President Akufo-Addo’s government has come under stern scrutiny in the past few weeks over its perceived failure to prosecute officials of the Mahama administration for alleged cases of corruption.
The President, in the lead up to the 2016 election campaigned forcefully on corruption and pledged to prosecute government officials at the time whom he accused of being corrupt.
Allaying the fears of Ghanaians and responding to his critics at the 2019 Bar Conference in Takoradi on Monday, President Akufo-Addo disclosed that 21 appointees of the erstwhile Mahama administration are currently being prosecuted.
ABC News can establish that the President also noted that more of such prosecutions will be seen in the coming weeks as relevant agencies continue to investigate several more allegations of corruption.
ABC News has researched into the various cases referred to by the President at the Bar Conference and provides details of the cases and individuals who are currently on trial.
National Communications Authority scandal
ABC News’ checks reveal that 5 persons are being prosecuted in relation to the NCA scandal. They include the Former Board Chairman Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, Director-General William Tetteh-Tevie, Deputy National Security Advisor Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman and a Board Member, Nana Owusu Ensaw as well businessman George Dereck Oppong.
The 5, who have been put before an Accra High Court, have been charged with causing financial loss to the state contrary to section 23(1) and section 179(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960, Act 29, among other charges, in the purchase of Pegasus equipment.
The $4 million, according to the prosecution, was meant for the purchase of the Pegasus equipment for counter-terrorism, and the statement, which was read by the Detective Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah in court, showed how the accused persons allegedly shared the money.
The 5 allegedly conspired to divert and share amongst themselves $4 million out of $8 million meant for the purchase of a ‘spying and phone tapping’ equipment for the National Security Secretariat. $1.5 million is further alleged to have been distributed to board members of the NCA out of the $4 million that went into private accounts.
The State has preferred 27 charges against former COCOBOD CEO Stephen Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo.
The Former CEO of COCOBOD is accused of aiding Seidu Agongo of Agricult Ghana Limited to defraud the COCOBOD between 2014 and 2016. According to Prosecutors, the Dr Opuni allegedly abetted Seidu Agongo to defraud the COCOBOD of GHC43, 120, 000 between January 2014 to November 2015; Between November 2014 to November 2015, the two again defrauded COCOBOD of about GHC75, 289, 314; whiles between October 2015 and March 2016, COCOBOD lost Gh?98,935,974 due to fraud allegedly perpetrated by Seidu Agongo and aided by the then CEO, Dr Stepohen Opuni.
ABC News has gathered that the State prosecutors allege that Seidu Agongo deliberately misled COCOBOD into believing that he could supply Lithovit Foliar Fertilizer from Germany for application by farmers on cocoa for the 2014/2015 cocoa season knowing his presentation was false.
In addition to being charged with willfully causing financial loss to the state, the two have been dragged to Court on the basis that Dr Opuni breached Public Procurement Act processes in the award of the contract to Seidu Agongo.
SSNIT OBS system
Charges of willfully causing financial loss to the State, defrauding by false pretense, contravention of Public Procurement Act, possession of forged documents, authoring forged documents among others have been allegedly brought against former Director General (DG) of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Ernest Thompson and John Hagan Mensah, former OBS project manager; Caleb Kweku Afaglo, former Head of Information Technology (IT) Department and Chief Executive Officer of Perfect Business Systems (PBS), Juliet Hasana Kramah, who was contracted for the project and Peter Hayibor, former General Counsel of SSNIT.
The five have been dragged to court over the controversial Operations Business Suite (OBS) software scandal which was brought in at the time to help integrate the operations of the branches and the head office unto a seamless platform for improved communication and interactions.
The contract, signed in 2012 cost SSNIT $34 million but by the completion of the project, an amount of $32 million and GHC36 million had been incurred in addition bringing the total sum to $66.8 million paid to PBS with the potential to rise to $72 million.
Former Chief Executive Officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Sedina Christine Tamakloe Attionu, and the former Operations Manager of MASLOC, Daniel Axim are alleged to have diverted funds meant for sensitisation events across the country into private accounts. They are also alleged to have diverted and shared GHC500, 000 meant for investment purposes.
The State has preferred against them eighty (80) counts of Stealing, Causing Financial Loss to the State, Causing Loss to Public Property, Improper Payment of Public Funds, Unauthorised Commitment Resulting in Financial Obligation for the Government, Money Laundering and Contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
Per the information chanced upon by ABC News, Count one (1) to thirty-five (35) are on charges of Stealing and Conspiracy to Commit Crime namely Stealing contrary to section 23(1) and 124(1) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29). Count thirty-six (36) to sixty-eight (68), are on Causing Financial Loss to the State, Wilfully Causing Financial to the State and Conspiracy to Commit Crime namely Wilfully Causing Financial to the State all of which are contrary to section 23(1) and 179A (3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29). Counts seventy (70) and seventy-one (71) bother on Causing Loss to Public Property, contrary to section 2 of the Public Property Protection Act 1977 (SMCD 140).
In addition, counts seventy-two (72) and seventy-three (73) has the statement of offense captured as Improper Payment of Public Funds contrary to section 96(1)(c) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921). Count seventy-four charges the first accused person, Sedina Christine Tamakloe Attionu, with Unauthorised Commitment, Resulting in Financial Obligation for the Government contrary to section 96(1)(a) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921). Count seventy-five (75) to seventy-eight (78) prefer charges of Money Laundering contrary to section 1(1)(c) of Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2008 (Act 749) and finally count seventy-nine (79) and eighty (80) bother on the charge of Contravention of the Public Procurement Act contrary to section 92(1), and 40(1)(a) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).
Venture Capital case
Former Venture Capital CEO Daniel Duku and 5 others of the Venture Capital Trust Fund have been accused of causing financial loss of GH¢42.8 million to the State forming the basis for their prosecution by Government.
In total, they have been charged with 86 counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the State, abetment of crime, stealing, defrauding by false pretenses and issuing fake cheques.
Former NDC MP for Keta and Board member, Richard Agbenyefia, Irene Anti-Mensah, Executive Assistant to Duku and also Investment Officer, Kofi Sarpong also an Investment Officer, Frank Aboagye Mensah, businessman and husband of Irene Anti-Mensah and Charity Opoku also known as Charity Ameyaw, Accountant at Venture Capital Trust Fund are the other 5 that make up the 6 people the State has dragged to Court in relation to the saga.
ABC News has gathered that per the facts presented in Court, the Attorney General accused the 6 persons of allegedly using the names of a number of companies belonging to other persons to obtain loans without the knowledge, permission and consent of the owners.
All of these cases, ABC News has profiled are at different stages of prosecution, thus, it is unclear when judgement will be read and guilty persons convicted.