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I hope the next government jails 50 to 100 officials – Bridget Otoo on Ex-MASLOC CEO’s 10-year sentence

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Prominent media personality, Bridget Otoo, has reacted to the sentencing of the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MASLOC, Sedina Attionu to 10 years in prison for causing financial loss to the state.

According to her, the punishment meted out to the former MASLOC CEO is a good measure that will help in the nation’s bid to combat corruption.

She said she expects the next government to also follow suit and deal drastically with state officials who embezzle funds to enrich themselves at the expense of the ordinary people who gave them the power.

“Dear next gov’t, I hope you learn from this example and Jail 50 to 100 government officials. Let Ghanaians know just how much this gov’t has stolen!..,” she wrote on X as sighted by GhanaWeb.

About the former MASLOC CEO’s sentencing

A High Court in Accra sentenced a former CEO of MASLOC, Sedina Tamakloe Attionu to 10 years in prison with hard labour for causing financial loss of GH¢90 million to the state.

Subsequently, Daniel Axim who is also a former Chief Operating Officer of MASLOC was sentenced to five years in prison with hard labour.

The two were found 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.

The case first began in 2019 when the two accused persons had been on trial to date.

Background

The prosecution alleged that the defendants embezzled GH¢3.19 million during their tenure at MASLOC and caused a deliberate financial loss of GH¢1.97 million to the state. Additionally, they were accused of making unauthorized commitments, resulting in financial obligations totalling GH¢61.74 million for the government.

Furthermore, the charges included GH¢22.15 million in public property loss, improper payment of GH¢273,743, and laundering of GH¢3.7 million.

In a significant development, the court granted the prosecution’s request to proceed with the trial in Attionu’s absence on February 24, 2023. This decision came after Attionu was permitted to travel to the United States in 2021 for medical treatment but failed to return.

Prior to the trial in absentia, on January 24, 2023, the court ordered former Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) CEO Alex Mould and actor Gavivina Tamakloe to pay a GH¢5 million bail bond to the state due to their inability to produce Attionu, for whom they acted as sureties.

According to the prosecution’s account, in 2017, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) investigated fraudulent disbursements of MASLOC funds involving Attionu and Axim.

The investigations revealed that in June 2014, MASLOC invested GH¢150,000 in Obaatanpa Micro-Finance Company Limited, a licensed Tier II microfinance company in Ejura, Ashanti Region.

Attionu subsequently offered an additional GH¢500,000 investment to Obaatanpa, leading to the issuance of a MASLOC Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) cheque worth GH¢500,000 to Obaatanpa on July 24, 2014.

Upon receipt of the cheque, Attionu allegedly demanded a 24% interest rate from Obaatanpa. When Obaatanpa refused, Attionu demanded a cash refund. Obaatanpa obliged, returning GH¢500,000 in cash to Attionu on August 28, 2014.

Despite acknowledging receipt of the refunded sum in a letter dated August 28, 2014, investigations disclosed that MASLOC had no record of the repayment. It was alleged that Attionu appropriated the GH¢500,000 for personal use.

Additionally, in 2015, MASLOC demanded interest payments on the principal investment from Obaatanpa despite the earlier refund. Subsequent investigations showed discrepancies, suggesting Attionu’s misappropriation of funds.

Read the tweet below:

https://x.com/Bridget_Otoo/status/1780249984455053359

Source: www.ghanaweb.com