Friday, December 22, 2017

Former NCA Board Chairman; Four Others In Court Over Alleged Malfeasance

3:35:00 PM

Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former Board Chairman of the National Communications Authority (NCA) and four others have been arraigned at the Commercial Court (High Court Division) over the alleged fraudulent purchase of Cyber Security Surveillance systems at eight million dollars.

The system, which was to be used in the fight against terrorism, reportedly has some of its components missing, while it cannot be utilised.

Baffoe-Bonnie is charged along with William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, a former Director- General of NCA; Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former Board member, NCA; Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, former Deputy National Security Coordinator; and George Derrick Oppong, a Director of Infralocks Development Limited (IDL).

The five officials have been variously charged with wilfully causing financial loss to the State, conspiracy to steal, stealing, using public office for private gain, in contravention of the Public Procurement Act, Money laundering and intentionally misapplying public property.

Baffoe-Bonnie, Osman and Oppong have pleaded not guilty to the charges and they have been admitted to bail in the sum of one-million dollars with three sureties.

The Court, presided over by Mr Justice Eric Kyei- Baffour, also ordered the accused persons to deposit their passports to the Courts registry, directing that if any of the accused persons would like to travel he should seek permission from the Court.

Tevie and Nana Owusu Ensaw were absent in court.

Their lawyers after explaining the circumstances surrounding their absence stated that their pleas would be taken on next adjourned date.

The matter has since been adjourned to Tuesday, January 9, next year.

Madam Gloria A. Akuffo, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, who presented the facts, said sometime in 2015, the accused persons without authorisation, took a decision to purchase a Cyber Surveillance system, which they claimed was to be used for anti- terrorism operations.

Madam Akuffo said Baffoe Bonnie, Tevie and Osman without going through the process as established by law, engaged Mr Peninat Yanyi, an Israeli lawyer and businessman, who selected NSO Group Technologies Limited an Israeli company to supply the system.

The Minister of Justice said Baffoe Bonnie, Tevie, Ensaw and Osman decided to purchase the system through a re-seller.

Baffoe- Bonnie, therefore, nominated Oppong, his business partner and a Director of IDL to be the re-seller of the system.

IDL, the Minister explained, was a company registered to provide logistics and infrastructure development.

She said investigations revealed that the supplier of the surveillance system was not the object of IDL, adding that, in furtherance to the decision of Baffoe-Bonnie, Tevie, Ensab and Osman to purchase the cyber surveillance system, Osman signed a letter on February 2016 in the name of the National Security Coordinator and addressed it to Tevie, in his capacity as the Director General of NCA, and copied Baffoe Bonnie.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

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