Prime News Ghana

SSNIT Scandal: Prosecution files fresh charges against Ernest Thompson, others

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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The prosecution has filed a fresh charge sheet against the former Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) boss, Ernest Thompson and other top former officials of the state pension scheme.

This follows a ruling by the Supreme Court last month that the charges initially instituted against the top officials did not have adequate particulars to them to afford the former SSNIT officials the opportunity to sufficiently defend themselves.

Four out of the five; Ernest Thompson; John Hagan Mensah, former SSNIT IT Manager, Juliet Hassana Kramer, the Chief Executive Officer of Perfect Business Systems (PBS); Caleb Kwaku Afaglo, a former Head of Management Information Systems (MIS) at SSNIT; are collectively facing 29 counts of crimes offending the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) and the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) for respective roles in the purchase of the SSNIT Operational Business Suite (OBS).

The State alleges that the five individuals cost the public purse over $14.8m in the course of the transaction.

Per a copy of the new charge sheet sighted by Citi News, Ernest Thompson, John Hagan Mensah and Juliet Hassan Kramer are together facing 18 counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the Republic, and, conspiracy to commit same.

While Juliet Hassana Kramer is solely charged with the offence of defrauding by false pretences, as well as contravention of the Public Procurement Act, Ernest Thompson and Juliet Hassana Kramer are jointly and additionally facing charges on the contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

Caleb Kwaku Afaglo is also charged with the offence of defrauding by false pretence, and three counts of possession of a forged document, and three counts of uttering a forged document.

The charged sheet, dated April 20, 2021, and signed by Director of Public Prosecutions, Yvonne Atakorah Obuobisa, is however silent on the SSNIT lawyer, Peter Hayibor.

Presiding Judge, Justice Henry Anthony Kwofie of the Criminal Court 5 Division of the High Court adjourned the case to May 20 and 26 respectively after instructing the bailiff to serve the defendants in open Court. This was after some complained they had not been served with the new charge sheet.