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Court Decides Mahama ‘Girl’ Trial

AN ACCRA High Court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, has insisted that it will not determine an application seeking a trial of former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microfinance and Smalll Loans Centre (MASLOC), Sedinam Attionu Tamakloe, in her absence until the right thing is done.

According to the court, it will only determine the application after another application filed by the prosecution seeking a forfeiture on the two persons who stood sureties for the accused person, who has failed to show up for the trial since October last year, has been determined.

Justice Asare-Botwe said this when the prosecution led by Stella Ohene Appiah, a Principal State Attorney, told the court that they were yet to serve the sureties with the application for forfeiture of recognisance.

She said one of the sureties, Alex Mould had travelled while the other, Gavivina Tamakloe has relocated to the Volta Region, and they were yet to locate his new residential address.

She added that Mr. Tamakloe has indicated that he does not feel comfortable disclosing his new home address to officers of Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), so the prosecution is taking steps to ensure service is done.

She, therefore, urged the court to move on to determine the application for trial in absentia since Ms. Tamakloe’s whereabouts remain unknown.

But the court said it will only determine that application if the prosecution has been able to prove that the reconnaissance has been forfeited.

“Until you can actually show that the person has absconded and the recognisance has been forfeited, I will not hear that application. It doesn’t make sense to me. I will not determine the application for trial in absentia until the application for forfeiture has been determined,” Justice Asare-Botwe held.

Trial

Ms. Attionu and Mr. Daniel Axim have been dragged to court for allegedly stealing, causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GH¢93 million, among other charges.

Together, the two are facing 78 counts of 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 persons allegedly stole a total amount of GH¢3,198,280 whilst at MASLOC and willfully caused a GH¢1,973,780 financial loss to the state.

Again, Ms. Attionu and her accomplice while in charge of MASLOC allegedly made unauthorised commitments resulting in financial obligations for the government, to the tune of GH¢61,735,832.50.

The charges against the two also include a GH¢22,158,118.85 loss to public property and improper payment of GH¢273,743.66 as well as money laundering of GH¢3,704,380 whilst in charge.

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