Sedina Tamakloe

The former CEO of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) has been granted a ¢5 million bail with two sureties by an Accra High Court.

Sedina Tamakloe Attionu who had pleaded not guilty to all 80 counts of stealing and causing financial loss to the state, causing loss to public property, improper payment of public funds, unauthorised commitment resulting in a financial obligation for the government and contravention of the public procurement act.

She as charged together with former Operations Manager of the Centre, Daniel Axim, who was granted a ¢1 million bail with one surety.

According to the charge sheet, the two agreed to come together and willfully causing financial loss to the state, contrary to sections 23(1) and 179A(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

The two were put before the court on Monday, February 4, where the former CEOs lawyers argued that she deserves bail because she has always honoured invitations and fully cooperated with investigations.

Both are to deposit their passports with the court.

The CEO has been ordered to file her defence in 10 days after the State gives them its documents on Tuesday.

The case has been adjourned to March 4.

Background

In 2017 the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) conducted investigations into certain fraudulent disbursement of MASLOC funds involving the 1st and 2nd accused persons.

Investigations revealed that in June 2014, MASLOC invested a sum of GH¢150,000 in Obaatanpa Micro-Finance Company Limited (Obaatanpa), a licenced Tier II microfinance company located at Ejura in the Ashanti Region. Thereafter, the 1st accused person offered Obaatanpa a further investment sum of GH¢500,000. As a result, a MASLOC Agricultural Development Bank (adb) cheque dated 24th July 2014 in the sum of GH¢500,000 was drawn in favour of Obaatanpa.

Soon after Obaatanpa received the MASLOC cheque, the 1st accused person informed the Board Chairman of Obaatanpa that the investment amount of GH¢500,000 would attract 24% interest. Obaatanpa decided to return the amount to MASLOC since the interest rate being demanded by the accused person was too high and unprofitable for its business and issued a cheque in a refund of the loan amount.

Upon presentation of the cheque, the 1st accused person declined to accept the cheque and made a demand for a cash refund. A cash amount of GH¢500,000 was delivered to the 1st accused person by the Board Chairman of Obaatanpa on the night of 28th August 2014 at the Baatsona Total Filling Station located on the Spintex Road in Accra. By a letter dated 28th August 2014, the 1st accused person acknowledged receipt of the refunded sum.

In 2015, per letters some of which were under the hand of the accused person, MASLOC made demands on Obaatanpa for the payment of interest on the principal investment sum of GH¢500,000.  In response to the demands, Obaatanpa wrote a reminder to MASLOC concerning the payment of the loan amount and drew the 1st accused person’s attention to the unjustified demands whereupon the demands stopped.

In 2017, upon the assumption of office of a new Chief Executive of MASLOC a demand notice was again sent to Obaatanpa for the payment of accrued interest on the same investment sum of GH¢500,000 whereupon Obaatanpa once again informed MASLOC that the money had already been refunded since 2014. Investigations subsequently showed that MASLOC had no record of the amount having been paid to it and that the 1st accused person had appropriated the amount of GH¢500,000.

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