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Emmanuel Ena George takes Abake Williams to task

Sep 26, 2012, 10:18 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

A plaintiff, Emmanuel Ena George, sued Prime Bank to the Kanifing Industrial Tribunal for wrongful dismissal.

Mrs Abake Williams testified in favour of the bank and she was cross-examined by Moses Richards, the plaintiff’s counsel, at the end of her testimony.

Emmanuel Ena George on 25 September 2012 continued the cross-examination of Mrs Abake Williams.

He first asked her what a swap deal was and in her responded, saying it was one whereby you exchange one foreign currency with another.

“Prime Bank had foreign currency accounts with their parent company (Lebanese-Canadian Bank). Is that correct?” he asked.

“That is correct,” she replied.

“So when the shipment is done, those accounts are credited. Is that correct?” he questioned.

“That is correct,” she answered.

“So the euro in question here was shipped and the euro account was credited overseas and on the agreed value date the euro account was debited and the US Dollar credited. Is that correct?”Mr George asked.

“No, that is not correct,” Mrs Williams answered.

“Are you aware that the Africell deal went through?” he enquired.

“Yes,” she said.

“You informed the tribunal that you have never seen a transaction in which we did not receive the currency but sold it out. Is that correct?” he challenged her.

“That is correct,” she responded.

“You have not been honest to the tribunal, because you have just confirmed that the Africell deal was through,” he put it to her.

“I have been very honest to the tribunal. The Africell transaction which you have just stated is a completely different transaction,” Mrs Williams answered.

“Can you explain what you mean by completely different transaction?” Mr George asked.

“In the Africell transaction, Africell wanted $150,000 which Prime Bank had to sell and their price was D31.30 and Africell agreed to that. So Africell gave Prime Bank the equivalent in dalasi and Prime Bank credited their account with $150,000,” she stated.

Mrs Williams further stated that the transaction in question, the supplier had Euro 122,000 roughly and he wanted dalasi and the bank gave him dalasi. However, she added, it would be difficult for a lay person to clearly know that the euro was being purchased at D41.85 if you present it as the customer was swapping the euro to dollars and then selling those same dollars he swapped at D31.10

“Your narration of the transaction to the tribunal is different from what you just read on exhibit F, being the email you sent to me,” Mr George put it to her.

“No, that is not correct. A swap would have ended having received the euro and credit the customer’s account with the dollars,” said Mrs Williams.

“In the event I had a request from Africell to purchase $150,000 at D31.30, what was wrong with buying the dollars from the customer at D31.10?” he enquired.

“There was no dollar,” she said.

“You told the tribunal that I have had issues with the MD with adherence to instructions. Is that correct?” he asked.

“That is correct,” she replied.

“Why was this letter, exhibit E, given to me?” he questioned.

“Because you complained that you were unable to do your job effectively,” Mrs Williams said.

‘I was terminated for the same reasons I resigned,” Mr George put it to her.

“I don’t know,” she replied.

“Is reason three, an exhibit K, referring to the euro deal?” he asked.

“Yes,” she answered.

“Do you remember that you authorised two purchase deals of $82,088 and $79,680 on 17 and 22 September 2010, respectively?” he questioned.

“I did authorize those transactions but the transactions were between the bank and MA Financial and not the bank and Rene Blain who works for MA Financial,” Mrs Williams said.

“Since you said the transactions you authorised were between the bank and MA Financial, please read the narration of the transactions on the customer’s account on exhibit O, on17 and 22 September 2010,” he challenged.

The witness read the said exhibit to the tribunal.

“Is that a confirmation that those transactions were between Rene Blain and Prime Bank?” he asked.

“It is not a confirmation,” she added.

“Why was such a serious allegation at D41.50 when the going rate was D41.20 not captured on my dismissal letter?” Mr George challenged.

“I don’t know but I think it is implied,” said Mrs Williams.

“But indeed the transaction was profitable to the bank,” he put it to her.

“Yes, it was,” Mrs Williams said.

At this juncture, the case was adjourned till 16 October 2012, for adoption of briefs.