NCA procured surveillance system on request from National Security- Board Chairman

Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, formerMr. Thaddeus Sory, the lawyer for the former board chairman of the National Communications Authority (NCA) who is accused of willfully causing financial loss of $4 million to the state has told the Accra High Court that the contract for the procurement of cyber surveillance system was a request from the National Security.

He said the National Security asked the NCA for institutional support for the purchase of the equipment to monitor conversations of persons suspected to engage in terror activities.

Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former board chairman, William Tetteh Tevie, former Director-General, NCA,  Nana Owusu Ensaw, Alhaji Salifu-Osman Limuna and George Derek Oppong have been accused of engaging in infractions in the procurement of listening devices to the state.

Making a case for Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, his client, the lawyer suggested to the Director of Legal Administration, Mrs. Abena Kwakuo Asafu-Adjei during cross-examination that such issues are not subject to the general rules of the NCA.

He told the court presided by Justice Eric-Kyei Baffour that the Public Procurement Authority can ratify any contract that breached procurement rules.

In responding to the questions, Mrs. Asafu-Adjei disagreed with Mr. Sory’s suggestions, insisting that the procurement of the equipment ought to be taken to the board and captured in the minutes of the board.

She said ever since she was working with the NCA for the past 14 years, National Security never requested for funding from the NCA.

The Director of Legal Administration noted that the request for institutional support was usually made by the Ministry of Communications, adding that the ministry only asked the authority for the procurement of an equipment for the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) worth GH¢2,252,313.61.

She said there was no other support approved by the board for any institution.

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

According to the state, the previous administration had contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited to supply listening equipment at the cost of $6 million to enable the authorities to monitor conversations of persons suspected to engage in terror activities.

A local agent, Infraloks Development Limited (IDL) was also charging $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total to $8 million.

The case has been adjourned to January 23.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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