Former National Service head stole GH¢86.9m – Prosecution
Prosecutors in the case involving the former head of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Alhaji Alhassan Mohammed Imoro say he stole GH¢86.9 million.
A Fast Track High Court (Tax and Financial) Division on Thursday adjourned the case to February 10.
The court adjourned the case after the State, represented by Senior State Attorney, Comfort Tasiame, prayed the court for a four-week adjournment to allow the prosecution to complete its investigations.
She said they were still in the process of investigations, explaining that, it had been quite a hectic investigation considering the nature of the case.
She, therefore, prayed the court for a month’s adjournment since the accused person was on bail.
Mr Denis Adjei Dwomoh, Defence Counsel, said they were not opposed to the four weeks’ adjournment, and added that, they would be grateful if the State would indicate when investigations would be concluded in order to guide them as to what to do next.
Imoro has pleaded not guilty to the charge of stealing GH¢86.9 million belonging to the government of Ghana through the payment of ghost or non-existent service personnel.
At the last sitting, the accused person was granted permission to travel to his hometown during the Christmas festivities, and excused from presenting himself at the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) office from December 23 to January 2, 2015.
The court also reviewed the bail condition of Imoro to the effect that Imoro would go to the BNI Office once in a week, on a day agreed on by both parties, instead of three times in a week, as stated earlier per his bail conditions.
Imoro, who was granted bail in the sum of GH¢90 million with three sureties, all to be justified, with property valued at more than one million Ghana cedis.
He was to surrender his passport to the BNI until further notice.
On November 3, this year, Imoro was discharged by a Circuit Court but he was quickly re-arrested and arraigned before the Fast Track High Court.
The Circuit Court was expected to deliver its ruling in respect of Imoro’s bail application but that did not materialise.
Prosecution case was that the accused was responsible for the posting and placement, raising vouchers and payment of National Service persons in the country.
According to the prosecution, at the beginning of every year, he posted some service personnel and caused the transfers of vouchers across the country.
However, in July 2014, the BNI received some complaints of malfeasance and began nationwide investigations into the operations of the NSS with regard to the payment of monthly allowances to service persons.
According to prosecution, investigations so far revealed that for every month starting from September 2013 to July 2014, an amount of GH¢7.9 million was paid to 22,612 non-existent or ‘ghost ‘service persons.
Prosecution said the ghost names were generated at the NSS headquarters under the supervision of the former NSS boss.
According to the prosecution, Imoro instructed that the names be added to the Payment Vouchers (PVs).
The prosecutor said the PVs were distributed to the Regional Directors of the Scheme and on receipt, they also distributed to the District Directors under their jurisdiction.
Prosecution said Imoro signed cheques for payments which were deposited in the banks of the districts where service persons withdrew their allowances.
Imoro also issued instructions to the District Directors, through their Regional Directors, that after the allowances of the genuine service persons had been paid the money for the ghost names should be withdrawn and sent to him through the Regional Directors.
Prosecution said in all, GH¢86.9 million was received by Imoro from the 10 Regional Directors.