Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Prosecution prevented from tendering report in court

February 26,2014. Page 56

The first prosecution witness in the Adaklu Anyigbe Mutual Health Insurance Scheme embezzlement case was called at the Financial Division of the High Court last Monday.
Mr Maxwell Addico, a former Head of Audit at the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), told the court that he did not take part in the auditing of the NHIA accounts for the period January 2008 to December 2009.
The former Scheme Manager of the Adaklu Anyigbe Mutual Health Insurance Scheme, Evans Raybon Anyadi, is currently in the dock charged with three counts of forgery and 16 counts of stealing GH¢143,668 belonging to service providers under the scheme.
He is also alleged to have paid GH¢28,387.11 into the account of three unaccredited service providers.
Anyadi has pleaded not guilty to all the counts and has been admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢100,000, with two sureties.

Substitution of charges
Prior to the testimony of the witness, a Chief State Attorney, Mr Rexford Wiredu, had told the court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, that the state had substituted the charges of the accused person with a new one.
Anyadi, on January 30, 2014, pleaded not guilty to seven counts of forgery of document and 30 counts of stealing.
The charges have now dropped to three counts of forgery and 16 counts of stealing.

Led by Mr Wiredu, the witness told the court that he had only directed his colleagues to undertake the audit report.
According to him, he was only briefed on the progress of the audit and the resultant findings.
Mr Addico, who is currently the Standards and Securities Manager at the Management Information Systems Directorate of the NHIA, said he was told the accused person issued cash cheques, instead of writing the names of service providers on the said cheques, withdrew the amount but paid either less or nothing at all to the service providers.
The witness told the court that the accused person went to the bank personally on some occasions and at times sent other officers to make withdrawals.
According to him, the accused person declined to respond to draft findings implicating him and others and for that reason, the NHIA issued its final report without his response.
Mr Wiredu had attempted to tender the audit report through the witness but counsel for the accused person, Nana Asante Bediatuo, protested on the grounds that the witness had indicated he was neither the author nor the signatory of the audit report.
The court agreed with Nana Bediatuo and, accordingly, stopped the prosecution from tendering the audit report through Mr Addico.
Mr Wiredu at that moment ended his examination-in-chief of the witness.

Cross-examination of witness
Answering questions under cross-examination from Nana Bediatuo, the witness told the court that he did not know the accused person.
He also said he did not know for a fact that the accused person did not respond to the draft audit report.
Hearing continues today.

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