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Sedina Tamakloe Attionu: Former MASLOC Boss, Operations Manager jailed

The High Court in Accra has handed a 10-year jail term to a former boss of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Sedina Tamakloe Attionu for causing financial loss of GH¢90 million to the state.

Daniel Axim, a former Operations Manager of MASLOC, who was charged alongside his boss was also slapped with a five-year jail term for raising memos 23 times, under the direction of Attionu, for the collection of funds which were not used for the projects for which they were released.

This comes after, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe found them guilty on 78 counts of causing financial loss to the state, stealing, conspiracy to steal, money laundering, and causing loss to public property in contravention of public procurement law.

For instance, the two could not account for GH¢1,706,000 which was meant for a sensitisation and monitoring programme for 85,300 beneficiaries of MASLOC loans, and GH¢1,465,035 meant to support victims of the Kantamanto Market disaster.

Trial in Absentia
On February 24, 2023, the court granted an application by the prosecution to conduct the trial in the absence of Attionu, after the court allowed her to go to the United States in 2021 for medical attention but she has since not returned.

Prior to the trial in absentia, the court had on January 24, 2023, ordered the former Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Alex Mould, and actor, Gavivina Tamakloe, to pay the GH¢5 million bail bond to the state for their failure to produce the accused person whom they stood as sureties for.

Prosecution’s facts
Per the facts presented by the prosecution, in 2017, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) conducted investigations into certain fraudulent disbursement of MASLOC funds involving the first and second accused persons.

The investigations, according to the prosecution, revealed that in June 2014, MASLOC invested a sum of GH¢150,000 in Obaatanpa Micro-Finance Company Limited (Obaatanpa), a licensed Tier II microfinance company located at Ejura in the Ashanti Region.

Thereafter, Attionu offered Obaatanpa a further investment sum of GH¢500,000. As a result, a MASLOC Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) cheque dated July 24, 2014, in the sum of GH¢500,000 was drawn in favour of Obaatanpa.Soon after Obaatanpa received the MASLOC cheque, the first accused person informed the Board Chairman of Obaatanpa that the investment amount of GH¢500,000 would attract 24 per cent 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 refund of the loan amount.

The facts further stated that upon the presentation of the cheque, the first 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 Attionu by the Board Chairman of Obaatanpa on the night of August 28, 2014, at the Baatsona Total Filling Station located on Spintex Road in Accra.

By a letter dated August 28, 2014, the first accused person acknowledged receipt of the refunded sum. In 2015, per letters, some of which were under the hand of Attionu, 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 Attionu’s attention to the unjustified demands whereupon the demands stopped.

Investigations subsequently showed that MASLOC had no record of the amount having been paid to it, and that Attionu had appropriated the amount of GH¢500,000.

3news

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