Banker jailed for stealing

PrisonSamuel Otumfuo a former Head of Operations at Access Bank was on Wednesday sentenced to a year’s imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court for stealing GH¢809, 611. 24; belonging to the bank.

This was after an Accra Circuit Court had found Otumfuo guilty on the charges of conspiracy to commit crime and stealing the money between January 2013 and October 2013.

The bank’s internal auditors detected that Otumfuo had withdrawn the said amount with duplicate cheques of Chariamatar Ventures, a company that belongs to Pastor Samuel Amanor.

Otumfuo and Amanor were arraigned before court together with an alleged accomplice called Lorraine Ababio, the boss of JL Ventures, a company which had been contracted by the bank to provide services.

Lorraine and Pastor Amanor were earlier on acquitted and discharged by the court. The court explained that the two had nothing to do in respect of the case, “even if they did they had no criminal intentions”.

Convicting Otumfuo, who had worked in the banking sector for 28 years, the trial judge ordered him to refund the amount to the bank.

According to the court Otumfuo, who was working with the bank’s Castle Road branch was a first offender and had lost his job as a result of the matter.

Presenting the facts of the case earlier, Chief Superintendent Duuti Tuaruka the prosecutor told the court that the complainant is the management of Access Bank.

He said Otumfuo worked as the Marketing Manager of Continental Bank before the two banks merged in 2011. Following the merger Otumfuo was made Head of Operations at Access Bank.

He said pastor Amanor owns Chariamatar Ventures and is an account holder of the bank while Ababio, who has a personal account with the bank, provides services to several institutions including Access bank.

According to him, on February 2, last year the bank’s auditors undertook a yearly routine auditing exercise and detected that, between January to October 2013, duplicate cheques of Chariamatar Ventures, JL Ventures and Ridas Company owned by one Eyram Dumor were used to withdraw a total of GH¢809,611.24.

The prosecutor noted that, the audit team initially invited Otumfuo but he was unable to explain circumstances under which the money was withdrawn.

He said a complaint was lodged with the police and the accused person, who was later arrested, mentioned the names of his accomplices during interrogation.

Prosecution said Otumfuo indicated that, he used the money to assist his brother Stephen Mawuli, who was involved in mining activities but investigations revealed that he personally used the money.

The prosecutor stated that Otumfuo, between March and July 2013, withdrew a total of GH¢410,500 from the accounts of Chariamatar Ventures.

Explaining further, he said during that period, he also withdrew GH¢117,000 from the pastor’s account at CAL Bank whilst in July 2013, he took a total of GH¢75,095.50 from the accounts of Ridas.

The prosecutor said the suspect again withdrew GH¢31,511.47 from the pastor’s account.

The prosecutor noted that Otumfuo demanded cheques of Chariamatar from the pastor and gave him GH¢100,000 initially.

Chief Supt Tuaruka stated that Lorraine also admitted the offence in her caution statement and said Otumfuo regularly credited her account at both Access and CAL Banks.

Explaining, he said the lady claimed she withdrew money for Otumfuo.

The prosecutor said Otumfuo has built a five-bedroom flat at Adenta New Site and another three bedroom house around Zenith University College and issued cheques for Ridas to furnish the house that he built at Adenta.

Source: GNA

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