Ghana: Trial of Former MASLOC CEO - Obaatanpa Microfinance Refused Our Invitation to Pay Interest On Gh¢50, 000 Investments

21 January 2020

A witness yesterday told the Financial and Tax Division of the Accra High Court that Obaatanpa Microfinance Company did not respond to requests by the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) for payment of interest on GH¢500,000 it received from MASLOC.

Mr Francis Bandoh, the Head of Finance Unit at MASLOC was giving evidence in the case, in which Madam Sedina Tamakloe Attionu and Daniel Axim have been charged for stealing and causing financial loss of more than GH¢129.5 million to the state.

He said MASLOC wrote to Obaatanpa on quarterly basis for the payment of interest on investment MASLOC had with Obaaatanpa.

Mr Bandoh who was led in evidence by Mrs Winifred Sarpong, a State Attorney stated that Obaatanpa never responded to the request from MASLOC because the GH¢500,000 investment with Obaatanpa was at the instance of former MASLOC boss.

The witness said that when he enquired the reason Obataanpa did not respond to MASLOC's request for payment of interest, Madam Attionu told him (Bandoh) it was a project with her boss and that she would follow up and update him on when the payment on the interest rate would be made.

Mr Bandoh told the court that when he asked Madam Attionu about the payment of interest rate on her last day at MASLOC, her answer was still the same.

A week ago, another witness, Mr Samuel Kotei said Madam Attionu sent him to receive GH¢50,000 for her from the company's account office.

According to the A-G, Obaatanpa Limited presented a cheque for GH¢500,000 to Attionu, but she refused and demanded cash payment.

The A-G further stated that Attionu inflated the price of certain items that MASLOC purchased during her tenure, and in some instances signed procurement contracts without approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).

According to the A-G, on December 6, 2016, Attionu signed a contract with Mac Autos to supply MASLOC with 350 vehicles without any approval from the PPA.

The vehicles, the AG said, included Chevy Sparklite, Isuzu buses and Chevy Aveo.

"The unit price offered by Mac Autos to MASLOC for the Chevy Aveo was GH¢74,495 ($18,883.39).

However, investigations revealed that the actual retail price Mac Autos offered for the same model within the same year without duty was GH¢47,346.93 ($12,009.91).

The case has been adjourned to today, January 21, 2020.

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