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08.12.2005 Crime & Punishment

Tribunal discharges former Area Manager of GCB

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Accra, Dec. 8, GNA - A Greater-Accra Regional Tribunal on Thursday discharged John Kweku Sackey, former Area Manager of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) in Kumasi, who was allegedly involved in a 57-billion-cedi stealing case with four others. In his ruling, Mr Justice Frank Manu, Chairman of the three-member tribunal, stated that since 1998 when charges of conspiracy to steal and stealing, were preferred against Sackey and the four, the Prosecution had made no attempts to try him.

For that reason, therefore, the tribunal said it was discharging Sackey for want of prosecution.

It, however, pointed out that the Prosecution had every right to come back and try him if the need arose.

The tribunal's order followed an application filed by Mr Osei-Antoh Bonsu, counsel for Sackey, praying the tribunal to discharge his client since the Prosecution was not taking any steps to go on with the case, about seven years after incriminating him.

The Prosecution had told the tribunal that between October and November 1996, Sackey was jointly charged with Nana Yaw Oduro, Managing Director of A-Life Company, Afua Ode, Director of Living Message Company, Lawrence Kwame Wiredu, former Managing Director of the Kejetia Branch of GCB and Veronica Nyarku, businesswoman.

The five accused persons were charged with conspiracy to steal and stealing an amount of 57 billion cedis belonging to GCB. During the period in question, Wiredu allegedly presented a number of cheques worth 57 billion cedis issued in the name of A-Life, which were to be drawn on the account of Nyarku, at the Osu Branch of GCB. Wiredu allegedly gave instant value to the cheques, but they were dishonoured, thereby creating unauthorised overdrafts in favour of A-Life Company.

In an effort to pay off part of the unauthorised overdrafts, Nana Oduro presented three cheques issued by Ode, each for five billion cedis to GCB without making sure that there was enough money in the accounts of Ode's company, Living Message.

Wiredu allegedly gave the cheques instant value, but when they were dishonoured and returned, another unauthorised overdraft of 15 billion cedis was created in addition to the outstanding 57 billion cedis, all in favour of A-Life Company.

As a result of these unauthorised transactions, GCB lost a total of 72 billion cedis.

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