ECG Staff, Vendors busted over alleged GH¢2.1m theft granted bail
Ten persons, including staff of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG),accused of stealing GH¢2,143,270 being proceeds of pre-paid credit, have been granted bail.
The High Court presided over by Justice Mrs Lydia Osei Marfo, admitted Ali Nasiru Shaibu, a Computer Programmer at the ICT Department, ECG, to bail in the sum of GH¢4 million with two sureties to be justified.
Nine others were also admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢300,000 with one surety each to be justified.
They are Grace Gardiner, Chief Supervising Cashier, ECG, Kasoa, Anthony D.K Quaye and Ibrahim Baba Adamu, both Technicians at Kasoa ECG Office.
Five other accused persons who are ECG vendors are Muntari Adamu, Alfred Brown, Gariba Awudu Misbaw, Kwasi Appiah Donkor, Eric Yaw Kyei and Augustina Laniyan.
Shaibu is facing charges of conspiracy to steal, stealing and money laundering.
His alleged accomplices are being held on charges of conspiracy to steal and stealing.
All the accused persons have denied the various charges.
The Court has ordered the Prosecution to file the first set of disclosures on the accused persons and their lawyers and adjourned the matter to April 27. Prosecution is led by Mr Dominic Bakoma, Principal State Attorney.
The case of the prosecution is that in 2003, ECG entered into partnership with a number of ICT companies, including Ghana Electrometer Company to provide prepaid power distribution to its customers in the country.
Prosecutors said ECG therefore designed customised meters for reading of prepaid credit which was installed for customers and customers were charged with prepaid reloadable cards after the credit had been electronically loaded on them.
It said ECG engaged the services of private vendors to sell the prepaid power credits for the companies and installed prepaid dispensing software on their computers.
The Prosecution told the Court that the operations of the private vendors were monitored by the ICT Department of ECG at the Head Office in Accra.
In March 2017, the management of ECG received information that some private vendors in the Volta Region were selling more credit than the quota they had purchased.
It added that those vendors’ operations were based on E-cash prepaid metering system.
Prosecution held that investigations conducted revealed that in August 2016, Shaibu travelled to Hohoe to resolve the prepaid connectivity challenge for Misbaw.
During the process, Shaibu and Misbaw allegedly agreed that Shiabu should manipulate the software and send Misbaw to sell without the knowledge of the Hohoe District Office, ECG and afterwards, Shaibu would delete the transaction from the software and they would share the proceeds.
It said as agreed on, Shaibu manipulated the system and sent prepaid credit to Misbaw without following due process leading to the dishonest sale of prepaid credit from August 17, 2016, to March 2017.
Prosecution said during the period, GH¢199,351.60 was lost by ECG and Shaibu and Misbaw shared the proceeds.
Additionally, the Prosecution said from August 18, 2016 to March 1, 2017, Shaibu agreed and entered into similar deal with the same modus operandi with Alfred Brown, the sixth accused person and he dishonestly sold prepaid credit worth GH¢1,203, 249.26 and they allegedly shared the proceeds.
Prosecution said with the same modus operandi, Shaibu together with Muntaru Adamu, Donkor, Kyei and other accused persons, shared proceeds of prepaid credit sales.
Investigations revealed that all the accused persons dishonestly appropriated a total sum of GH¢2,143, 270.15 belonging to ECG.
During interrogation, accused persons refunded GH¢282,600.
Prosecution said the Police had also retrieved an unregistered Toyota Highlander Station Wagon and a Mercedes Benz from Shaibu.
It said the Police identified two houses located at Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region and another at Bohyen Junction, Kumasi, all belonging to Shaibu and it is alleged that the items mentioned were proceeds of the crime.