A Deputy Chief Registrar at the Agona Swedru High Court has been sentenced to five years imprisonment in hard labour by an Accra Circuit Court for embezzling a sum of GH¢46,000 being the sale of a cold store on auction.
Samuel Agbah Otu, who has worked with the judiciary for over 30 years, collected the said amount from the complainant in the case, for the purposes of paying in for a cold store, which had been auctioned under the orders of the court.
The registrar, after collecting the money from the complainant, refused to hand over the necessary documents covering the cold store and further refused to refund the money to the complainant.
The convict, upon his arrest, pleaded not guilty to the charge of stealing contrary to section 124 (1) of the criminal code act 29/60 before the court presided over by Mr. Francis Obiri.
The court, however, found him guilty of the offence indicating that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
The court, in its judgment noted that the convict confirmed in his defense that he did not deposit the money in any bank account, but kept it in his drawer in the court room.
The convict had further asserted that since he dropped the money in the drawer in 2011, he had not opened the drawer until 2012, when he was writing his handing over note.
According to the court, it does not believe the statement of the convict as he did not make any attempt to report the case to the police.
The court was of the view that the excuse put up by the convict is infantile and of no merit as he lied about the where about of the money.
Additionally, the court was of the view that the appropriation of the money by the convict was dishonest as he did it without the consent of the complainant.
The court therefore found him guilty to a second degree felony and sentenced him to the said years and additionally, ordered him to refunds the money.
The facts of the case are that in February 2011, the complainant went to pay a cash sum of GH¢46,000 to Samuel Agbah Otu, in respect of a cold store situated at Swedru in the Central Region, which was auctioned under orders of the court.
According to the Prosecutor, ASP C.K Abadamlora, Samuel Agbah Otu, indicated that the said auction sales was set aside and was asked to make payment to the court.
He told the court that several request made by the complainant to secure the necessary documentation to access the cold store proofed futile.
ASP Abadamlora further mentioned that the complainant therefore opted for a refund but the court registrar failed to account for the money.
“On February 11, 2013, a report was made to the management of the Judicial Service and Samuel Agbah Otu, was handed over to the police for investigation” the prosecution told the court.
Source: Ghanaian Chronicle