Report yourself to the police – PAC warns former court cashier accused of embezzlement
The 2019 Auditor-General’s report said GH¢198,042. 26 of court fees were misappropriated in 2018.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has ordered Joseph Akulu, a former cashier of the Abeka District Court, who misappropriated GH¢74,937.00 of court fees to present himself to the Police.
“Joseph Akulu, if he is listening to this Committee, we are directing that he should just report himself to the Police so that we will have negotiations on how he can pay the money back to the Judicial Service.
“That will be the best way to go. But if he thinks that he can hide, you will run away but you cannot hide permanently. You will be one day arrested,” Hon. James Klutse Avedzi, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) warned during its four-day public hearing to consider the 2019 Auditor-General Report on the Public Accounts of Ministries, Departments, and other Agencies (MDAs).
According to the Finance Director of the Judicial Service, Mrs Vera Takyi, Joseph Akulu absconded after he promised to pay back the money. She added that the matter had in the meantime been reported to the Tessano District Police Command.
The 2019 Auditor-General’s report said GH¢198,042. 26 of court fees were misappropriated in 2018. From its examination of revenue accounts of three courts, it was shown that out of the total cash revenue of GH¢685,743.96 collected by cashiers, only GH¢487,701.70 was paid into designated bank accounts, leaving a difference of GH¢198,042.26 unaccounted for.
Aside from the Abeka District Court, the report indicated that cashiers at the Kaneshie District Court and the Donkorkrom Magistrate Court failed to account for GH¢121,470.26 and GH¢1,635.00 of court fees respectively.
Responding to questions, Mrs Vera Takyi told the committee that after an internal audit, it was realized that there was no shortage in revenue at the Kaneshie District Court and that the cashier at the Donkorkrom Magistrate Court paid back part of the money he misappropriated and has since been dismissed.
“We have put steps in place to curtail future embezzlement, by asking all cashiers to have guarantors, and currently we have bonded all cashiers in the Judicial Service. Everyone (Cashier) is supposed to provide a guarantor so that we fall on these guarantors when something happens," she told the committee.