Why The Fmr. CPP Flagbearer Aggudey Was Jailed

George Oposika Aggudey, the 2004 presidential candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) has been jailed for defaulting on the payment of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions of his workers.

A three-month sentence was handed the former CPP presidential candidate by an Accra District Court sitting on Saturday as SSNIT court, and presided over by Aboagye Tandoh.

Mr Aggudey defaulted on SSNIT contributions of his workers at Gocrest Security Company to the tune of GH¢2.6million. Mr Aggudey, the owner of Gocrest Security Company, one of the foremost private security companies in Ghana, was immediately whisked away to serve his jail-term after the sentence was pronounced.

The embattled politician has also been ordered to settle the arrears to SSNIT.

Additionally, the court fined him 300 penalty units, failure of which would earn him 18 months in jail.

Emmanuel Badu, the Prosecutor, confirmed that the CPP guru was jailed by the court for owing as much as GH¢2.6million in Social Security contribution of his workers.

With the passing of the Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) employers are under strict obligation to register all workers with SSNIT, and pay contributions on their behalf.

Under the arrangement, employers are required to pay a total of 18.5 percent of a worker’s total salary to the new scheme at a ratio of 13.5 percent from the employer and 5 percent from the employee.

According to the Pensions Act, this payment should be done not later than the 14th day of the following month; otherwise late payment would attract interest.

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Mr Aggudey was found to have flouted this requirement since 1995.

He was said to be a notorious defaulter, with his company constantly featuring on SSNIT’s list of defaulters for some years now.

In 2012, he was arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court on charges of defaulting in payment of contributions totaling GH¢8.1million between January 1995 and 2005.

After several hearings, the case was discontinued, but further investigations by SSNIT revealed that the CEO of Gocrest kept defaulting on workers’ contributions.

Finally, in February 2013, the SSNIT decided to toughen its stance, resulting in the scheme dragging Mr Aggudey to court once again.

In SSNIT’s pleadings before the Accra Circuit Court, it claimed the former presidential candidate owed GH¢2.6million in workers’ contributions.

According to Freda Naa Adjeley Konney, the prosecutor for SSNIT, as at December 2012, Mr Aggudey had failed to pay about GH¢1.1million and the amount had accrued interests totaling approximately GH¢1.6million.

However, during his trial, the CPP chieftain, noted for his flamboyant lifestyle, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

His counsel, Kwamena Baiden, disputed the amount, and requested SSNIT to furnish him with the details, but Ms Konney indicated that the accused had already been provided details of the case.

He was granted bail in the sum of GH¢100,000, with a cash surety of GH¢50,000.00.

But the court got fed-up with Mr Aggudey’s persistent non-compliance with the law and was left with no choice but to jail him seven months after he was bailed.

The Corporate Affairs Manager of SSNIT, Eva Amegashie was quoted as saying that the imprisonment of Mr Aggudey provided useful lessons to both employers and employees in deepening awareness and the need for contributing to social security in the country.

“This calls for all of us to make social security a key issue in this country. It’s a form of a clarion call to all workers, all employers, all workers’ unions and associations to be vigilant to ensure that their social security contributions are not compromised,” she told Accra-based radio station, Joy FM.

“This has been going back and forth. There are so many employers owing but when they come, they go to court, they agree, they make the necessary arrangements with the courts and they pay and nobody hears it. But this particular one, you can count the number of times they’ve gone to court. We don’t enjoy taking employers to court but we want to make sure that they go by the obligations of Act 766,” she explained.

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Why The Fmr. CPP Flagbearer Aggudey Was Jailed

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