The Sekondi High Court in the Western region on July 24, 2014 ruled in favour of the State and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in a case of stealing the NHIA took up against two of its staff and one other.
The two have been convicted and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment with hard labour.
The officers, George Kwesi Essem-koffie and Emmanuel Amoahene Kanga, Scheme Manager and Accountant respectively at the Amanfiman Scheme office in the Western region in 2010 conspired with the administrator at the Samatek Timber and Plywood Hospital in the region and diverted the sum of GHC 131,409.26 meant for the payment of claims to the Samatex Hospital into a fictitious account for their personal benefit.
The aforesaid fraud was discovered through a routine audit exercise carried out by NHIA’s Internal Audit team.
Based on the audit findings, the two including the administrator of the Samatex Hospital, Juliana Opoku-Manu, were arrested and arraigned before the Sekondi High Court and charged with six counts of conspiracy to steal and stealing the sum of GHC 131,409.26 belonging to the hospital.
Juliana Opoku-Manu, pleaded guilty to the charges and was therefore asked to refund her part of the money.
His Lordship, Justice George Buadi convicted and sentenced the two NHIS officers, George Kwesi Essem-koffie and Emmanuel Amoahene Kanga, each to 5 years imprisonment on each of the six counts in hard labour [to run concurrently].
Additionally, the convicts were ordered to refund the money to the hospital. Failing to do so will get them an additional two years imprisonment.
The NHIA in a statement assured all its stakeholders and the general public that it will continue to ensure that the right measures are taken to protect both providers and subscribers, and to safeguard the Scheme against all malpractices.