Seven former employees of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) have been arraigned before court on 33 counts including conspiracy to forge official documents, money laundering, forgery of official documents and possessing forged documents.
The seven Accused persons who have been arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), are Sylvia Ama Boh, Brenda Bannerman, Susuana Okine alias Susuana Tetteh, Eric Dzokoto, Lawrence Obuoba alias Gbeney Lawrence Obuoba, Richmond Ampah, and Prince Yeboah-Kodie.
Two of the Accused persons Joyce Abena Donkor and Javanael Anthony Asmah, failed to report to Court and hence the Court, presided over by Her Honour Afi Agbanu Kudomor, has issued bench warrant for their arrest.
The facts of the case as presented by the EOCO are as follows: the Complainant, the Management of SSNIT, acting on information that some employees got employed in the establishment with fake certificates, decided to conduct a background check and vetting of various certificates of its employees.
In the process, the Accused persons were identified and handed over to the EOCO for investigations.
Seven of the Accused persons have been dismissed from SSNIT after the vetting exercise.
Investigations revealed that the first Accused, Sylvia Ama Boh, was an Assistant Benefits Officer II with SSNIT at the Kade Branch and was employed on 5th December, 2016 as a contract staff.
She is said to have presented to SSNIT a Bachelor of Arts degree in Information Studies with Economics, (Second Class Lower Division) dated 6th June, 2014 from the University of Ghana as part of her credentials.
On the basis of the certificate, the first Accused was confirmed as a permanent staff and put on the grade of an Assistant Benefit Officer II on 17th January, 2017.
The certificate was subjected to authentication at the Registrar’s Office- University of Ghana and the results showed that the first Accused was a student of the University from August, 2010 to December, 2016 and was awarded the degree of BA (Hons) in Information Studies and Economics (Third Class Division) and not a Second Class Division.
Investigations revealed that the first Accused acted together with Richmond Ampah, the 8th Accused, who assisted her in forging the certificate at a fee.
The Second Accused, Brenda Bannerman, was engaged on 10th October, 2016 as a contract staff and later confirmed as an Assistant Contact Centre Officer II at the Pension House, Accra on 17th January, 2017.
The second Accused presented a certificate of Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Theatre Arts (Second Class Lower Division) to SSNIT for employment.
When the certificate was subjected to authentication at the Registrar’s Office of University of Ghana, the results received in December, 2017, established that the certificate presented by the second Accused was forged as she did not fulfill the requirements for graduation.
During interrogation, the second accused confessed that the certificate was designed for her at an internet cafe at a suburb of accra. Investigations were extended to the internet cafe but it was closed down and the whereabout of the staff could not be traced.
The fourth Accused, Susuana Okine, alias Susuana Tetteh, was employed on contract at SSNIT on 2nd February, 2015, and made a permanent employee on 1st August, 2016 as an Assistant Accounts Officer II at the Head Office.
Among the certificate the fourth Accused presented to SSNIT included a forged SSSCE certificate from Peki Secondary Technical School in the Volta region .
The SSSCE certificate dated November, 1994 presented by the fourth Accused was subjected to further verification at the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and the results received indicated that what the fourth Accused presented was forged .
During interrogation, the fourth Accused disclosed that the said certificate was received on her behalf by her late mother Lydia Mawuko Koemah from Peki Secondary Technical School.
The fifth Accused, Eric Dzokoto was employed on 1st August, 2016, as an Assistant Accounts Officer II with the North Industrial Area branch, Accra . The fifth Accused presented a forged SSSCE certificate as part of her credentials to SSNIT for employment. Investigations established that the fifth Accused obtained the said forged certificate from a communication centre in Dansoman sometime in 1998.
Upon further investigations, it was revealed that the communication centre had been closed down and and the whereabouts of the staff could not be traced.
WAEC has also confirmed that the said SSSCE results was forged.
The seventh Accused, Lawrence Obuoba alias Gbeney Lawrence Obuoba was employed in April, 2016, as a driver. The seventh Accused admitted that he made alterations to his BECE certificate from Osenase L/A JSS. He inserted ‘Obuoba’ on his certificate to reflect Lawrence Obuoba instead of Gbeney Lawrence on the certificate.
The seventh Accused revealed that he later made an affidavit to reflect the changes.
The eighth Accused is an Information Technology Attendant at Access E-solutions in Dansoman.
The first Accused stated that it was the eighth Accused who designed the certificate for her at a fee of GHC20.
During interrogation, the eigth Accused revealed that he is a graphic designer by profession and can design anything documentary and that sometime in 2014, the first Accused approached him to design a ‘University of Ghana’ certificate to show to her father.
He further stated that the first Accused supplied all the details and he only inputted it.
Upon a search conducted at his work place and home, various templates of certificates such as the certificate of ‘Bachelor of Arts degree in Information Studies with Economics, Second Class Lower Division’ numbered 00064512 and other forged documents belonging to other educational institutions were found on his computer and flash drives.
The computer and flash drives were seized by EOCO for forensic examination.
The ninth Accused, Prince Yeboah-Kodie, is the manager of Regy’s pub at Kwashieman and the close friend of the sixth Accused Javanael Anthony Asmah, who was not present in court.
The said Javanael Anthony Asmah, during interrogation said that it was the ninth Accused who designed his forged certificate from Zenith Univeristy College at a fee of GH800.
The ninth Accused after his arrest admitted that he designed the forged certificate.
Investigation further indicated that the former employees of SSNIT used the forged certificates to procure employment and earned unjustified salaries at SSNIT to the tune in GHC 238, 888,78 between the years 2016 and 2017.
The seven Accused persons arraigned before court have been admitted to bail in the sum of GHC 80, 000 each with two sureties.