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The NCA trial – DEFENCE LAWYER EXPOSES STATE ATTORNEY

DEFENCE LAWYER EXPOSES STATE ATTORNEY

…during cross-examination of first prosecution witness

There was drama at an Accra High yesterday during the ongoing trial of four former officials of the National Communication Authority (NCA) and a businessman when one of the defence lawyers exposed the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) big time.

The drama occurred when Agbesi Kwadwo Dzakpasu, lawyer for the second accused person, William Tevie, was cross-examining the first prosecution witness, Abena Asafo Adjei.

Abena Asafo Adjei, the Director of Legal Services at the NCA under cross-examination last week denied the NCA had a Cyber Security Team during the tenure of Tevie as Director-General of the NCA. She asserted that it was only last year, long after the end of the Tevie’s Administration that the NCA formed a Cyber Security Team.

Yesterday, during cross-examination, Tevie’s lawyer exposed the DPP, Yvonne Obuobisa when he pointed out to the prosecution witness that there was a Cyber Security Team during the tenure of Tevie and that the DPP, as a result, was sponsored by the NCA in 2016 to attend a Cyber Security Conference abroad.

Kwadwo Dzakpasu told Abena Asafo Adjei that the Cyber Security Team which Tevie headed comprised an official of the Ministry of Communication, the NCA and the Attorney-General’s office and that in 2016, the team that the NCA sponsored to a Cyber Security Conference in Europe included the DPP, Yvonne Obuobisa, who had been chosen by the then Attorney-General to represent the Attorney General’s outfit!

The revelation was a bombshell! The court room went suddenly quiet. One would hear a pin if it drops. The Attorney-General, Gloria Akufo, who was in court, looked shell-shocked. The DPP herself looked stunned while the prosecution witness appeared confused. In response, she ( the prosecution witness) said she was not aware the DPP was sponsored by the NCA to a Cyber Conference abroad. At this juncture, the defence lawyer took his seat. When it was the turn of the DPP to cross-examine the Prosecution witness, she decided not to do so, obviously still stunned by the revelation.

William Tevie and four others are standing trial for allegedly causing $ 4million financial loss to the state. The rest are Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, the former Board chairman, Nana Owusu Ensaw, a board member, Alhaji Salifu Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator and George Dereck Oppong, a private businessman
The five have been arraigned before the court for allegedly causing financial loss to the state over the alleged fraudulent $6 million contract signed between the NCA and Infraloks Development Limited (IDL).

The five are said to have fraudulently withdrawn some four million dollars from NCA accounts without justification.
Oppong faces an additional count of dishonestly appropriating $3 million, while Tevie has been charged with an additional count of using public office to profit from $150,000.

Nana Ensaw faces an additional count of using public office to profit from $550,000, with Osman facing a count of using public office to profit from $70,000.

Oppong faces a charge of using public office to gain from $2 million, while Baffoe-Bonnie, Tevie and Osman have been charged with contravention of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 662).

Baffoe-Bonnie, Tevie and Osman are facing an additional count of laundering $200,000.
Tevie faces an additional count of laundering $150,000, while Nana Ensaw and Osman have been charged with one count each of laundering $550,000 and $70,000, respectively.

Oppong has also been charged with two counts of laundering $3 million, while Baffoe-Bonnie, Tevie, Nana Ensaw and Osman have been charged with one count of intentionally misapplying $4 million.

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.

According to the state, 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 to 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.
According to the state, Osman allegedly fronted for the entire deal.
The accused persons later laundered the amount for their private benefit.

SOURCE: DAILY POST

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