NCA case: Accused granted permission to seek medical care abroad

An Accra high court yesterday granted permission to Nana Owusu, one of the accused in the case in which four former officials of the National Communications Authority (NCA) are standing trial for allegedly causing $4 million financial loss to the state, to seek medical attention outside the country.

The accused has been ordered by the court to return his travel passport to the Registrar of the court before September 30, 2018.

This followed an application for release of Nana Owusu’s travel passport by his lead counsel, Samuel Cudjoe, before the Commercial Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour.

The Attorney-General did not oppose to the application as trial of the three former board members of the NCA, and a businessman, is set for October 16, 2018.

The former Director-General, William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, and former board members — Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie,  Nana Owusu  and Alhaji Salifu Limuna Osman, and the businessman, George Derek Oppong, have been accused of playing various roles leading to the loss of $4 million to the state.

 

The accused pleaded not guilty to different counts of willfully causing financial loss of $4 million to the state, and have each been granted $1 million bail with three sureties.

The case was put on hold for more than three months awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court  with regards to interpretation of certain constitutional provision on pre-disclosure of documents in summary trial.

On June 7, 2018, the apex court in a unanimous decision ordered the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to submit all documents to the defendants to enable them adequately to defend themselves.

At the court’s hearing before the Commercial Division “7” of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei-Baffour, the prosecutor in the case, Mrs. Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), said she filed 52 documents at the court’s registry on Monday.

According to the facts of the case, Baffoe-Bonnie, Tevie and Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator, were allegedly aided by a private citizen, Oppong, to engage in the act.

 

The prosecution said the previous administration had contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply a listening equipment at a cost of $6 million to enable the authorities monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in terror activities.

A local agent, Infraloks Development Limited, charged $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.

The facts said the National Security did not have the money to fund the transaction and for that reason the NCA, which had supervisory jurisdiction over the use of such equipment, was asked to fund the project.

It said $4 million was withdrawn from the account of the NCA, while $1 million out of the withdrawn amount was deposited into the account of the Israeli company.

According to the state, the remaining $3 million was lodged in the account of Oppong, who acted as a representative of the local agents, Infraloks Development Ltd, and that Osman allegedly fronted for the entire deal.

The accused persons later laundered the amount for their private benefit.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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