Richard Lassey Agbenyefia
The Office of the Attorney General (AG) has filed a total of 546 documents for the trial of a former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP), Richard Lassey Agbenyefia and five others, who have been accused of stealing and causing financial loss to the state in the Venture Capital case.
Director of Public Prosecutions Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa yesterday told an Accra High Court that they had filed a set of 91 documents which they intend to rely on for the trial.
She indicated that other documents would be filed in due course.
The documents were delivered to the accused persons in court through their respective lawyers.
The presiding judge, Justice Anthony Oppong, subsequently adjourned the matter to June 18, 2019, for case management conference to set down the rules for the trial.
The former Keta MP, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF), Daniel Duku, under the previous Mahama administration, as well as four former employees of the fund, have been charged by the Attorney General’s Department for allegedly misappropriating funds in excess of GH¢42 million belonging to the VCTF, a state agency.
The other four are Irene Anti Mensah, an Investment Officer of VCTF, who doubled as Executive Assistant to Mr. Duku, Frank Aboagye Mensah, businessman, Kofi Sarpong, former Investment Officer of VCTF and Charity Opoku, aka Charity Ameyaw, an accountant at VCTF.
The accused persons are facing a total of 86 charges, and they all pleaded not guilty when they made their maiden appearance before the court.
They were granted bail in the total sum of GH¢170 million by the court.
Per the fact sheet read by the AG, the accused persons allegedly used the names of a number of companies belonging to other persons to obtain loans without the knowledge, permission and consent of the owners.
According to her, “The former NDC MP, in some instances, obtained loans in the names of companies based on false representations to VCTF without the knowledge, permission or approval of the owners of the companies.”
Other fictitious deals
“Investigations have revealed that Mr. Duku, the 1st accused person, disbursed various sums of money under the scheme, the total of which far exceeded the approved amount of GH¢2,000,000.”
The AG also stated that prior to the assumption of office of Mr. Duku, there was an existing scheme known as the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which offered loans to farmers in the Northern and Brong Ahafo regions for the cultivation of sorghum.
According to the AG, Mr. Duku continued to stay in office although his appointment was terminated in June 2015 and disbursed more loans to companies which belonged to his official driver and some cronies.
He has been accused of issuing a dud cheque for the refund of $26,063 he took from VCTF to attend an official programme in the United States which he failed to attend.
“Irene Anti-Mensah and Kofi Sarpong, who were responsible for evaluation and processing of loan applications to VCTF, failed to conduct the requisite due diligence on loan applicants but rather facilitated the grant of loans through falsified records by entering false information on the loan application forms.”
Frank Aboagye Mensah has also been accused of using non-existent companies to obtain loans from VCTF.
By Gibril Abdul Razak