Former Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Microfinance and Medium Loan Center (MASLOC), Daniel Axim has told the High Court in Accra that operations at MASLOC do not follow strict procedures as pertains to private Microfinance institutions.

According to him, unlike the private sector where relevant national laws are followed, MASLOC has a “peculiar” case where the rules and procedures are not rigidly followed.

He said, as an officer of MASLOC it was impossible to rigidly apply the laws on persons who are referred to the office by political heads else “you end up losing your job.”

“Any officer who tries to be rigid on (persons) who are referred by people of political heads you will end up losing your jobs,” he told the High Court in Accra presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an Additional High Court judge.

Daniel Axim, the former Operations Manager of MASLOC and “absconded” Mrs Attionu have been charged with 80 counts of Stealing, Causing Financial Loss to the State, Causing Loss to Public Property, Improper Payment of Public Funds, and unauthorized Commitment resulting in Financial Obligation for the Government, Money Laundering and Contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

They have pleaded not guilty and admitted to bail while the prosecution has closed its case after calling four witnesses.

Mrs. Tamakloe Attionu, the 1st Accused has since last year been declared “absconded” by the Court after failing to appear in Court since August 2022.

Under Cross-Examination from State Prosecutors led by Winifred Sarpong, a Principal State Attorney on Monday, February 5, 2024 after his Witness Statement was read and adopted by the Court, Daniel Axim said, operations of MASLOC do not follow procedures and rules.

It was the case of the Principal State Attorney that the 2nd Accused who was a compliance manager of MASLOC as part of his duties was to ensure that MASLOC policies, procedures and practices are complied with the relevant national laws in operating micro finances.

In his response, the 2nd Accused disagreed, saying “no,” adding “MASLOC is a very peculiar institution.

“Our way of doing things does not go directly with the norms of private microfinance practices because sensitization of our processes make it very difficult for us” to follow the practices.

While disagreeing with the suggestion from the Prosecution that MASLOC applies relevant national laws in compliance with other institutions, the 2nd Accused said, “Any officer who tries to be rigid who is referred to by people of political head, you will end up losing your job.”

“Per my practice in the private sector, I am well informed about the ethics of micro finance operations until I got to Masloc and I realised that you cannot enforce those rules else you will have a call for you to rescind your decision immediately,” he told the Court presided over by Justice Asare-Botwe.

The Case has been adjourned to February 6, 2024 for further Cross-Examination by the Prosecution.

Source: Ghana/ Inusah