The fifth (5th) Prosecution Witness in the case of the Republic versus Sedinam Tamakloe Attionu and another has told the Financial and Tax High Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, that the former CEO of MASLOC personally approved the loan request of Obaatanpa Microfinance Limited before they were advanced the GHc 500,000.00.The loan has become one of the bases for which the then CEO of MASLOC, Sedinam Tamakloe Attionu, has been arraigned on charges of Stealing, causing financial loss and amusing loss public property.
Mr. Francis Bandoh, the Head of Finance at the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) was led to give his evidence in chief by Mrs. Winifred Sarpong, a State Attorney at the Attorney General’s department.
In the cause of the evidence of the witness before the Court, Prosecutors enquired from him whether or not he could confirm to the Court as to who approved the 500,000.00 cedis for onward release to the Obaatanpa Microfinance Limited and the events that followed after the money was given to Obaatanpa.
Below are a few of the questions asked by the State Attorney (SA), and the answers given by the Prosecution Witness (PW).
SA. How much was the second request by Obaatanpa to MASLOC for financial assistance?
PW. The Second requested amount was 1,000.000.00 Ghana Cedis, however, the CEO then approved an amount of 500,000.00 Ghana Cedis for them.
SA. What happened after the CEO approved the 500,000?
PW. What happened after the approve of the then CEO was to send the documents to the accounts office for a cheque to be prepared by the Accounts office. Before the cheque is prepared, they look out for the approval of the CEO. Before them, they prepare a cheque payment voucher. The cheque payment voucher has a column for a date.
SA. Will you be able to Identify the request document of Obaatanpa to the former CEO?
PW. Yes, I will be able to identify it.
After the Prosecution Witness identified the said document, the State Attorney further asked,
SA. There are some minutes on the document, can you explain the makings on the document to the Court?
PW. The minitues on the document has “HOF, please let's discuss”. HOF means Head of Finance.
The second minute on the document says “based on the current balances, I suggest we place some funds with them”.
The last roll says “Approved and signed by the then CEO”.
SA. You also talked about preparing a cheque of 500,000.00 after the CEO had given approval. Will you be able to identify the said cheque?
PW. Yes, I will be able to identify a copy of the Cheque.
SA. Please take a look, at this. What do you have in your hand?
PW. I have in my hand a photocopy of a cheque from ADB, Agric Development Bank.
SA. After you had written the cheque for Obaatanpa, did you have any form of interaction with them?
PW. Yes, we did have interactions with them after the cheque was written. These interactions are normally to request them to pay the interest on the amount and so the account office originated a request to Obaatanpa. These requests are normally on MASLOC letterhead and sign by the authorized person.
SA. You talked about sending quarterly requests for payment to Obaatanpa. Will u be able to identify this request?
PW. Yes I will be able to identify these request.
SA. Please take a look at this. What do you have in your hand?
PW. What I have in my hand is a photocopy of MASLOC letter requesting for interest payment from Obaatanpa. The subject is request for interest payment and it signed by the then CEO and Bead of Risk management.
SA. Did you receive any response from Obaatanpa after your several requests to them?
PW. No, I did not hear anything. However, when the new administration came, we wrote a letter to all institutions who have delayed with interest payments and Obaatanpa was one of them. Obaatanpa came to a meeting at the MASLOC premises. At the meeting, Obaatanpa’s representative at the meeting said they will get back to us. After some few weeks, I was shown a letter by the current Deputy CEO from the former CEO acknowledging a sum 500,000.00 from Obaatanpa.
Hearing in the trial was subsequently adjourned by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe’s Court to the 21st of January 2020 for the State to lead its witness to give further evidence.