A Sekondi High Court presided over by His Lordship, Justice Peter Ababio has sentenced a 31-year-old Osei Owusu Baffour to 15 years imprisonment for dishonestly misappropriating GH¢150,621,000 of the Ghana Commercial Bank, Market Circle Branch in Takoradi.
In February 2014, Osei Owusu Bafour, a private security personnel who was attached to the Market Circle Branch of the Ghana Commercial Bank was arrested for allegedly stealing several amount of money from the Automatic Teller Machine of the Bank between October 2013 and February 2014.
He was arrested alongside with the Branch Manager(deceased), the ATM custodian Godfred Kofi Dawohoso and another private security man Charles Cobbinah Essien.
They were charged for stealing and abetment of crime.
Delivering the judgement, Justice Peter Ababio said, the evidence before the court pointed clearly that Osei Owusu Bafour often collected the keys to the ATM room from the market circle police station even during weekends and holidays.
He said a careful examination of the case before the court indicated that Osei Owusu couldn’t disentangle himself from the strong case made against him.
He admitted and confessed in his initial caution statement which was admitted as evidence before the court after an objection by his lawyers was overruled that, he took money from the ATM on several occasions.
During the period he bought cars and opened several accounts at Barclay’s Bank, Bank of Africa, merchant Bank and other micro finance institutions.
Based on the evidence that he couldn’t defend, the court subsequently found found him guilty of dishonestly misappropriating money of an ATM of the Market Circle Branch of the Ghana commercial Bank and therefore sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
The court also made an order for the Ghana Commercial Bank to take civil actions to retrieve all outstanding monies with the convict.
The court however acquainted Godfred Kofi Dawohoso, the ATM custodian and Charles Cobbinah Essien,a private security man.
According to the court, Kofi Dawohoso explained in details during the trial that he is not the only person who had access to the ATM room.
He constantly maintained that he presented monthly reports to management and reported the shortages.
The court said there was not enough evidence beyond reasonable doubt that Kofi Dawohoso was involved in the stealing so he was subsequently discharged.
In the case of the fourth accused person,Charles Cobbinah Essien, a private security man who was also attached to the bank, the judge stated that the third accused person Osei Owusu Bafour admitted in his caution statement that he knew nothing about the stealing so he should be released.
There was no evidence to prove his involvement in the matter though Owusu Bafour gave him two cars to pay on “work and pay” bases. He was also acquainted and discharged. The two cars have been confiscated already.