10.05.2005 Crime & Punishment

Court grants Accountant 1.5 billion cedis bail for stealing

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Cape Coast, May 10, GNA- A Cape Coast Circuit Court, has granted 1.5 billion cedis bail with three sureties to be justified to an assistant accountant who allegedly connived with his boss to steal 1.39 billion cedis.

Isaac Nana Asmah of the St Augustine College in Cape Coast, who has pleaded not guilty was granted the bail during his second appearance in court and is to reappear on May 24.

Asmah was also ordered by the court to hand over his passport and documents covering his two vehicles to the court with immediate effect. He is also to report to the police twice a week and has been banned from travelling out of the jurisdiction of the court without permission. Mrs Patience Klinogo, a Principal State Attorney, told the court that auditors detected the theft during a routine audit exercise that spanned the school's account from October 2003 to November 2004. She said it was also discovered that the Principal Accountant, Seth Tudah who is now at large, connived with Asmah and forged the headmaster's signature, which enabled them to withdraw large sums of monies from the school's accounts.

Mrs Klinogo said between January and November last year, 14 cheques amounting to 380 million cedis bearing false signatures of the headmaster, were cashed at the Agricultural Development Bank, and seven others totalling 176 million cedis at the Ghana Commercial Bank. She said in order to conceal the fraud, Asmah prepared fictitious pay vouchers, store receipts and invoices for goods purportedly supplied to the college, but when the suppliers were contacted, they all denied issuing the invoices and receipts.

The Principal State Attorney said as soon as the deal was uncovered, the Principal Accountant left for US and had since refunded 120 million cedis out of the amount.

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