Collect the loot from state officials before you imprison them

Politics of Monday April 22, 2024



Vitus Azeem Vitus Azeem

Anti-corruption crusader Vitus Azeem has suggested the government prioritize recovering stolen state funds from officials before jailing them.

He was reacting to the 10-year prison sentence imposed on the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Microfinance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC), Sedina Tamakloe-Attionu.

She was sentenced to 10 years in prison for hard labor for several thefts that caused financial losses to the state.

MASLOC’s former Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Axim, was also sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with hard labor.

The two were found guilty on 78 charges relating to causing financial loss to the state, theft and conspiracy to steal, money laundering and breaching public procurement law.

Commenting on the issue, Azeem stated that the first thing the government should do is recover the stolen money from those found guilty of financial loss to the state.

“As for sending the person to jail, that should be a secondary factor. That is punishing the person for the crime. The state should be interested in recovering the money, either in cash or in property acquired by the person over the years.

“So for me the priority has to be getting the money back. “If you recover the money that was taken illegally and then of course the person has committed a crime by taking the money illegally, you can now go ahead and jail the person,” he said.

In the meantime, he has advised the government to expand the investigation beyond the two convicts.

“The investigation must go beyond these two personalities. Some people worked together, some people played together. Some people have condoned this whole exercise and they should be brought to justice.”