I Gave Ex- MASLOC Boss GH¢50,000

Sedina Tamakloe Attionu

The
prosecution yesterday called its fourth witness in the trial of the former Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC),
Christine Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, who is facing charges including conspiracy
to steal, stealing, unauthorized commitment resulting in a financial obligation
for the government, improper payment, money laundering and contravention of the
Public Procurement Act.

In
his evidence-in-chief, the witness, Samuel Kotei Neequaye, who was her former
driver, told the court presided over by Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe about how he
was once made to collect GH¢50,000 cash and deliver it to Ms. Attionu.

Mr.
Neequaye, who is still at post, told the court that it was not the first time
he was made to carry out such a duty for the former embattled ex-MASLOC boss who
is on trial together with Daniel Axim, a former Operations Manager of MASLOC.

The
court has already heard how an amount of GH¢500,000 was returned to Ms. Attionu
in a ‘Ghana Must Go’ bag at a filling station in Accra.

The
money, according to Samuel Quansah, a second prosecution witness, was a refund
of an investment MASLOC made in a private microfinance company, Obaatanpa Microfinance
Company Limited, in 2014.

The
refund was necessitated by a high interest demanded on the investment made by
the erstwhile managers of MASLOC under the leadership of Ms. Attionu.

The
two are facing 78 counts of charges for allegedly stealing and misappropriating
a total amount of GH¢3,198,280 whilst at MASLOC, and willfully causing a
GH¢1,973,780 financial loss to the state.

Evidence

The
fourth prosecution witness, Samuel Kotei Neequaye, led in his evidence-in-chief
by Stella Ohene Appiah, a senior state attorney, told the court that on August
31, 2016, he was at the office when Ms. Attionu called him to pick some money
from the accounts office of MASLOC.

He
said he went to the office and met one Auntie Vic who gave him a cheque voucher
to sign and the amount of GH¢50,000 was given to him to give to Ms. Attionu
which he did.

Mr.
Neequaye told the court that it was not the first time he had preformed such a
duty for Ms. Attionu as he had done that “several times.”

EOCO Investigations

The
witness told the court that he was in the office sometime after December 2016
when he received an invitation letter from the Economic and Organised Crime
Office (EOCO).

“The
following day, I went to EOCO and they showed me a signed cheque voucher if I
knew anything about it. I denied it because I couldn’t remember doing that. So
from there I came back to the office and went to the accounts office and saw
the same Auntie Vic and she brought out the receipt book and I saw the cheque
voucher which I signed so that is where I remember signing the voucher,” he
told the court.

Inquiry

The
witness told the court how he had to go to Ms. Attionu’s house after he found
out from EOCO that she had stated that the GH¢50,000 was not given to her.

“I
had the information that she denied receiving any money from me so I went to
her house that this is the information I got that she hasn’t received any money
from me. And she told me no, she hadn’t said anything like that and that she
knew I brought her the money and she received the money,” he narrated.

Cross-Examination

In
his cross-examination, Agbesi Dzakpasu, who represents Ms. Attionu, asked the
witness if there were official documents at MASLOC which showed several
instances where money was given to him to give to Ms. Attionu and he said yes.

Hearing continues on January 20.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak