National Service Boss Remanded Again

The former Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Alhaji Alhassan Mohammed Imoro, on Monday made his second appearance before an Accra Circuit Court.

The court presided over Mr Francis Obiri remanded Imoro again into Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) custody pending a ruling on his bail application on November 3.

Imoro, charged with stealing GH 86.9 million cedis, belonging to the government of Ghana, has pleaded not guilty.

The court ordered the BNI to grant access to Imoro’s family and lawyers between 0800 hours and 1600 hours.

According to the court, Imoro should be given special diet on request and be sent to the Police Hospital for medical attention.

Prosecuting, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abraham A. Annor told the court that due to the numerous documents scattered around the country and the number of people involved, the BNI needed some time to delve into the matter.

He said it the accused person was granted bail, he was likely to interfere with evidence as well as witnesses in the matter.

The prosecutor also drew the court’s attention to the nature of the offence as well as the amount involved.

Mr Dennis Adjei Dwomoh, one of the lawyers for the accused person, said the prosecution’s submission had come as a surprise to him.

He recounted prosecution’s submissions at the last sitting and drew the court’s attention to the fact that it (the court) was going to consider his clients application for bail today.

Mr Dwomoh said the excuse by prosecution that the was under investigation should not be entertained, adding that the accused person had been in the custody of the BNI since October 10.

He said the 10 Regional Directors as well as the District Directors of the Scheme who were invited by the BNI had been granted bail and asked why his client was being kept by the BNI.

Mr Dwomoh said he was not happy with the treatment meted out to his client and alleged that he had not been given more than an hour access to his client.

He said his client was asthmatic and needed medical attention but “my Lord my client who is an asthmatic patient is allowed to wear boxer shorts and offered a blanket.”

Defence counsel therefore prayed the court to consider the bail application as his client is married with three kids and therefore would not abscond from jurisdiction.

Prosecution said in July the BNI started nationwide investigations into the operations of the National Service Scheme with regards to the payment of monthly allowances to service persons.

Prosecution said this was after a report received by the BNI indicated malfeasance in the postings and payment of allowances to service persons.

DSP Annor said investigation so far revealed that for every month starting from September 2013 to July this year, an amount of GH 7.9 million cedis was paid to 22,612 nonexistent or ‘ghost ‘ service persons.

Prosecution said the ghost names were generated at the NSS headquarters under the supervision of the former NSS boss.

According to prosecution, Imoro instructed that the names should be added to the Payment Vouchers (PVs).

DSP Annor said the PVs were distributed to the Regional National Service Scheme Directors and on receipt, they also distributed to the District Directors under their jurisdiction.

Prosecution said Imoro signed cheques for payments and these were deposited in the banks of the districts where service persons withdrew their allowances.

Imoro also issued instructions to the District Directors through their Regional Directors that after the allowances of the genuine service persons had been paid the money for the ghost names should be withdrawn and sent to him through the Regional Directors.

Prosecution said in all GH 86.9 million cedis was received by Imoro from the 10 Regional Directors. GNA

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