Ghana: Former Masloc CEO Jailed 10 Years in Absentia - Head of Operations Gets 5 Years

The Accra High Court yesterday sentenced the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Ms Sedina Christine Tamakloe Attionu, to 10 years in prison for stealing, procurement breaches and causing GH¢90 million financial loss to the state.

Ms Attionu was sentenced in absentia by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, a Court of Appeal judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge.

Mrs Attionu is currently in the United States of America where she had travelled to seek medical treatment, in 2022.

Her co-accused, and Head of Operations at MASLOC, Daniel Axim was handed a five-year prison term.

Justice Botwe ordered the convicts to refund the monies they stole from the state.

Ms Attionu and Mr Axim had been facing trial for the past five years for conspiracy to steal, stealing, causing financial loss to the state, causing loss to public property and improper payment of public funds.

The two, who were alsoaccused of unauthorised commitment resulting in financial obligation for the government, money laundering, and contravention of the Public Procurement Act, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

On January 26, 2023, the court ordered Mr Alex Mould, the former Chief Executive Officer of National Petroleum Authority and Gavivina Tamakloe to pay GH¢5 million to the state for failing to produce Mrs Attionu.

Mr Mould and Tamakloe stood as sureties when the convicts were granted GH¢5 million bail.Per the order of the court, the state could freeze the properties of the sureties if they were unable to pay the GH¢5 million bond.

In 2021, the court refused to give the green light to prosecutors from the office of the Attorney General to try Ms Attionu in absentia.

The former CEO was on trial with Axim, a former Operations Manager of MASLOC, on 78 counts.

The prosecution has accused Mrs Attionu of engaging in illegalities, leading to the alleged stealing and financial loss.

Mrs Attionu was accused of embezzling GH¢500,000 that was paid by a company which benefitted from MASLOC support in 2014.

It is also the case of the prosecution that in 2013, following a fire disaster at the Kantamanto Market, in Accra, then President John Mahama directed MASLOC to provide assistance of GH¢1.46 million to victims of the disaster, but Mrs Attionu allegedly embezzled part of the money.

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