NCA $4m financial loss case: Accused says approval for purchases was unlimited

Mr William Tetteh Tevie, the immediate past Director General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), who is standing trial for allegedly causing $4 million financial loss to the state, has told an Accra high court that he did not have limit regarding approval for purchases at the Authority.

He said a transaction could take place once he received a greenlight from the board of NCA.

Mr Tevie said this yesterday under cross-examination by Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), in the case, in which he and four others are facing charges, including wilfully causing financial loss to the state, stealing, conspiracy to commit crime and money laundering.

The accused stated that he took directives from the board for big ticket purchases, but he did not need approval to spend on medicals, fuel and other miscellaneous expenses.

The prosecution has stated that Mr Tevie and the other accused allegedly embezzled $4 million of state funds in the purchase of listening devices for the National Security, which was sponsored by the NCA.

Mr Tevie, Baffoe Bonnie and Nana Owusu Ensaw, all  former board members of the NCA; Alhaji Osman, a former National Security Coordinator, and George Derek Oppong, a private businessman, had all denied charges levelled against them by the state, and are currently on $1 million bail.

The facts according to the prosecution are that the previous administration contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply a listening equipment at a cost of $6 million to enable the authorities to monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in cybercrime and 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 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It added that $4 million was withdrawn from the account of the NCA, while $1 million out of the withdrawn amount was deposited into the account of the Israeli company.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 prosecution, the remaining $3 million was lodged in the account of Oppong, who acted as a representative of the local agents, Infraloks Development Ltd.

The prosecution alleged that Osman fronted for the entire deal.

The accused persons were alleged to have later laundered the amount for their private benefit.

The case has been adjourned to February 4, 2020.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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