Mobile telecommunication giant, MTN, appears to have endangered the safety of the mobile money accounts of its customers when the company allowed the withdrawal of an amount of Ghc53, 530.00, belonging to one John Padmon, who is a youth activist, without his consentMr Padmon, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Youth Movement was in Kintampo in August 2015 for a skills development and empowerment programme for the youth, when the incident occurred.
Mr Padmon, who is demanding his money from MTN wrote to the telecom company through his lawyer, questioning how that huge amount could be withdrawn from his account without his presence or consent.
Dated October 19, 2015, Mr Padmon wrote to MTN through his lawyer, Isaac Commey-Tetteh Oblitey, questioning the unprofessional conduct of the company and how it could withdraw such an amount without the presence of his client and a valid identification card from him.
We deemed this to be most unprofessional conduct and a breach of proper banking services in Kintampo as very alarming and is not in consonance with both international and local banking rules and regulations and an appropriation and conversion in broad day light of his money “, portion of the letter which is in the possession of The Herald indicated.
MTN which responded to the letter from Mr Padmon’s lawyer, gave justification for the withdrawal when it said in a letter dated October 28, 2015 that it was the wife of Mr Padmon who instructed for the withdrawal of the money for the purposes of paying for a supposed outstanding debt.
Additionally, MTN in its response which was signed by a then senior manager for the Commercial Legal Department, Mr Pala Asiedu Ofori, claimed Mr Padmon’s account was under police investigation for operating a business scheme which recruited customers to contribute money to an investment.
This claim, formed the basis for which Mr Padmon was arrested by the Kintampo police and all his mobile gadgets seized, turned out to be frivolous when he was acquitted and discharged of all charges after being in detention for two weeks.
A copy of a statement from MTN on the withdrawal of the money, shows that the Ghc53, 000 was withdrawn in 52 tranches in view of the fact that as at 2015, Ghc1000 was the highest Mobile Money withdrawal which was allowed
In a second letter to rebut MTN’s response, in a letter dated November 16, 2015, lawyer for Mr Padmon, said it was not true his client gave instruction to his wife for the withdrawal, arguing that it was even the duty of MTN to protect the monies of its client when no evidence showed that the wife was instructed.
Five years on, MTN has not replied to the second letter, but seem to be running away from the issue.
view of this, however, Mr Padmon is suing them for Ghc1 billion for loss of his activities and loss of the livelihood of the over 4,000 teeming youth who were members of the Ghana Youth Movement.
It all happened when the then Municipal Chief Executive for Kintampo South, Justice Baffour, together with a heavy team of policemen invaded a meeting involving Mr Padmon and some youth in Kintampo and violently disrupted it.
Mr Padmon and his assistant, were apprehended and detained in police custody over an allegation of defrauding youths in Kintampo.
Mr Padmon’s phone which had his mobile money account was seized by the police on the instructions of the former MCE.
Mr Padmon who spoke to The Herald recounted how he was harassed, abused and detained for days without food and eventually developed a medical condition he did not have.
In his view and the position of his lawyer, MTN breached banking rules by releasing his money to the former MCE and the police at a time when no court has given an order for such purpose.