Two staff of the National Health Insurance Authority, have been sentenced to a year jail term for stealing.

The officers, George Kwesi Essem-koffie and Emmanuel Amoahene Kanga, Scheme Manager and Accountant respectively at the Amanfiman Scheme office in the Western region were found guilty of the offence by the Sekondi High Court on July 24, 2014.

The accused in 2010 conspired with Juliana Opoku-Manu, the administrator at the Samatek Timber and Plywood Hospital in the region and diverted the sum of GHC 131,409.26 meant for the payment of claims to the Samatex Hospital into a fictitious account for their personal benefit. Juliana Opoku-Manu, was however, convicted and asked to refund her part of the money. She was not jailed.

The aforesaid fraud was discovered through a routine audit exercise carried out by NHIA’s Internal Audit team. Based on the audit findings, the three including Juliana Opoku-Manu, were arrested and arraigned before the Sekondi High Court and charged with six counts of conspiracy to steal and stealing the sum of GHȼ131,409.26 belonging to the hospital.

His Lordship, Justice George Buadi convicted and sentenced the two NHIS officers, George Kwesi Essem-koffie and Emmanuel Amoahene Kanga, each to 5 years imprisonment on each of the six counts in hard labour [to run concurrently].

Additionally, the convicts were ordered to refund the money to the hospital failing which they will serve additional two years.