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Arrest Warrant Issued for Former MASLOC CEO

Ghana Court Acts on MASLOC Financial Scandal

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

An arrest warrant has been issued by Accra’s High Court for Sedina Christine Attionu Tamakloe, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC). This development comes after the Deputy Attorney General, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, emphasized the government’s determination to extradite Tamakloe back to Ghana. She faces a ten-year prison sentence for her role in a substantial financial scandal involving public funds.

State prosecutors filed an ex-parte motion to bring Tamakloe back to face justice after she absconded following a court-approved medical trip abroad. The case has received widespread attention due to its implications of high-level corruption and mismanagement within MASLOC. This institution plays a pivotal role in providing microfinance options to Ghana’s underserved sectors.

Alongside Tamakloe, Daniel Axim, the former Chief Operating Officer of MASLOC, has been sentenced to five years in prison. The duo was convicted on a total of 78 counts including causing financial loss to the state, theft, conspiracy to steal, money laundering, and violations of public procurement laws.

Prosecutor Yvonne Yaache-Adomako strongly advocated for the issuance of the arrest warrant, citing the seriousness of Tamakloe’s crimes and the evidence provided. “We have demonstrated sufficient grounds for the issuance of the said warrant to arrest the convict,” Yaache-Adomako told the court. Justice Lydia Osei Marfo granted the motion.

The trial, which began in 2019, revealed multiple instances of financial misappropriation by Tamakloe and Axim between 2013 and 2016. Notably, the convicts were involved in the improper withdrawal and handling of GH₵500,000 from Obaatampa Savings and Loans company. The money was intended as a loan to MASLOC with a 24% interest rate. When the savings and loans company could not meet these terms, a refund was demanded by the accused. Although the refund was processed, discrepancies appeared as it was not properly recorded in MASLOC’s books.

Further investigations revealed that over GH¢1.7 million allocated for a sensitization exercise was grossly misused, with only a fraction spent on the intended purposes. Similarly, funds intended to assist victims of a fire incident at Kantamanso were also misappropriated, with a significant portion of the aid not reaching the intended beneficiaries. Moreover, the case highlighted inflated expenditures relating to the procurement of vehicles and Samsung phones for MASLOC. Despite purchasing these items in bulk, the costs significantly exceeded the normal market prices at the time, pointing to possible kickbacks or financial mismanagement.

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