MASLOC case: Court orders Alex Mould, Gavivina Tamakloe to pay GHC5 million bail bond
An Accra high court has ordered Alex Mould and Gavivina Tamakloe, the two people who stood surety for Sedinam Tamakloe Attionu, the former chief executive officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), to pay a bail bond of GHC5 million to the state.
The two sureties are essentially forfeiting the bail bond to the republic because Tamakloe Attionu has remained in the United States of America for the past 16 months, after she was granted permission by the court to travel on medical grounds.
Lawyers for the accused, led by Enoch Michael Kofi Dzakpasu, have been telling the court for the past 16 months that their client is still unwell and in the US.
The court indulged them and adjourned sitting on multiple occasions to allow the sureties to produce the accused for trial, but to no avail.
In court on Tuesday (24 January 2023), Justice Afia Serwah Asare Botwe stated in her ruling that the court had “taken a close look at a letter filed by lawyers of the accused person” emanating from a doctor in the United States, “but there is nothing in the letter saying she is incapable of travelling or she is not fit to stand trial”.
“It appears this is a case of someone who has chosen to stay in the US for some medical tourism reasons. The entire 16-month delay or more is more than enough time given.”
“I don’t think anyone who is fair will complain about 16-month delay. I therefore order that the bail bond be forfeited to the Republic,” the trial judge ordered in her ruling.
Trial in absentia
The state had applied for the trial to proceed in absentia (in the absence of the first accused).
However, the presiding judge said she will not be invited yet to determine that application because she wants to give the lawyer of the first accused (Tamakloe Attionu) the opportunity to file a response to the application filed by the state.
Justice Afia Serwah Asare Botwe therefore adjourned sitting to 7 February 2023 to allow defence lawyers to file their affidavits in this regard.
Sedinam Tamakloe Attionu (the first accused) and Daniel Axim (the second accused, a former operations manager of MASLOC) face court charges relating to accusations of stealing and causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GHC93 million, among other offences.
Together, the two accused face 78 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 two accused allegedly stole GHC3,198,280 in total while at MASLOC and wilfully caused financial loss worth GHC1,973,780 to the state.
Also while in charge of MASLOC, Ms Tamakloe Attionu and her accomplice allegedly made unauthorised commitments resulting in financial obligations for the government to the tune of GHC61,735,832.50.
The further charges against the two include a loss of GHC22,158,118.85 to public property and improper payment of GHC273,743.66, as well as money laundering of GHC3,704,380, all while in charge of MASLOC.