Veteran Ghanaian actor David Dontoh has rubbished claims that he, together with musician Amandzeba Nat Brew, squandered an amount of GHc125,000 belonging to an NGO.
According to him, the money was used for its intended purpose and they are ready to account for every penny of it.
The actor was speaking in an interview with Myjoyonline.com after an Accra High Court granted him bail Thursday in the sum of GHc150,000 with two sureties for stealing from the NGO in 2010.
The NGO, Africa Awake 2010 and its Executive Director, Mr. Kwame Wadaada sued the two entertainment personalities in 2013 to account for the money which they allegedly withdrew from the NGO’s bank account without authority.
In 2013, Myjoyonline.com reported that the NGO filed a suit at the Fast Track Division of the High Court on July 22, asking Messrs Amandzeba and David Dontoh to render accounts as to what they used the money for or refund same if they fail to do so.
Africa Awake 2010 claimed that in May 2010, it received a Public Private Partnership sponsorship to the tune of GHc150,000 from the government of the late President John Evans Atta Mills.
The money was to be used for the establishment of a project dubbed the Atta Mills Legacy Project, Myjoyonline.com’s investigations revealed.
Africa Awake 2010 claimed that out of the GHc150,000, an amount of GHc145,000 was deposited in the NGO’s Stanbic Bank account (Acc. No. 0140002631901) with Mr. Kwame Wadaada, Africa Awake 2010, Amandzeba Nat Brew and David Dontoh as signatories to the account.
The claimants said that except for an amount of GHc19,500, which they were aware was spent on various projects, Amandzeba Nat Brew and David Dontoh made “unauthorized withdrawals” between May 24, 2010, and June 10, 2010, to the tune of GHc125,000 without his knowledge.
Amandzeba Nat Brew and David Dontoh were served notice in May 2013 to refund the money with interest within 14 days or face legal action but they failed to do that.
The actor explained to Myjoyonline.com that he has done nothing wrong and believes that Kwame Wadaada is only trying to soil his name.
He narrated that, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture wanted to send some entertainment personalities to the 2010 World Cup to promote the country at an expo. He was subsequently made the chairman of an ad-hoc committee after the ministry said it did not have funds to support the trip.
The late President John Evans Atta Mills, he added, made a donation to the committee to support the trip. Three persons, himself [David Dontoh], Amandzeba and Kwame Wadaada, who wanted to organise a concert, were the signatories of the account, he added.
“That account, we were three, myself, Amandzeba and him, that Kwame Wadaada guy and any two could make withdrawals from that account. When he [Kwame Wadaada] had gone to South Africa with Rex Omar and others and we were still preparing, we needed to buy drums, pay artistes rehearsals and T&T and things like that so myself and Amandzeba had to go and make withdrawals for airfare bookings…
“We went ahead and made withdrawals from that same account that we are talking about just so that we could take care of all these things then you now come and say that we have come to steal from that account. I don’t know how I can steal from an account that I can rightfully sign to withdraw from.”
The money, David added, was not even sufficient for the project.
According to him, all the instruments they bought, “I didn’t even take one. I left them all at MUSIGA. Even the Wadaada guy when he comes to Accra from Mankessim, I give him transport.”
Kwame Wadaada’s request for a refund is unfounded, he noted, stressing that the said amount is not even his so “who [should] refund money to him?”
David Dontoh believes that Kwame Wadaada “is only just trying to use me because he knows that if he uses me and it comes into the media, it will catch fire and then by whatever means he will be able to get some money. Nobody owes him one penny or anything.”
Amandzeba was not in court Thursday. The next hearing date is November 19, 2015.