NCA $4m financial loss case: Counsel doubts witness’s evidence

Mr. Thaddeus Sory, counsel for one of the five persons  involved in the $4 million financial loss to the state at the National Communications Authority (NCA), yesterday, suggested to a second prosecution witness, Dr. Yaw Isaac Ani, that he is not a truthful witness.

Mr. Sory, who is the lawyer for Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, a former board member of NCA, said this on the second day of his cross-examination of Dr. Ani.

Led in evidence by Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dr. Ani told the Accra Commercial High Court presided by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour on October 16, 2018, that he learnt about the request for the purchase of cyber security equipment in February 2016, but counsel argued that the witness knew about the contract eight months earlier.

Mr. Sory tendered two documents dated June 8 and June 30, 2015, which were minutes of two meetings concerning request and approval for the purchase of cyber security equipment, put in by the National Security.

Counsel told the court, witness attended both meetings, adding that the claim by witness that he knew about the deal in February 2016, is untrue.

Dr.  Ani said that he followed instructions from one of the accused to pay $4 million to a private company.

He said, he later learnt from media reports that the deal between the NCA and Infralocks Development Limited to supply equipment to fight cybercrime did not receive approval from the NCA Board.

According to the witness, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) invited him over the issue.

A former Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie and Nana Owusu,  all former board members, and a businessman, George Derek Oppong, have been accused of playing various roles leading to the loss of $4 million to the state.

 

The accused have been charged with different counts of willfully causing financial loss of $4 million to the state.

Tevie, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former Board Chairman Nana Owusu, Alhaji Salifu Limuna Osman and George Derek Oppong have been accused of engaging in infractions in the procurement of listening devices for the state.

The five are facing four counts of conspiracy to willfully cause financial loss to the state, willfully causing financial loss to the state and conspiracy to steal.

 

They have been accused of acting jointly to misapply $4 million belonging to the state, but they have denied the charges.

Dr Ani told the court that in February 2016, Tevie invited him (Dr Ani) to Tevie’s office where Baffoe-Bonnie was present.

He said Baffoe-Bonnie told him (the witness) there was an urgent need to procure cyber security equipment and for that reason the NCA should support national security with $4 million.

“I requested for the letter of support but the Board Chairman said we should go ahead and prepare a transfer letter while the request letter was prepared because of the urgency,” the witness said.

According to Dr Ani, the request letter from the National Security came two weeks after the transfer letter requesting the bank to transfer $4 million into the account of Infralock Development Limited was prepared.

The witness said Tevie minuted a letter directing the Finance Department to process the payment of $4 million.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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