NCA financial loss case: Police charged me without evidence – Accused

Dr Nana Owusu, one of the men charged with causing financial loss of $4 million to state, regarding the purchase of a pegasus machine for the National Security yesterday, told the court that the police charged him without any evidence of wrongdoing.

The businessman told the court that Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, the policeman, who investigated him (Dr Owusu) agreed that charges against him “did not add up”, but charged him with conspiracy to commit crime and stealing.

Dr Owusu, who was a former board member of the National Communication Authority (NCA) between 2014 and 2016, testified that Insp Nkrumah told him that he (the policeman) was asked to charge accused. 

Dr Owusu who was charged together with Mr William Tetteh Tevie and Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, 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.

Dr Owusu was led in evidence by Mr Johnson Normesinu, who held the brief for Mr Samuel Codjoe.

Dr Owusu denied claims by the prosecution that he received $500,000 to be shared between him and three of the accused, neither did he had discussions or meetings with any of the accused concerning the purchase of the pegasus machine.

Dr  Owusu stated that Insp Nkrumah had told the court that he (Dr Owusu) was never involved in any discussion regarding the purchase of pegasus.  

The accused had earlier today told the court that he used to convert cedis into dollars, and said allegations that he deposited $300,000 into his Stanbic account were untrue.

Dr Owusu who was the chairman of the finance committee also denied allegations of money laundering . 

He said in 2016, he travelled outside the country and upon his return in December that year, he went to the office of the former Director of Finance one Dr Ani to carry out some work.

“I went through NCA account and realised that 4m dollars had been transferred to IDL. I inquired from Dr Ani, who told me it had been authorised by the former board chair and if I had any questions I should go to him,” Dr Owusu said.

Dr Owusu said he operated a business account and had made savings withdrawals running into several millions of cedis. 

During cross-examination by Mrs Yvonne  Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution, accused said the first time he heard about payment to IDL was when he interacted with  Dr Ani, the Director of Finance at the NCA.

The prosecution had stated that Mr Tevie and four others were allegedly involved in the embezzlement of $4 million of state funds in the purchase of listening devices for the National Security, which was sponsored by the NCA.

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 cyber crime 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 the 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, and accused were alleged to have later laundered the amount for their private benefit. 

BY MALIK SULLEMANA 

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