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GRA accounts officer unable to account for GH¢2.4m

It has now emerged that Fusieni Hamza, the accounts officer of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) standing trial at the Tamale High Court for allegedly embezzling GH¢310, 909.96 has not been able to account for GH¢2.43 million belonging to the state.

The new figure of GH¢ 2.43 million came about following an audit conducted from July 2014 to June 2017.

The audit was a follow-up to the one conducted from January 2014 to April 2017 which put the amount allegedly stolen by Hamza at GH¢310, 909.96.

A principal state attorney, Mr Salia Abdul Quddus, made this known to the court during an application for bail by the accused.

Granted bail

Hamza has pleaded not guilty to two counts of stealing and money laundering.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice Edward Apenkwah, accepted the application for bail by the lawyers of the accused and granted bail to Hamza in the sum of GH¢500, 000, with two sureties, both to be justified.

Per the bail conditions, Hamza must deposit GH¢250,000 at the court while the remaining amount should be a landed property of the same value.
Hearing continues on December 14, 2017.

Facts

A brief fact of the case is that Hamza, as part of his duties, was responsible for lodging money collected by the office into the various accounts of the GRA.

In June 2017, the Northern Regional Accountant of the GRA discovered during a validation exercise that there was a shortfall of GH¢310, 909.96 in the accounts of the GRA.

When he was questioned by the accountant, Hamza said he had duly lodged all the money into the accounts of the GRA.

The accountant followed up to GCB Bank Limited to verify whether or not the accused had lodged the money with the bank.

After the checks, the accountant was told that the amount of GH¢310, 909.96 had not been lodged into the accounts.

Upon further interrogation, the accused admitted that he had not paid the money into the accounts of the GRA but rather he had used it to acquire personal property, including two plots of land, a house and a 4×4 vehicle.

The matter was reported to the police and Hamza was subsequently arrested.

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