GHANA: Bank Manager Jailed For Fraud In Ghana
Samuel Otumfuo, a former Head of Operations at Access Bank, has been jailed for one year in hard labour for stealing GHc809,611.24 belonging to the bank by an Accra Circuit Court.
This was after the bank’s internal auditors detected that Otumfuo had withdrawn the said amount with duplicate cheques of Chariamatar Ventures, a company that belongs to one Pastor Samuel Amanor.
Otumfuo and Amanor were standing trial together with an alleged accomplice, one Lorraine Ababio, the boss of JL Ventures, a company which had been contracted by the bank to provide services.
Otumfuo and the pastor were charged with conspiracy to commit crime and stealing while the alleged accomplice was charged with abetment of crime.
The court presided over by Justice Francis Obiri, after full trial, found Otumfuo guilty of the charge of stealing.
In jailing Otumfuo, the judge noted that the convict was a first offender and had also been dismissed from his job.
Justice Obiri stated that the convict had lost all his entitlements for the 28 years he worked with the bank.
As a result, he jailed Otumfuo for one year in hard labour and ordered him to refund the said amount to the bank.
In the case of Pastor Amanor and Lorraine, Justice Obiri noted that they did nothing in respect of the crime and even if they did, it was with no criminal intent.
He accordingly acquitted and discharged them on the charges preferred against them.
The prosecutor, C/Supt Duuti Tuaruka, had told the court that the complainants were the management of Access Bank while Otumfuo worked with the bank.
He also said the pastor owns Chariamatar Ventures and is an account holder of the bank while Lorraine, who has a personal account with the bank, provides services to several institutions including Access Bank.
C/Supt Tuaruka said on February 2, 2014, the bank’s auditors undertook a yearly routine auditing exercise and detected that between January and October 2013, duplicate cheques of Chariamatar Ventures, JL Ventures and Ridas Company, owned by one Eyram Dumor, were used to withdraw the aforementioned amount.
The police officer noted that the audit team invited Otumfuo, who was unable to explain circumstances under which the money was withdrawn.
He said a complaint was lodged with the police, leading to the arrest of the convict who mentioned the other two as his accomplices.
C/Supt Tuaruka said Otumfuo said he used the money to assist his brother, one Stephen Mawuli, who was engaged in illegal mining but that investigations revealed that he personally used the money.
He stated that Otumfuo, between March and July 2013, withdrew a total of GHc410,500 from the accounts of Chariamatar Ventures.
The police officer said during that period, the convict also withdrew GHc117,000 from the pastor’s account at CAL Bank and in July 2013, he took a total of GHc75,095.50 from the accounts of Ridas.
The prosecutor said the convict again withdrew GHc31,511.47 from the pastor’s account.
He said when the pastor was arrested, he admitted the offence and said he applied for a loan in 2012 from the bank but was rejected.
He said Otumfuo demanded cheques of Chariamatar from the pastor and gave him GHc100,000 initially.
He stated that Lorraine also admitted the offence in her caution statement and said Otumfuo regularly credited her accounts at both Access Bank and CAL Bank.
C/Supt Tuaruka noted that Otumfuo built a five-bedroom flat at Adenta New Site and another three-bedroom house around Zenith University College and issued cheques for Ridas to furnish the house he had built at Adenta New Site.