NCA $4m financial loss case: Lawyers move to stop proceedings

 Lawyers for the five persons standing trial for allegedly causing $4 million financial loss to the state, in a cyber security equipment deal involving the National Communications Authority (NCA), have filed notices seeking the Accra High Court trying the case, to halt proceedings.

The lawyers, Messrs Thaddeus Sory, Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe and Samuel Codjoe are three of the five lawyers, who had filed separate notices to stay proceedings, pending the determination of an appeal by the Court of Appeal.

In a ruling on submission of case by counsel for the accused on May 23, 2019, the court presided by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, asked four out of the five accused to open their defense in all the 17 charges preferred against them by the state.

They are Mr Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, a former Director General of NCA, William Tetteh-Tevie, NCA board member, Alhaji Osman Salifu, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator, and Derrick Opong, a private citizen.

Justice Baffour said, he was convinced that the prosecution, led by Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), had adduced sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case against the accused.

He said that the accused must be given the opportunity to respond to the claims by the prosecution.

The court, however, acquitted Nana Owusu, of some of the charges preferred against him, including conspiracy, willfully causing financial loss to the state, using public office for profit and intentionally misapplying public property.

Nana Owusu was asked to open his defense in respect of conspiracy to steal and money laundering.

The five accused were charged with willfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, contravention of Public Procurement Authority, conspiracy to steal, stealing and causing damage to public property.

So far, the prosecution invited six witnesses to make a case that the accused acted together with a common purpose to woefully cause financial loss to the state.

On April 11, 2019, a prosecution witness, Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, told the court that Nana Owusu was charged because he failed to produce evidence of conversion of cedis into $300,000.

The witness said that although there was 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 $4 million, shared among four others.

Counsel for Nana Owusu, Mr Samuel Codjoe, disagreed with the allegations made by Chief Insp Nkrumah, 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 since he commenced business, to enable him to construct a specialised hospital in future.

Mr Codjoe averred that Nana Owusu was not a man of straw, and that the accused had more than $300,000 in his account.

The case stands adjourned.


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