State files fresh charges against Ernest Thompson, four others

Ernest Thompson

The State has filed fresh charges against Ernest Thompson, former Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and four others, when they appeared before an Accra High Court on Thursday.

The fresh charges filed on April 20 this year, are in compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The apex Court of the land had in March this year, ruled that the charges preferred against the accused were inappropriate and same did not meet the constitutional requirement.

At the High Court this morning, Thompson, John Hagan Mensah, a former Information Technology (IT) Manager at SSNIT, Juliet Hassan Kramer, the Chief Executive Officer of Perfect Business Systems (PBS); Caleb Kweku Afaglo, a Former Head of Management Information Systems (MIS) at SSNIT and Peter Hayibor a lawyer for SSNIT, have jointly been charged with conspiracy to commit crime to wit willfully causing financial loss to the state.

They are also variously being held over charges of willfully causing financial loss, defrauding by false pretences and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

Afaglo is additionally being held for possessing forged documents namely forged Bachelor of Science in Computer Certificate and Master of Business in Management Certificate from Georgia institute of Technology.

He is also accused of altering of forged documents namely, a Doctor of Philosophy Certificate from University of Cincinnati.

The Court is yet to take their pleas.

At the High Court, Mr Richard Gyambiby, a Senior State Attorney informed the court the State filed the new charge sheet on April 20, this year in compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court.

Mr Samuel Cudjoe, one of the lawyers for Thompson said he had not been served with the new charge sheet.

According to Mr Cudjoe he was not aware that a new charge sheet had been filed.

“We don’t know the nature of the particulars as contained in the charge sheet and we don’t know whether or not the charges were in compliance with the Supreme Court order,” Mr Cudjoe added.

Mr Baffour Gyewu Bonsu who held brief for Mr Thaddeus Sory, for Kramer, said when he was informed about the charge sheet he took steps to get a copy by going to the Court’s Registry.

Mr Gyewu Bonsu said, “I am yet to look at the charge sheet which was filed on April 20, this year.”

The Court then ordered bailiffs to serve all the accused persons in court.

The matter had been adjourned to May 20.

The accused persons are said to have caused financial loss to the Republic of millions of dollars in the SSNIT Operational Business Suit (OBS) Project in the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. – GNA


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