Court Orders For MASLOC Documents

Sedina Tamakloe Attionu

An Accra High Court has ordered the prosecution
in the case of former Chief Executive Officer of Microfinance and Small Loans
Centre (MASLOC), Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, to present the original copies of
certain documents they are tendering in evidence.

The original documents are to enable the defence
lawyer to compare them with the photocopies which are with the court for
authentication.

The order was made by the court, presided over
by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwey, after the prosecution led by Winifred
Sarpong, a Principal State Attorney, attempted to tender the photocopies of a memo,
payment voucher and other supporting documents in evidence.

In his evidence-in-chief, Francis Bandoh, a
finance officer at MASLOC, who is the 5th prosecution witness,
explained to the court how a sensitization and monitoring project was
undertaken by the centre and how funds were made available for the project.

He then made reference to a 2016 memo which was
sent to the accounts office by the then Head of Operations, Daniel Axim, also
on trial, for payment for the project.

When the prosecution tried to tender the
payment vouchers, both Agbesi Dzakpasu, counsel for Mrs. Attionu, and Augustines
Obuor representing Mr. Axim, raised objections.

Mr. Dzakpasu said the witness had stated that
the originals of the documents were available and had been archived by MASLOC and, therefore, urged the court to order the prosecution to
bring the original documents to the court.

Mr. Obuor also added his voice, saying there were
some cancellations on the documents and the date on one of them was not clear
hence he called for the original to be tendered.

The court subsequently ordered the prosecution
to make the original documents available for the lawyers to make the
comparison.

The court also asked the prosecution to make
available the originals of similar documents to assist the court in the case.

Hearing continues on January 27, 2020.

Trial

Ms. Attionu and Mr. Axim, a former Operations
Manager of MASLOC, are facing 78 counts of 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.

The two accused persons allegedly stole a total
amount of GH¢3,198,280 whilst at MASLOC and willfully caused a GH¢1,973,780
financial loss to the state.

Again, Ms. Attionu and her accomplice while in
charge of MASLOC allegedly made unauthorized commitments, resulting in
financial obligations for the government to the tune of GH¢61,735,832.50.

The charges against the two also include a GH¢22,158,118.85 loss to public property and improper payment of GH¢273,743.66, as well as money laundering of GH¢3,704,380 whilst in charge.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak

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