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24.03.2009 Education

School proprietor jailed 12months…over failure to pay SSNIT contributions

By Ivy Benson - Ghanaian Chronicle

The Proprietor of SNAPS School, located in Asylum down, a suburb of Accra, has been handed down a-twelve-months imprisonment term by an Accra Circuit Court for failing to pay Social Security and National Investment Trust (SSNIT) contributions for his employees.

Mr. Emmanuel Koomson, who was provided adequate time by the court to settle the debt in addition to penalties amounting to GH¢186,681.82 upon request, failed to heed to the terms made available to him for payment.

Mr. Koomson pleaded guilty to the charge of failure to pay SSNIT contribution, when he was initially arraigned before the court, presided over by Mrs. Georgina Mensah Datsa, on August 23, 2008.

The court ordered the accused person to pay the debt or serve a period of 12 months imprisonment, and since then Mr. Koomson had been provided the opportunity to pay the debt, which he had paid GH¢6,000 out of the total amount, after the court accepted his plea to be given some time to settle the debt, which spanned the period of June 2007 to May 2008.

The convict, had since August 23, last year, been appearing before the court, however, when he again appeared before the court presided over by Mrs. J. Bartels Coudjoe last Saturday, March 21, 2009, the earlier judgment was then enforced without accepting any further pleas of extension of time from the convict.

The court action, according to SSNIT prosecutors, resulted following the detection from the records of the Trust during a routine check that Mr. Koomson had failed to pay SSNIT contributions meant for his employees. The prosecutor told the court that a demand notice dated July 8, 2008, was issued to the proprietor requesting him to make payments by July 29, 2008. However, Mr. Koomson made no effort to pay the debt prompting criminal action to be instituted against him, after which he was convicted and committed to prison.