GhanaHeadlineLegalNews

MASLOC case: No trial in absentia until sureties appear in court, says judge

Sedina Tamakloe, the former MASLOC chief executive who has been standing trial for the past two years for allegedly causing financial loss to the state, has refused to return to Ghana

The financial and economic high court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, says it will not consider an application by the state requesting that the trial of the former chief executive officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, proceed in absentia until the two people who stood surety for her appear in court.

Sedina Tamakloe, who has been standing trial for the past two years for allegedly causing financial loss to the state and stealing roughly GHC93 million from MASLOC coffers, has refused to return to Ghana after she was granted permission by the court to travel abroad on health grounds.

In view of this, the state filed two applications for forfeiture on the part of the sureties and an application for trial in absentia.

However, the state has not been able to serve the two sureties – Gavivina Tamakloe and Alex Mould, the former chief executive officer of Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) – to appear before the court to answer why they should not be made to pay the bail sum of GHC5 million.

In court

In court today (9 May 2022), state prosecutors led by the principal state attorney Stella Ohene Appiah said that they have not been able to serve the two sureties yet and will therefore require more time to do this.

However, they requested that the court hear the application for trial in absentia pending service of the two sureties.

Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe’s court disagreed with the principal state attorney.

The court noted that until the state shows that the first accused, Sedina Tamakloe, has absconded and the sureties are forfeited, it will not hear the application for trial in absentia.

Background

Ms Tamakloe Attionu and Axim (the second accused) have been dragged to court for allegedly stealing and causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GHC93 million, among other charges.

Together, the two accused face 78 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 allegedly stole GHC3,198,280 in total while at MASLOC and wilfully caused a financial loss of GHC1,973,780 to the state.

Again, while in charge of MASLOC, Ms Tamakloe Attionu and her accomplice allegedly made unauthorised commitments resulting in financial obligations for the government to the tune of GHC61,735,832.50.

The further charges against the two include a loss of GHC22,158,118.85 to public property and improper payment of GHC273,743.66, as well as money laundering of GHC3,704,380 while in charge of MASLOC.

Wilberforce Asare

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