Feature: The Tale Of Two Daughters: Cecilia And Sedina

There are two daughters of Ghana, whose fate, involving money, have crossed paths.

One of them is Cecilia Abena Dapaah of the NPP, who reported of her missing millions in her room and all hell broke loose. And the other is Sedina Tamakloe-Attionu of the NDC, who administer the relocation of monies from the state into her pockets, when she was MASLOC boss and no hot air has been blown over this matter.

In the case of Cecilia, the fact that millions under her watch got stolen by people she could identify, Ghanaians did not sympathise with her, but rather demanded to know how the millions got to her bedroom, in the first place. My question is, is there any law which forbids money of amounts above a certain limit to be kept on one’s self at home or office?

I asked this question, once, and recently the renowned veteran lawyer, Sam Okudzeto responded by saying, there is no law that criminalises the stashing of cash at home, hence, Cecilia Dapaah cannot be accused of wrongdoing without providing evidence to back the claims.

He said, “The question is, if you come and you find money with me, do I owe any duty to you to explain whose money? When nobody has complained that I have stolen his money, over a million, what difference does it make? Foreign currency?”

Lawyer Okudzeto, was emphatic in saying that no laws bar individuals from stashing monies at home until substantial evidence is provided. Adding that, “the criminal law is not based upon suspicion or a mere allegation.”

After she had reported to the law-enforcing agents that two of her house-helps had stolen more than $1 million, €300,000.00 in cash and other valuable items from her Abelemkpe residence, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, found herself under investigation by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) for corruption and corruption-related offences.

When the news broke-out many Ghanaians especially the opposition NDC took up the issue up and said it was a clear case of stealing public funds. No one wanted to condemn the house-helps for stealing, rather they saw Cecilia as the thief and condemned her.

Suddenly it was as if there is a law that places limit on amounts of money any one can keep on themselves at home, in office or on their person. But, as lawyer Sam Okudzeto said, there is no such law.

Was this the first time as high public figure had reported that their huge sums of money have been stolen from their homes?

No, and the first victim was Mr. Obed Asamoah of the NDC, who was then Ghana’s foreign minister.

In December of 1997, the then leading member of the ruling NDC government and a top politician, hauled two of his security details to court for stealing ¢100 million from his room.

This was during the period of the worse economic hardships ever recorded in Ghana, which was so bad that workers had to be laid off, the dollar kept appreciating twice a day and prices of essential commodities went up thrice in a day.

It was so bad that the nation’s liabilities far exceeded its assets, and we had to go out and borrow to pay interest on existing loans, thereby forever increasing our principal debt.

Because of the poor and reckless management of Ghana and our economy by the NDC administration, when no external factor could be blamed, we had no choice but to opt for the HIPC Initiative. It was in this era, that Obed Asamoah operated another Bank of Ghana and kept billions in his room.

An insignificant part of the money was stolen over a period of time which was not easily noticed by the politician.

During an interview with the Ghanaian Chronicle, published on Monday, May 3, 2004, Mr Obed Asamoah said he was saddened by the way the issue was being hyped up. To him, all political leaders kept money in their houses because in politics, one cannot function in emergencies on the basis of issuing cheques.This was the NDC’s official position on the matter. And yet today, this same NDC is attacking the NPP and Cecilia Dapaah.

In the case of the two policemen who stole Obed Asamoah’s money, one of them bought two brand new cars and converted them into taxis. And he also built a large house in his hometown and was at the roofing level when he was arrested for stealing.

What is quite interesting was that the case was later dropped, so the policemen could not be jailed for stealing and where the money actually came from could not be established in court. The policemen were however expelled from the service. The question is, why was the case dropped? NDC is well noted for dropping cases that will expose the level of corruption in the party. Woyome comes to mind, here.

I will entreat all and sundry to allow the law to take its course in Cecilia Dapaah’s issue and wait for it to be proven in court whether she violated any laid down legislation.

The other daughter of Ghana, who was fairly dealt with in court and proven to have been genetically corrupt and actually stole huge sums of money is NDC’s Sedina Tamakloe-Attionu. As the former MASLOC boss, she really got in the business of drying cassava chips while the sun shone.

In June 2014, while in office, Sedina officially credited the accounts of Obaatanpa Micro-Finance Company Limited of Ejura with an Agriculture Development Bank cheque of GH¢500,000.00 dated June 24, 2014 and told the company that it will attract an interest of 24% per annum.

The beneficiary company rejected the high and unprofitable interest rate and refunded the amount by chequeand returned it to MASLOC.

Sedina rejected the cheque and demanded cash, which she collected on the night of August 28, 2014 at the Baatsona Total Filling Station and admitted receipt by a letter dated the day of receipt of the cash.

She later went chasing Obaatanpa for payment of interest on the GH¢500,000.00 to cover the two months the amount was in the beneficiary’s custody. When she was told that the demand was unjustified, she stopped.

In all this, there is no record showing that the amount had been paid into any MASLOC account.

Then in April 2016, MASLOC was authorised to spend GH¢1,706,000.00 as funds for a country-wide sensitisation and monitoring programmes for 85,300 beneficiaries of MASLOC loans, with each person receiving GH¢20.00 for transport and refreshment.

Even though, GH¢1,706,000.00 was approved for the exercise, Sedina withdrew GH¢1,816,000.00 from MASLOC funds and went to only three regions, Volta, Greater-Accra and Brong-Ahafo, for the exercise and spent only GH¢1,300.00. Meaning an amount of GH¢1,814,700.00 went into private pockets.

When GH¢1,465,035.00 was voted by government to assist victims of the Kantamanto Market fire disaster, Sedina appropriated GH¢579,800.00 out of the amount.

In purchasing vehicles for beneficiaries, Sedina, using single sole-sourcing, made the suppliers write out over-invoices. While the unit price of a Chevy Sparklite was actually $9,104.77, MASLOC accepted $12,009.91 per unit and while one Isuzu bus was going for $74,493.67, MASLOC accepted a unit price of $112,942.96.

The one hundred Chevy-Sparklite cars and one hundred Isuzu 33-seater buses, which should have cost the state, $8,359,806.00, rather cost us $12,495,287.00 and with this $4,135,481.00 entered the pockets of Sedina and her accomplices.

There are other charges of financial corruption which added to her being found guilty as charged and she has been sentenced for ten years in jail with hard labour.

The problem now is that Sedina Tamakloe-Attionu has played on Ghanaians, the same act played by Allison-Madueke of Nigeria on her country folks, when she disappeared from the country after stepping down from her office as oil ministers, and billions were found missing.

Sedina Tamakloe-Attionu is hiding somewhere in the globe and it will take international support to drag her back home.

This is the story of two daughters of Ghana. While Cecilia Dapaah of the NPP is still in Ghana, obviously believing she never erred, Sedina, who has been found guilty, with evidence to show, in her absence has decided to take up nationality in another country, just as Alisson-Madueke did. And in all this, no statement of condemnation has come from the NDC.

The question is why is that these socialists will use the least opportunity to accuse the UP Traditionists of crimes never committed, but defend and support criminals in their midst. We are yet to hear the NDC condemn Agbesi Woyome and Sedina Tamakloe-Attionu.

With Woyome, GH¢51 million was stolen from state coffers in 2009 and with Sedina, she stole GH¢2,894,500.0 and $41,35,287.00, and counting. And this was just a head of department. Then I ask, with no malice, what wouldn’t those occupying the top, not be able to do? I have no mal-intention and I am not directing this to my friends.

Hon Daniel Dugan


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