Produce Ex-Masloc Boss- Court Orders Alex Mould

An Accra High Court has given former Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Alex Mould and Gavivina Tamakloe, 101 days to produce former Chief Executive Officer of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Sedina Attionu Tamakloe, to stand trial.

According to the court, failure to do so will result in the two men who stood as sureties for Ms. Tamakloe paying the GH¢5 million bail bond they executed.

This was contained in the court’s ruling on an application filed by the Office of the Attorney General seeking to forfeit the recognisance of the bail bond on the two sureties, after the accused failed to return to Ghana after she was granted leave to seek medical treatment in the United States last year.

Ms. Attionu and former Operations Manager of MASLOC, Daniel Axim, have been arraigned for allegedly 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 prosecution had called seven witnesses, and counsel for Daniel Axim was left with one hour to complete his cross-examination for the prosecution to close its case.

Ms. Attionu’s lawyer however, brought a letter to the court asking it to release her passport for her to travel for medical check-up, and the court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, granted the request and ordered her to return to court on October 5, 2021.

She, however, failed to do so and the court issued a warrant for her arrest and subsequently adjourned the matter to November 16, 2021. She has still not returned to stand trial.

The prosecution therefore, filed two applications; one asking the court to forfeit the bail bond and make the sureties pay the amount, and the other was urging the court for an order to hold the trial in absentia.

Mr. Mould, in his opposition to the application, argued that the state has the power to extradite the accused to come down and face trial.

Mr. Gavivina, on his part, argued that the accused person’s application for the release of her passport was done without recourse to him, and the state did not oppose the application, hence he as an individual cannot be held responsible.

Justice Asare Botwe, in her ruling, held that the bond entered into by the accused and the sureties is a contract of guarantee, and although the accused is the principal party in this case, a failure on her part places a responsibility on the sureties.

She said the sureties in general terms are expected to have sufficient confidence in the principal party, someone that can be trusted, as well as someone who will not apply for her passport on the blind side of the sureties.

She said it has become clear that the accused is not reasonably missing the trial on medical grounds, as no medical reports had since been presented to the court to excuse her absence from the trial.

Justice Asare Botwe concluded that Ms. Attionu Tamakloe has absconded, and this accrues certain responsibilities on the part of the sureties who executed the bail bond on her behalf.

She, therefore, gave them up to December 22, 2022, to produce the accused person to stand trial, adding that a failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the bail bond on them.

Meanwhile, the court has adjourned the case to December 22, 2022, hoping the accused person would have returned by then. The court will on that day consider an application for trial in absentia filed by the prosecution if she fails to show up.

Source: DGN

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