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Court adjourns former National Service boss case to March 12

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Alhaji Alhassan Imoro
Alhaji Alhassan Imoro

A Fast Track High Court (Tax and Financial) Division on Tuesday adjourned the case involving Alhaji Alhassan Mohammed Imoro, a former Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), to March 12.

The court adjourned the case after the State, represented by Assistant State Attorney, Fred Awindaogo, prayed the court for a short adjournment to allow the prosecution to complete its investigations.

He said the complicated nature of the case has compelled the prosecution to ask for more time to be able to complete investigation before commencing trial.

Mr Denis Adjei Dwomoh, Defence Counsel, said they were not opposed to the short adjournment, but the challenge of the case has been the continuous nature of adjournment, and asked the prosecution to try and finish investigation within the period requested.

He prayed the court to review the bail condition of his client from reporting at the BNI once in a week, so that the police could call on his client at any point they need him to assist in investigations.

The court presided over by Mrs. Justice Georgina Mensah-Datsa, however opposed the plea by the defence counsel and maintained the bail conditions.

At the last sitting, the case was adjourned, after the prosecution prayed the court for a month’s adjournment since the accused person was on bail, and they were still in the process of investigations, explaining that, it had been quite a hectic investigation considering the nature of the case.

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.

He 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.

Source: GNA

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