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Venture Capital Scandal: Come formally with an application to invoke Section 35 of the Court Act — Court to State Attorney

Social News Venture Capital Scandal: Come formally with an application to invoke Section 35 of the Court Act — Court to State Attorney
DEC 1, 2021 LISTEN

An Accra High Court has asked state lawyers to come formally with an application to invoke section 35 of the Court's Act in relation to three accused persons in the Venture Capital Trust Fund scandal.

Accused: Irene Anti Mensah, Frank Aboagye Mensah and Richard Lassey were to pay about GHC 18.5 million restitution to the state.

For a year and two months, the three are yet to pay the restitution to the state.

In relation to Daniel Duku, former CEO of Venture Capital Trust Fund, the GNA has learnt the state was selling some of his assets to defray his debt.

Per section 35 of the Court's Act, 1993 (459) the court is obligated to impose a custodial sentence on convicts who are unable to pay restitution within a given period.

At an Accra High Court, Mrs Frances Mollen Ansah, Principal State Attorney, informed the Court that they would like to come under Section 35 of the court's act in respect of three persons.

The Court however asked the state to come formally with an application and same should be served on the accused so they could respond.

Daniel Duku, a former Chief Executive Officer of Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) and three others, ordered to pay about GHS18.5 million restitution to the State, are yet to do so, a year and two months after a court's order.

Checks at the VCTF by the Ghana News Agency indicate that Duku has paid GHS1 million out of the GHC15 million.

Irene Anti Mensah, an accomplice, and a former Executive Assistant to Duku, has paid GHS1,430, 000 out of GHC1.5 million leaving a balance of GHC70,000.

Frank Aboagye Mensah, also an accomplice, and Irene Anti Mensah's husband, has paid GHS430,000, leaving a balance of GHS 765,000.

Duku, Irene, Frank and Lassey, had pleaded guilty to various charges, including causing financial loss to the Republic, before an Accra High Court in July 2020.

The Court presided over by Justice Anthony Oppong, a Court of Appeal Judge, ordered them to pay the restitution of about GHS18.5 million to the State, following an agreement they had with the Attorney General (AG) per Section 35 of the Courts Act, 1993 (459).

In line with the said agreement, the Court imposed a fine of GHS500,000 on Duku and further ordered the seizure of his assets, which he acquired during his tenure in office as the CEO of VCTF.

The Court also fined Irene and Frank GHS100,000 each.

The four were given seven days to pay some percentages of the amounts and after three months of conviction, pay the rest.

Per section 35 of the Court's Act, 1993 (459) the Court is obligated to impose a custodial sentence on convicts who are unable to pay restitution within a given period.

In April 2020, the State charged Duku and five others for causing financial loss to the State of over GHC42.8 million in the VCTF scandal.

Four out of the six accused persons pleaded guilty.

Two persons, Kofi Sarpong, a former Investment Officer, VCTF, and Charity Opoku, aka Charity Ameyaw, an Accountant, VCTF, pleaded not guilty and are standing trial at an Accra High Court.

Mr Yaw Owusu Brempong, Chief Executive Officer, the first prosecution witness, was in the dock for further cross-examination by counsel for Kofi Sarpong, a former Investment officer and one of the accused persons.

The matter has been adjourned to January 14, 2022.

GNA

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