The State has levelled criminal charges against former Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Ernest Thompson and four others, over controversial $72 million Operating Business Suite (OBS) contract awarded to Perfect Business Solutions.

The 29 charges leveled against the five individuals include conspiracy to wilfully cause financial loss to the state, willfully causing financial to the state, defrauding by false pretense, contravention of Public Procurement Act, possession of forged documents, authoring forged documents among others.

The others are former head of IT Department, Caleb Kwaku Afaglo; former  OBS project manager, John Hagan Mensah and Juliet Hasana Kramah of IT Company Perfect Business Systems as well as Peter Hayibor the former General Counsel of SSNIT.

All five have been granted self recognisance bail.

Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Kojo Ofori Tenkorang in August 2017 told Joy News the entire OBS was not functioning despite the huge money spent on it.

He said the non-functioning of the software was due to alterations made on it and some legal regime regulating their operations.

In an unprecedented move, the newly constituted board decided to publish these resolutions, which also included the decision to sack the former General Manager of the SSNIT Management Information Systems, Caleb Afaglo, who was found to have secured the top job with fake degrees.

But his predecessor, Ernest Thompson, dismissed the claim saying, he was aware only one module had challenges.

The initial cost of the software procured to automate processes at SSNIT was $34 million when it was awarded to Perfect Business Systems and Silver Lake Consortium in 2012. But this ballooned to $72 million.

Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo on Tuesday told an Accra High Court presided over by Justice Henry Anthony Kwofie, Court of Appeal judge sitting as additional High Court Judge, that the activities of these individuals had led to a loss to the state, Joseph Ackah-Blay reported.

Hearing has been adjourned to October 17, 2018.

Legal Representation

The State’s legal team is led by the A-G, Gloria Akuffo together with Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa. Other members of the team are Chief State Attorney, Alfred Asiamah Sampong; Chief State Attorney, Evelyn Keelson, Senior State Attorney, Stella Ohene Appiah; Senior State Attorney, Richard Gyambiby and Assistant Senior State Penina Asah.

The former SSNIT Boss is represented by lawyers; Abednego Tetteh, Samuel Codjoe, and Bernard Owiredu. Annis Mogtari represents John Hagan Mensah while Thaddeus Sory and Abua Juan Jagiara represent Juliet Hasana Kramah.

George Bernard Shaw is lawyer for Caleb Afaglo while Oliver Atsu Amegah represents Peter Hayibor.