GENERAL

Engineers and Planners finally dragged to court over non-payment of SSNIT contributions

Ibrahim Mahama

Engineers and Planners Company Limited and its Chief Executive, Mr Ibrahim Mahama, have been dragged to court by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) for allegedly failing to pay GH¢1,056,464.06, being the company’s social security contributions for its workers.

Of the amount, GH¢668,754.75 represents the actual social security contributions of workers that were not honoured by the company, with the rest being the penalty that SSNIT imposed on the company for its failure to pay the contributions.

Also standing trial are the Managing Director of Engineers and Planners, Mr Sidney Aubrey Steyn, and two directors of the company — Messrs Kwodwo Aboagye-Attah and Sulemana Ahmed Amidu.

Engineers and Planners and its four officials have been charged  with two counts of failing to pay social security contributions and failing to pay penalty on contributions, contrary to the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766), and the National Pensions (Amendment) Act 2014 (Act 883).

The company, SSNIT claims, allegedly failed to pay the social security contributions of its workers between the periods February to July 2015, June to August 2016 and October 2016.

Amount has been paid

The case was brought before the specialised SSNIT Court in Accra, presided over by a district court magistrate, Ms Afua G. Sackey.

At last Saturday’s hearing of the case, Mr Mahama, who is a brother of former President John Dramani Mahama, Mr Aboagye-Attah and Mr Steyn failed to appear before the court.

Lawyers for Engineers and Planners informed the court that the three officials of the company had failed to appear before it because the outstanding amount had been paid and they were under “the impression that once that has been done, there will be no legal action’’.

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The presiding magistrate, however, proceeded with the trial and asked the court clerk to take the plea of Mr Amidu, who was present in the courtroom.

Mr Amidu pleaded not guilty to the charges and was subsequently granted bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 by the court.

The court adjourned the case to May 13, 2017 and ordered the three other officials of the company to be in court on that day.

“All the accused persons must be present on May 13, 2017,’’ it ordered.

Facts

Presenting the facts, the prosecutor, Ms Leena Adomah Boakye, told the court that Engineers and Planners had been registered onto the SSNIT scheme as an employer.

She said per the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766) and the National Pensions (Amendment) Act 2014 (Act 883), the company was required to pay social security contributions on behalf of its employees at the end of every month.

She, however, explained that the company failed to honour that obligation.

“Inspection conducted by officers of the trust into the pay books of the accused persons’ establishment between the periods  February to July 2015, June to August 2016 and October 2016 revealed an unpaid social security contributions of GH¢668,754.75. This amount attracted a penalty of GH¢387,709.31, bringing the total indebtedness to GH¢1,056,464.06,’’ Ms Boakye said.

Credit: graphic.com.gh

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