Mr Seth Obugyei, a witness in the case in which Madam Christine Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) and Daniel Axim, are standing trial for alleged stealing and procurement breaches, yesterday told an Accra High Court that the company he worked with rejected MASLOC’s investment of GH¢500, 000 because of two per cent interest rate.
Madam Attionu, who was charged for allegedly causing financial loss of more than GH¢129.5 million to the state had already been granted Gh₵5million with two sureties on February 4, 2019, after she pleaded not guilty to 78 counts including stealing, contravention of the public procurement act, among other charges.
The witness, a traditional ruler and farmer, told the court presided by Justice Afia Serwah Asare Botwe that, Obatanpaa Microfinance rejected the money because MASLOC insisted the interest rate was non-negotiable.
Her alleged accomplice, Mr Axim was granted bail in the sum of Gh¢1 million with one surety.
Mr Obugyei, who is testifying as the third prosecution witness, stated that the former MASLOC boss requested that the GH¢500,000 be paid in cash although MALOC issued a cheque for Obataatanpa.
He said that he presented the GH¢500,000 cash in a ‘Ghana Must Go’ bag to the accused at Baatsona Total Filling Station on the Spintex Road in Accra.
Led in evidence by Mrs Stella Ohene Appiah, a senior state attorney, Mr Obugyei, said he was introduced to Madam Attionu by one Sophia Akuokoh.
According to him after that day, he applied for a loan of GH¢150, 000 for Obaatanpa Microfinance which was approved within a month.
He told the court that, “thereafter, Madam Sedina Tamakloe indicated to me that she wanted to do an investment in my microfinance, so I agreed and about a month later, she called me that a cheque of GH¢500,000 had been approved for us.
It is the case of the A-G that MASLOC gave a loan of GH¢500,000 to the company, Obaatanpa Micro-finance Limited, but the company returned the money because of the high interest that the loan attracted.
According to the A-G, Obaatanpa Limited presented a cheque for GH¢500,000 to Attionu, but she refused and demanded cash payment.
The A-G further stated that Attionu inflated the price of certain items that MASLOC purchased during her tenure, and in some instances signed procurement contracts without approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).
According to the A-G, on December 6, 2016, Attionu signed a contract with Mac Autos to supply MASLOC with 350 vehicles without any approval from the PPA.
The vehicles, the AG said, included Chevy Sparklite, Isuzu buses and Chevy Aveo.
“The unit price offered by Mac Autos to MASLOC for the Chevy Aveo was GH¢74,495 ($18,883.39).
However, investigations revealed that the actual retail price Mac Autos offered for the same model within the same year without duty was GH¢47,346.93 ($12,009.91).
BY MALIK SULLEMANA