General News of Friday, 2 November 2018
An Accra High Court has ordered the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to release the passport of former head of Management Information Systems at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Caleb Kwaku Afaglo.
Afaglo’s passport was seized by EOCO last year when it began investigations into the $72 million SSNIT Operational Business Suite (OBS) contract scandal.
During Friday’s proceedings in court, lawyers for Afaglo made an application questioning why their client’s passport is still being held by EOCO.
They did not understand why Afaglo’s passport has yet to be released when he has already been granted bail by the court.
Trial judge, Justice Henry Anthony Kwofie in his ruling said since Afaglo’s bail was with no conditions, holding on to his passport was inappropriate.
He added that there was no justifiable reason for EOCO to hold on to the passport especially when the individual involved, is identifiable and will be willing to show up in court anytime he is called upon.
Justice Kwofie, therefore, ordered the immediate release of the passport.
Afaglo is standing trial with four others; the immediate past Director-General of SSNIT, Ernest Thompson and former IT Manager, John Hagan Mensah.
The rest are CEO of Perfect Business Systems, Juliet Hassan Kramar– who was awarded the multi-million dollar contract – and SSNIT lawyer, Peter Hayibor.
They have been charged with 29 counts of allegedly causing financial loss of more than $14 million to the state.
They have pleaded not guilty to all the charges.