MASLOC Boss Ends Testimony

Stephen Amoah

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Microfinance and Small
Loans Centre (MASLOC), Stephen Amoah, has concluded his testimony in the criminal
trial of his predecessor, Sedina Christine Tamakloe Attionu.

The former MASLOC CEO and the former Operations Manager of MASLOC,
Daniel Axim, have been charged with 78 counts of stealing, causing financial
loss to the state, causing loss to public property, improper payment of public
funds, unauthorized commitment resulting in financial obligation for the
government, money laundering and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

The two stand accused of causing financial loss to the tune of GH¢93

Whilst Axim has already been granted GH¢1 million bail with one
surety, Ms. Attionu is on GH¢5 million bail with two sureties.

The two accused persons allegedly stole a total amount of
GH¢3,198,280 while at MASLOC and wilfully 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 included 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 while in charge.

When Mr. Amoah was discharged from the witness box after the defence
team had concluded their cross examination, the prosecution told the Financial
and Tax Court Presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe that there were
seven more witnesses to testify in the case.

The MASLOC boss, in his witness statement, claimed that when he took
office, it was discovered among other things that there had been some
misappropriation of monies belonging to MASLOC.

He had said, for instance, that investigations in the early part of
2017 revealed that Obaatanpa Microfinance had been given an amount of GH¢500,000
in 2014 at an interest rate of 26% per annum.

The witness said in his statement that a committee was set up to
engage Obaatanpa, adding “when the committee met the management of Obaatanpa,
they informed us that the then CEO of MASLOC, Sedinam Tamakloe, demanded the
amount back.”

“In response to the demand made by the former CEO, the management of
Obaatanpa claimed to have presented a cash cheque of GH¢500,000 to the then
CEO. They stated that when the cheque was sent to the then CEO, she refused to
accept the cheque payment and rather demanded they pay the said amount in cash.
According to the management of Obaatanpa, they heeded and sent the former CEO
GH¢500,000 in cash. The CEO subsequently issued an acknowledgement receipt
dated 28th August 2014. A forensic audit firm was engaged by EOCO to audit
MASLOC and it came out that the cash that the former CEO received was not paid
into any of MASLOC accounts,” the witness stated in the statement.

Besides, the witness statement commented on the purchase of some 30
vehicles from Mac Autos, the approval of a total of GH¢1,706,00 by the MASLOC
board for a sensitization and training programme, and the purchase of some
mobile phones for the Prico Project, all of which allegedly had contractual and
financial breaches.

The case was adjourned until November 25 for the second prosecution witness to testify.

By Gibril Abdul Razak

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