General News of Sunday, 15 February 2015
The Sissala District Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS) who committed suicide while investigations were ongoing into the role he played in the Ghc80 million scandal, paid Ghc75,000 back to the state before taking his life.
Lambert Akansar was found to have embezzled Ghc221,780 but he managed to refund Ghc75,000 to investigators of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) before he committed suicide by hanging in early January, 2015.
Snippets of information gathered by the Daily Graphic indicate that Akansar faced challenges recouping the money he had given out as loans to individuals in Suhum and Sissala areas.
It was said that some of the individuals who borrowed the money refused to pay him when he went round pleading with them to repay him.
Sources told the Daily Graphic, which first broke the story in October 2014, that Akansar, who was the former Suhum District Director of the NSS, asked some persons close to him if they had attempted suicide before.
They found his question strange but it never crossed their minds that he would take his own life.
So far, 171 individuals including the Executive Director of the NSS, Alhaji Imoro Alhassan, have been implicated in the scandal.
The offence, which was committed from September 2013 to August 2014, resulted in the loss of Ghc80 million to the state.
A total of 30,816 ghost names were generated during the period.
It also emerged that the fraud was perpetuated through the mandatory, voluntary and overpayment return accounts of the NSS.
The breakdown shows a total of 29,358 ghost names were generated for the mandatory scheme, while 853 and 605 ghost names were generated for the voluntary and overpayment returns respectively.
Sources at the BNI have urged the public to trust that the Bureau would conduct an effective investigation.
Alhaji Alhassan and 22 other directors of the NSS were alleged to have paid Ghc200,000 as bribe to investigators of BNI to conceal the financial rot.
The money is currently in the custody of the BNI as an exhibit.
Alhaji Alhassan is standing trial at the Financial Division of the High Court and has pleaded not guilty to the charge of stealing Ghc86.9 million.
He has been granted bail in the sum of Ghc90 million with three sureties, all to be justified, with property valued at more than one Ghc1 million.