An Accra High Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Sedina Christine Tamakloe Attionu, who is standing trial for causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GH¢93 million.
The court issued the order after she failed to appear before the court yesterday after she was granted leave to travel to the United States of America for medical check-up.
Ms. Attionu, together with former Operations Manager of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Daniel Axim, are before the court facing 78 counts of charges including conspiracy to steal, stealing, unauthorised commitment among others when they were in charge of MASLOC.
The prosecution had called its last witness and was about to close its case but there is pending application at the Supreme Court which was filed by Mr Axim over issues relating to the audit done at MASLOC.
The court had granted Ms. Attionu leave to travel and was expected to return to court on October 6, 2021, but she has failed to do so, forcing the court to adjourn the matter to November 16, 2021.
She once again failed to appear before the court yesterday, and Samuel Osei Sarfo who held brief for Agbesi Dzakpasu, counsel for the accused person, told the court that a letter had been sent from the hospital where she was attending.
He said the letter indicated that Ms. Attionu needed to undergo a second scan having already undertaken one previously.
He said they only received the letter on Monday and were yet to file it so the court will get it’s copy, and requested that the case be adjourned to December 10 for continuation.
But the court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, was not impressed and indicated that, “I will not sit here and know the law and decide not to use it.”
Augustines Obuor, counsel for Mr Axim, urged the court to exercise some restraint as the accused person was not on a pleasure trip but due to her health.
Stella Ohene Appiah, a Principal State Attorney did not oppose the request by the defense lawyer who had passionately pleaded with the court to be magnanimous with Ms. Attionu one more time.
But Justice Asare-Botwe after listening to the parties held that the court will err on the side of caution and issue a warrant for the arrest of Ms. Attionu and subsequently did so.
The case was adjourned to December 15, 2021.
Sedina T. Attionu and Axim have been dragged to court for alleged 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 while 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 while in charge.