Former Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Joseph Dindiok Kpemka Esq

A former Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice says the malfeasance that occurred at the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), for which its former Chief Executive Officer, Sedina Tamakloe-Attionu has been jailed on counts relating to causing financial loss to the state, conspiracy to steal, among others, is unacceptable.

An Accra High Court handed down a 10-year jail sentence to Sedina Tamakloe Attionu and a five-year sentence with hard labour to MASLOC's former Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Axim.

According to Joseph Dindiok Kpemka Esq, he was taken aback the first time he reviewed documents on the case.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, Mr Kpemka said that he could not believe it because the facts were concocted, stressing, “Because this was just not stealing, but naked thievery.”

“In one of the charges, the boss of MASLOC decided to give a loan to a rural bank and they did not even reach any agreement, yet the money was transferred to the rural bank. When the money got to the account of the rural bank, the people then asked what is the interest rate from the money you have sent to us.

“Imagine, something you should have done earlier was not done, then the interest rate was quoted by Sedina. When the interest rate was quoted, the rural bank management said the interest rate you’ve quoted, if we take this money, we cannot make any money out of it so we want to return it to you.”

Read also: Ex-MASLOC CEO Sedina Tamakloe jailed 10 years for causing financial loss to the State

Mr Kpemka emphasised that, as a matter of good corporate practice, the former CEO of MASLOC should have corresponded with the bank, providing her organisation's account details for the rural bank to directly deposit the money into, thereby ensuring transparency and accountability through the production of receipts.

“You know what she said, she directed them to cash the money and bring it to Accra and then they cashed the money in a GhanaMustGo, carried it to Accra, they met at Baatsona Total filling station and the money was packed into her boot and she drove away,” he said.

The former deputy AG further clarified that MASLOC was supposed to do some nationwide sensitisation workshops for some categories of persons, which the money involved was about GH₵2 million. He said less than five per cent was used for the intended purpose and the rest was shared.

He also cited some instances where MASLOC misused some monies, stating, “There was a fire disaster and some monies were allocated to help the victims, just a little percentage of it was used, the rest was shared.

“There were some phones they had to buy, one on the market was GH₵100, and the price they quoted was GH₵400 each. Clearly, some vehicles were procured, in fact, those vehicles even delayed the trials because we had finished all the charges and then we bumped into a report which indicated that vehicles had been bought, some of them were thrice the market price, some were twice the market price, so we had to amend our charges and include all these.”

He maintained that the former MASLOC CEO was found guilty of all the 78 charges, stating that it is one of the most “nauseating cases I have come across in legal prosecution.”

Mr Kpemka stressed that the act of “impunity, naked thievery, and robbery perpetuated by them was frightening.”

During the hearing of the case on April 16, 2024, the court found both Sedina Attionu and Daniel Axim guilty of 78 counts of causing financial loss to the state, stealing, conspiracy to steal, money laundering, and causing loss to public property in contravention of public procurement law.

The two have been on trial since 2019. The state called six witnesses while the first accused person Sedina Tamakloe, was tried in absentia after absconding on grounds of seeking medical attention outside.

The second accused, who testified in person did not call any witnesses.

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