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Crime & Punishment Tue, 5 Feb 2008

OMA endorses prosecution of four staff for embezzlement

Obuasi (Ash), Jan 5, GNA - The Obuasi Municipal Assembly (OMA) has endorsed the prosecution of four of its staff, who allegedly embezzled a total of more than GH¢40,000 belonging to the assembly.

The suspects are J.B. Tetteh, former Deputy Municipal Finance Officer, William Adufutse, Local Government Inspector, Richard Kusi, Chief Revenue Superintendent and Yeboah Sraha, an accounts officer. The endorsement followed their inability to refund the monies during a six-month grace period offered them by the assembly. So far, a total of GH¢16,461 remained to be refunded.

According to the assembly, Tetteh, who is now the Adansi North District Finance Officer, is to refund GH¢2,024 after paying GH¢4,900. Adufutse, whose actual debt was GH¢10,799, has so far refunded GH¢5,060, remaining GH¢5,739 while Kusi is left with GH¢3,099 to refund after settling GH¢7,700. Sraha, whose total debt was GH¢9,598 was left with GH¢5,598 to refund.

The alleged embezzlement was uncovered by a special audit exercise carried out in October-November 2005, which also implicated, one Obiri Yeboah, an officer at the Obuasi office of the Audit Service. Yeboah, who reportedly refunded his share amounting to GH¢1,700, had been transferred from the Obuasi office. At a recent general meeting of the assembly at Obuasi, Mr Ofosu Donkor, Assembly member for Kwabrafoso West, wanted to know the state of the refund of the monies by the officers, saying a grace period offered them had long elapsed.

After the assembly members were briefed that the four still had outstanding monies to refund, Mr Stephen Addai, Asembly member for Anyimadukrom moved for their prosecution. However, some members pleaded for the extension of the grace period.

When the matter was finally put into vote, majority of the assembly members endorsed the action of prosecution, leaving Nana Asirifi Asare II, the Presiding Member, no other option than to charge the administration to take the necessary steps for their prosecution.

Source: GNA