Kwadwo Addeah Prempeh has such a strong sense of entitlement, that he even writes recommendations for himself. ARB Apex Bank in Ghana confirmed that he used their letterhead, impersonated one of their credit managers, falsified his signature and fabricated a whole letter glorifying himself.
One of our sources provided us with a recommendation letter, dated 21 September 2018, and directed at the Principal of Wageningen University & Research, a Dutch university where Kwadwo Addeah Prempeh had applied for a masters’ study in Organic Agriculture. In this letter, signed by Roderick Ayeh, a credit risk manager with ARB Apex Bank in Ghana, Addeah receives a warm recommendation.
On the bank’s letterhead Ayeh expresses his “wholehearted support” for Addeah, who according to the letter was employed with the bank from 2006 to 2010. Ayeh says he was “impressed with Prempeh’s writing skills, initiative, and ability to meet deadlines”. He performed greatly for the bank and “brought a rich knowledge of historical and contemporary ways of doing business banking in the 21st century.”
THE RECOMMENDATION LETTER
To protect our source, we offer an anonymized copy of this recommendation letter. The original is in our possession. It was written in MS Word on 14 October 2018.
What drew our attention is that the recommendation is simply too good to be true. Normally business recommendations are written in more modest terms. We also noticed that in the original the letterhead image had a different resolution from the text of the letter, which could point to a cut-and-paste action. An older logo of the bank was used, and also uncommon: it included a Whatsapp number. We also noticed that Mr. Ayeh’s first name was spelled incorrectly (Rodrick instead of Roderick), which is a mistake Ayeh would certainly not have made himself.
When we contacted Roderick Ayeh on October 7 for a fact-check, he was quick to respond:
“I have never written any such recommendation for Mr. Addeah in my capacity as Roderick Ayeh or an officer of the bank. The signature is not my signature and the reference letter does not conform to how reference letters are generated if it is from any of the bank’s department. I confirm, I have nothing to do with this recommendation letter.”
AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION
We also contacted Collins Ofori-Adu, the Head of Internal Control at ARB Apex Bank, who replied with a cc to the Manager Inspections and started an internal investigation. On October 16 he reported back with this letter to Wageningen University with a cc to us:
“We wish to inform you that the said recommendation letter did not come from the ARB Apex Bank Limited. The letterhead and the signature by Mr. Roderick Ayeh were forged by Mr. Addeah Prempeh. Mr. Addeah Prempeh came to the Bank from the University of Ghana for industrial attachment between the periods 14th June 2006 to April 2008. He was therefore not a permanent staff of the ARB Apex Bank Ltd.”
This also clearly establishes that Kwadwo Addeah Prempeh never worked as a banker for ARB Apex Bank, even though he made people believe so to build trust and swindle them. An ‘industrial attachment’ is a structured, credit-bearing work experience in a professional work setting during which a student applies and acquires knowledge and skills. It involves the application of learned skills in an organization related to the students’ major. In other words: an internship without serious responsibilities. Addeah’s statement that he was employed with the bank from 2006 to 2010 is a plain lie. Ofori-Adu confirmed that he did a short internship of 2.5 months in the Summer of 2006 and a longer internship of eight months from September 2007 to April 2008.
REPORT TO THE POLICE
Is the information that he (ab)used the bank’s letterhead and one of their employees for a fake recommendation reason for ARB Apex Bank to also investigate if potential irregularities happened during the time Addeah Prempeh worked for the bank? “Yes,” Ofori-Adu replied. Is this fraud reason for ARB Apex Bank to report him to the police? “Yes,” Ofori-Adu replied. “His conduct and actions qualify for that.”
We asked to be informed of the outcome of this investigation and the further steps ARB Apex Bank will take in this case. For further reading we recommend Addeah’s (similar) fraud with Stanbic Bank and the essay prize he claimed with the World Bank. As he also claimed to have worked for the First Bank of Nigeria, we’re investigating further.