The case brought against Sedina Christine Tamakloe Attionu, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) during previous Mahama administration is gradually taking shape, as the State has filed all the documents it intends to rely on for the trial.
The trial court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, has ordered the Office of the Attorney General, pursuant to the orders of the Supreme Court, to file all the documents for the trial.
DAILY GUIDE’s sources have confirmed that the AG has complied with the order and filed “bulky” documents for the trial of the former Mahama appointee, who is said to have caused over financial loss to the state to the tune of GH¢93 million.
The documents, this paper is told, are all in hard copies unlike in the case of the former CEO of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), who had some of his documents on pen drives.
However, the case management conference to set out the rules for the proceedings could not take place because Daniel Axim, another accused person, informed the court that his lawyer had been taken ill and could not continue with the trial.
The court therefore ordered him to engage a new lawyer before March 25, 2019 which has been scheduled for the case management.
Meanwhile, the court has also ordered Agbesi Kwadzo Dzakpasu, counsel for Ms. Attionu, to file a formal request for any other documents which were not part of the disclosure before March 21, 2019.
Ms. Tamakloe and Mr Axim, an Operations Manager at MASLOC, have been dragged to court for stealing, causing financial loss to the State to the tune of GH¢93 million, among others.
Together, the two are facing 78 counts of charges including conspiracy to steal, stealing, unauthorised 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 while 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.
They were granted bail after their respective counsel prayed the court to grant them bail because they would always avail themselves for the trial.
Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe granted Ms. Attionu bail in the sum of GH¢5 million with two sureties.
Mr. Axim, on the other hand, was also granted bail in the sum of GH¢1 million with one surety.
Per the facts read by the Attorney General, Gloria Afua Akuffo, Ms. Attionu misappropriated an amount of GH¢500,000.00 belonging to MASLOC which was invested in Obaatanpa Micro-Finance Company Limited (Obaatanpa) that was later withdrawn due to 24% interest demanded.
She said the former MASLOC boss rejected a cheque issued by Obaatanpa covering the money and instead demanded that the money should be refunded in cash.
Interestingly, Ms. Attionu met the board chairman of Obaatanpa at the Baatsona Filling Station in the night and took cash of GH¢500,000.00 which never went to MASLOC.
According to the AG, investigations revealed that out of the sum of GH¢1,816,000 earmarked for a countrywide sensitization and monitoring programme for 85,300 beneficiaries of MASLOC loans, only GH¢1,300 was spent on refreshment for some beneficiaries in the Volta, Greater-Accra and Brong-Ahafo regions. No programme, whatsoever, took place in the other seven regions.
The former MASLCO boss has also been accused of diverting GH¢579,800 out of a GH¢1,465,035 support by government for victims of the Kantamanto Market fire disaster in 2013.