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Court directs state to provide more documents in SSNIT trial

An Accra High Court on Friday ordered the State to produce more documents relating to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Operating Business Suites (OBS) in court.

According to the court the first one hundred and eleven pages of the OBS contract should be made available to the Counsel for Mr Ernest Thompson, a former SSNIT boss who is standing trial with four others for allegedly causing financial loss to the State in respect of an OBS Contract.

The order of the court came after Mr Samuel Cujdoe moved a motion on notice for the production of some missing documents in the OBS Contract.

Mr Cudjoe in his submission contended that the documents were not part of what the prosecution had earlier furnished the court.

He said the documents which were missing in the OBS Contract were of essence and crucial to the defence of Thompson but the prosecution omitted them.

Defence counsel further held that some of the memo’s that were provided in court did not also have the necessary attachments.

Mr Cudjoe noted that his client while in office saw all those documents and acted on them in relation to the matter before the court.

“We are aware that these documents can easily be provided by the SSNIT through the prosecution. Prosecution should not have any objection because these documents could be obtained from SSNIT and the Public Procurement Agency (PPA),” he said.

Mrs Yvonne Atakorah Obuobisah, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in her response did not opposed to the motion.

“We will ask that since these documents are in possession of prosecution, the order be directed to SSNIT,” Mrs Obuobisah said.

The trial Judge, Mr Justice Henry Anthony Kwofie, a Court of Appeal Judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court High stated that SSNIT was not before him.

The DPP then said that it would take the order and send same to SSNIT to get the documents that defence counsel was demanding.

The matter was therefore adjourned to January 23, next year.

The State, had earlier on filed 127 documents and a pen drive containing additional documents in a matter involving Ernest Thompson, former Director-General of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and four others.

Thompson is standing trial with John Hagan Mensah, an Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure Manager of SSNIT and later Operational Business Suit Project Manager, and Juliet Hassana Kramer, Chief Executive Officer of Perfect Business Systems and Silver Lake Structured Service Limited.

The rest are Caleb Kwaku Afaglo, former Manager of Management Information System at SSNIT, and Peter Hayibor, a General Manager/General Counsel for SSNIT.

Thompson and the four others have jointly been charged with 29 counts of conspiracy, wilfully causing financial loss to the state and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

They were said to have caused a loss of over 72 million dollars in Operating Business Suite Contract, which sought to provide state-of-the- art pension administration systems.

Afaglo has been additionally charged with defrauding by false pretences, possession of forged documents and altering of forged documents.

The matter follows investigations into the awarding of the controversial 72 million dollars Operating Business Suite contract for the development of a software to help SSNIT in its dealings with the pensioners.

The amount involved in the contract was initially 34 million dollars but it was allegedly later inflated to the detriment of the state.

Source: GNA

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