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Former NCA board member failed to produce evidence of cedis to dollars …but counsel disagrees

Former NCA board member failed to produce evidence of cedis to dollar…but counsel disagrees

It has emerged that Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former board member of the National Communications Authority (NCA) was charged in the case of alleged $4 million financial loss to the state for failing to produce evidence of exchange of Cedis into dollars.

Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah told the Accra High Court yesterday, that although there is no evidence to suggest that the accused received any monies, he believed the $300,000 deposited in one of Mr Owusu’s bank accounts was his (accused) share of the $3 million shared among four others.

The policeman who was testifying as a prosecution witness told the court presided by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, that the accused was arraigned because he could not produce receipts of the exchange of Cedis into $300,000.

Mr Owusu who is standing trial together with Mr Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, a former Board Chairman of NCA, William Tetteh-Tevie, a member, Alhaji Salifu Limuna Muniru, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator and Derrick Opong , a private citizen had pleaded not guilty to all the charges filed against him.

 His counsel, Mr Samuel Codjoe disagreed with the allegations of the witness that his client received $300,000 from Opong, the fifth accused.

Mr Codjoe suggested to the witness during cross-examination that he (witness) was untruthful to the court because he had no evidence to substantiate allegations of receipt of $300,000 by Mr Owusu.

Counsel contended that his client had been changing Cedis into dollars ever since he commenced business to enable him to undertake the construction of a specialised hospital in future.

Mr Codjoe told the court that prosecution would not have charged Mr Owusu if the witness who investigated the case had averted his mind to the fact that non production of receipt was not fatal.

He argued that the accused had informed the witness in the course of the investigation that Mr Owusu had contacted an American company (American Town) and Liberty Company, an investment fund who have agreed to partner him for the construction of the hospital project.

Per the agreement, counsel asserted that his client was to provide part of the cost of the project, thus the reason for changing Cedis into dollars.

Counsel averred that Mr Owusu is not a man of straw, explaining that the accused had more than the equivalent of $300,000 in his account.     

The accused have been charged with various counts of stealing, conspiracy to commit crime, money laundering and willfully causing financial loss to the state.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail of $1 million each.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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