The station manager of the Kwahu-Tafo branch of Infin Ghana Ltd, Ernest Boakye, 30, has been sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment in hard labour for stealing a total of GH¢398,545 from the company in 2021.
The convict was hauled before the Mpraeso Circuit Court charged with one count of stealing contrary to section 125 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act, to which he pleaded not guilty.
The convict according to court documents stole the money while working as the station manager of the company and this was detected by the administrator of the company who saw some discrepancies in the pay-in-slips against the bank statement of the convict.
An audit conducted in the presence of the convict revealed that he had embezzled GH¢398,545.56 but Ernest Boakye in his defence questioned the authenticity of the audit report, claiming that it was done in his absence.
He claimed he had deposited the monies in the company’s accounts as expected and the company’s bank statement will confirm the deposits.
He however, refused to tender the bank statement in evidence although he requested the court to order an official of the company to provide him with the said statement, and the court had to defer its judgment to accommodate the tendering of the document.
The Court presided over by His Honour Stephen Kumi, at the end of the trial found that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and found the convict guilty of the charge leveled against him.
The court in passing sentence observed that the convict instead of being an honest employee “rather in the most despicable and condemnable circumstances defrauded and made use of the money of the complainant company and its officer”, adding that the convict “has indeed shown to be plainly dishonest character”.
The court also observed that the convict committed the offence in the period around the COVID-19 pandemic when most businesses in the country and the world over were in distress and some had to fold up and many workers had to lose their job and livelihoods.
“The complainant company did not lay off the convict. He still kept his job to enable him take care of himself and his family. Instead of reciprocating this gesture by working diligently and with integrity, he rather decided to betray the trust of the company and stole such a huge amount of money from them. He has been greedy”, the court held.
The court, therefore, sentenced him to 120 months’ imprisonment in hard labour to serve as deterrent to him and others within the jurisdiction with similar criminal dispositions.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak