In a stunning case of alleged embezzlement, a Secretary at the Energy Ministry finds herself at the center of legal proceedings. The Accra Circuit Court has charged Regina Abanga, a 44-year-old individual, with a staggering 116 counts of theft, totaling an amount of GH¢287,775.47. This article delves into the details of the case, shedding light on the events leading to Regina’s arrest and the subsequent developments.
The Accused Pleads Not Guilty
Regina Abanga, the accused in this embezzlement case, appeared before Judge Kizita Naa Koowa Quarshie and pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against her. Mrs. Quarshie granted bail to Regina, setting the sum at GH¢250,000 and requiring three sureties. One of the sureties must provide justification through a landed property valued at GH¢125,000. Moreover, the court stipulated that the accused must report to the police every Wednesday.
Background and Allegations
Regina Abanga holds an account at the Agricultural Development Bank’s (ADB) Ridge Branch, while Irene Akua Antwi, the complainant, occupies the position of Unit Head Officer of Business Operation at the ADB Head Office in Accra. Between November 2022 and June 2023, Regina allegedly engaged in unauthorized withdrawals through ADB ATMs situated across various locations in Accra. The manipulative transactions resulted in an astonishing total of GH¢287,775.47 being siphoned away.
The Discovery of Irregularities
The suspicious activity went undetected until June 15, 2023, when Solomon Inkoom, an employee at the ADB Labone Branch, noticed irregular withdrawals. Inkoom promptly reported the matter to Irene Akua Antwi, the complainant, who then alerted the ADB’s risk team. Subsequently, the bank took immediate action by blocking Regina Abanga’s ATM card to prevent further unauthorized withdrawals.
The Final Attempt and Apprehension
On June 16, 2023, Regina attempted to withdraw funds from an ADB Ridge branch ATM, but her card was seized. Realizing the gravity of the situation, she immediately went to the bank’s management in the hopes of resolving the matter. However, she was apprehended by the Risk Team and subsequently handed over to the Ministry’s Police. During the investigation, Regina confessed to the offense, providing further details of the misappropriation.
Misused Funds and Ongoing Projects
Regina Abanga shockingly admitted to utilizing a portion of the stolen funds for personal endeavors. She disclosed that she purchased a Toyota Vitz with the registration number GE-3545-21 using embezzled money. Furthermore, she revealed that a 3-story building, presently under construction on the fifth floor, was being funded with ill-gotten funds.
The case against Regina Abanga, the Secretary at the Energy Ministry facing numerous charges of embezzlement, highlights the importance of diligent oversight and detection of financial irregularities. The swift action taken by the ADB’s risk team to block the accused’s ATM card prevented further unauthorized transactions. As this case unfolds, it serves as a reminder of the necessity for robust measures to safeguard against fraudulent activities in financial institutions. The court proceedings will ultimately determine Regina’s fate and contribute to upholding the principles of justice and accountability.