Fugitive MASLOC Boss, Officer Jailed 15 Years

Sedina Christine Tamakloe Attionu


The former Chief Executive Officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) under the erstwhile John Mahama administration, Sedina Christine Tamakloe Attionu, and the interdicted Operations Manager of the Centre, Daniel Axim have been sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment in hard labour for causing financial loss to the state.

The trial judge before sentencing the two observed that people talk about violent crime and how wicked it is “…but when you have an educated thief, that thief is capable of causing far more havoc than someone with AK47 is capable of doing.”

The two were found guilty and convicted of all the 78 charges levelled against them by the Office of the Attorney General in 2019 for various criminal acts that led to the state losing a whopping GH¢93,044,134.66.

A High Court in Accra presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge, on February 24, 2023, declared Madam Attionu a fugitive and granted an application to conduct the case in her absence after she fled to the United States in 2021 and has since refused to return for the trial.

Individually, Madam Attionu was sentenced to a total of 21 years imprisonment in hard labour for stealing (10 years), causing financial loss to the state (3 years), causing loss to public property (two years), improper payment (6 months), unauthorised commitment resulting in a financial obligation for the government (6 months), money laundering (3 years) and contravention of the Public Procurement Act (2 years).

She was also fined a total of GH¢78,000 for the offences and in default she will serve another six years in jail.

Daniel Axim, on other hand, has been handed a total of eight (8) years – conspiracy to steal (5 years), conspiracy to wilfully cause financial loss to the state (12 months), and another two years for money laundering.

He was also fined a total of GH¢18,000 in default of which he is to serve another 24 months in prison.

But the court said the sentences are to run concurrently, meaning Madam Attionu would be serving a maximum of 10 years in prison while Mr. Axim would spend a total of five (5) years in prison.

Criminal Acts

Some of the criminal acts for which the two were jailed include the pocketing of an amount of GH¢500,000 invested by MASLOC at  Obaatanpa Microfinance Company Limited which was returned to MASLOC because of the high interest demanded, but the money never reflected in the accounts of the Centre.

The theft of this money was only detected after the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost the 2016 election and a new CEO was appointed at MASLOC and he wrote to Obaatanpa demanding for the payment of accrued interest on the GH¢500,000 investment, and it turned out that the money had already been refunded since 2014.

The court, in analyzing the case against Madam Attionu, relied on the cross-examination of prosecution witnesses by her counsel up until the time she refused to return for the trial, as well as her statements to the police following her arrest.

On this charge, the court said the counsel could not present any reasonable doubt by way of cross-examination and Madam Attionu herself indicated in her statement that she could not recollect signing a letter acknowledging the return of the GH¢500,000 investment except to say that the signature on the letter looked like hers.

Another is the bit-by-bit withdrawal of a total of GH¢1,816,000 by the convicts although the board of MASLOC had approved GH¢1,706,000 for a nationwide sensitisation programme for 85,300 beneficiaries which never took place but the money was never accounted for.

The former MASLOC boss was also standing trial for diverting GH¢579,800 out of a GH¢1,465,035 support by the then government for victims of the Kantamanto Market fire disaster in 2013.


The two convicts were before the court for conspiring and stealing a total amount of GH¢3,198,280 whiles at MASLOC.

Again, court documents indicate that Madam Attionu while in charge of MASLOC made unauthorised commitments resulting in financial obligations for the government to the tune of GH¢61,735,832.50.

She was also charged for causing a GH¢22,158,118.85 loss to public property and improper payment of GH¢273,743.66 as well as money laundering of GH¢3,704,380 whiles in charge.

Bloated Invoices

The prosecution led by Stella Ohene Appiah and Winifred Sarpong, both Principal State Attorneys, called seven witnesses to prove its case against Madam Attionu who, according to court documents, bloated the unit price of Samsung mobile phones purchased by MASLOC and some buses thereby making them too expensive for driver unions to purchase from the company.

According to the state, Madam Attionu without recourse to the Public Procurement Act signed a contract with Mac Autos on December 6, 2016, to supply MASLOC with 350 vehicles comprising of 150 Chevy Aveo Saloon, 100 Chevy Sparklite and 33 Seater Isuzu buses.

It said although MASLOC applied for a tax waiver on the vehicles, she bloated the unit prices of the vehicles from GH¢47,346.93 ($12,009.91) to GH¢74,495 ($18,883.39) for the Chevy Aveo and GH¢65,095.00 ($16,500.63) instead of GH¢35,918.37 ($9,104.77) for the Chevy Sparklite.


Justice Asare-Botwe in her judgement expressed her abhorrence for public officials looting state resources to the detriment of the ordinary citizens.

She was particularly concerned about how vehicles and mobile phones that were supposed to be purchased in bulk ended up costing more than they would have cost if bought on retail prices.

The trial judge did not buy Mr. Axim’s defence that he was just an ordinary staff at MASLOC and was only taking orders from Madam Attionu for fear of losing his job.

The court wondered how a holder of MBA in Petroleum Accounting repeatedly had orders 23 times from his boss to issue memos for sensitisation programmes which were not held, all in the name of keeping his job.

Justice Asare-Botwe added that, the fact that he was acting as a servant on the orders of a superior officer who he is bound to obey does not exculpate him of the crime.

It was on the basis of this that he was found guilty and convicted for the charges of conspiracy to steal.

The judge, in sentencing the two, noted that Madam Attionu who is the main culprit is on the run and Mr. Axim had to take the fall for her by his presence.

The court also took into consideration the quantum of funds lost, deliberation and the enterprise with which the offences were committed in sentencing the two.

Meanwhile, Justice Asare-Botwe has directed the state to undertake forfeiture proceedings against Madam Attionu in particular, who received substantially all the money stolen from the state.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak