, the cover of the suspects was blown up by two practising lawyers in Accra, who saw them engage in that alleged criminal act and reported the case to the Manhyia Palace, the seat of the Asante King, after which the police were notified.
The accused have been granted bail with two sureties each.
They are set to reappear in court on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
In October 2019, the Zongo Police in Kumasi investigated three persons, Norman Owusu Barnie, Kwame Brenyah and Charles Asabere for allegedly trying to steal and registering Kumasi Club in their name at the Registrar Generals Department in Kumasi and Accra, in order to perpetrate fraud.
The club is Asantehene Otumfuo’s property and without his permission, nobody can register the club in his/her name, not even the executives. The Kumasi Club was formerly known as the Kumasi European Club of which the Asantehene is the life patron. The Club which was established in 1927, boasts of highly trained professionals residing in the Ashanti Region.
The original premises of the Kumasi European Club were in the red Fort, which was under British control at the time. In the early part of the century, a fire broke out in the fort and the club’s premises were destroyed.
Funds collected from insurance were used to acquire and develop the site on which the club stands today.
The Kumasi European Club which was accessed by only Europeans, changed its membership requirements and opened its doors to to people of all nationalities.