Teacher in court for ‘stealing’ Welfare money

State prosecutors have dragged a 44-year-old teacher to court for allegedly forging signatures and withdrawing money belonging to Oriens Complex School Welfare Association.
According to the prosecution, the accused, Ebenezer Hammond, who was the secretary to the association, forged signatures of the headmistress and the treasurer – both signatories to the association’s account, and withdrew GH¢5,500, GH¢2,500 and GH¢1,500 on separate occasions from the welfare account.

He has been charged with one count of forgery and three counts of stealing.
Hammond pleaded not guilty to the charges and the Adentan Circuit Court presided over by Mrs Sedinam Awo Balokah, granted him bail in the sum of GH¢60,000 with three sureties.
The case has been adjourned to February 24, this year, for a Case Management Conference.
Facts
The facts as presented by Chief Inspector Jacob Nyarko, were that the welfare association of Oriens Complex School opened an account with the Adentan branch of a universal bank.
The account has three signatories – the chairperson being the headmistress, who is also the complainant, a treasurer, who is acting as witness in the case, and the accused.
According to Chief Insp. Nyarko, Hammond was mandated to cash money from the association’s account at the bank anytime the association wanted to withdraw money after all the three signatories had endorsed the cheque.
He said the accused took advantage of that arrangement and began to forge the signatures of his two other colleagues.
New cheque book
On March 16, 2018, the prosecutor said the accused went to the bank in the name of the association and ordered for a new cheque.
Chief/Insp. Nyarko said the accused took three cheque leaflets and forged the signatures of his two other signatories on each of them.
The accused, he said, succeeded in withdrawing the said amounts from the association’s account on different days.
The accused after the act deserted the school and went into hiding.
Statement
In July 2018, the headmistress requested for a statement of account from the bank in order to render an account to the members of the association and detected the theft.
The headmistress, according to the prosecution, strongly suspected the accused and reported the case to the police.
The same day, the headmistress caused the arrest of the accused from his hideout at Oyarifa and handed him over to the police.
During investigations, Chief/Insp. Nyarko told the court that the accused admitted that he forged the signatures of his other two colleagues on the three cheque leaflets and succeeded in cashing the money from the bank.
The prosecutor said Hammond pleaded for time to refund the money but failed.
After investigations, he was charged for court.

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