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MoH accountant charged with fraud

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law-and-justiceThe senior accountant of the Ashanti Regional Medical Stores of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Kennedy Kofi Duodu, who allegedly siphoned funds totalling GH¢840,501.20 for his personal use has been arraigned to face criminal charges.

Duodu, 38, was said to have opened a  bank account in the name of the GHS into which the money was paid.

He was charged with 89 counts of stealing, falsification of accounts and forgery of official documents.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail to reappear on April 17, 2013.

According to the facts of the case, as presented by an Assistant State Attorney, Ms Cecilia Anima Peprah, the accused, without any formal authorisation from the GHS, opened an account in November 2003 for and on behalf of the service under the name of the Regional Medical Stores.

Before the account was opened, Duodu, according to the prosecutor, presented a letter allegedly written by Alhaji (Dr) Mohammed Bin Ibrahim, the then Ashanti Regional Director of the GHS, authorising him (accused) to open the account.

Ms Peprah stated that the accused also forged the signature of Mrs Comfort Obeng Agyekum, a Deputy Director of Pharmaceutical Services of the GHS in the Ashanti Region, whose name appeared as co-signatory in the letter for the opening of the bank account.

According to the prosecutor, after opening the account, Duodu paid a number of cheques totalling GH¢840,501.20 meant for the Regional Medical Stores into the account.

“Records from the bank indicate that the accused person personally, between 2009 and 2012, withdrew the amount paid into the account. On a number of occasions, cheques diverted into the account were immediately cleared,” Ms Peprah said.

She said in February 2012, the bank closed the account, ostensibly on the instructions of another letter dated February 16, 2012 purported to have been signed by the Deputy Director of Public Health, Ashanti Region, Dr Joseph Oduro, on behalf of the Regional Director of Health Services.

Subsequently, on February 17, 2012, Duodu withdrew GH¢58,047, which was the balance on the account.

The prosecutor said in the course of investigations, it came to the notice of the police that Mrs Agyekum, whose name appeared as co-signatory on the letter for the opening of the account, had retired on December 25, 2010.

The accused person is currently on interdiction.

Source: Daily Graphic

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