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$4m NCA Scandal: I Followed Instructions To Pay $4m To Private Firm – Witness

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The second prosecution witness in the trial of six persons involved in the $4 million scandal at the National Communications Authority (NCA), Dr Isaac Yaw Ani, yesterday told the Commercial Court in Accra that he followed instructions from one of the accused persons to pay $4 million to a private company.

He said he later learnt from media reports that the deal between the NCA and Infralocks Development Limited to supply equipment to fight cybercrime did not receive approval from the NCA Board.

According to the witness, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) invited him over the issue.

Trial

A former Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie and Nana Owusu Ensaw, all former board members, and a businessman, George Derek Oppong, have been accused of playing various roles leading to the loss of $4 million to the state.

The accused persons have been charged with diverse counts of wilfully causing financial loss of $4 million to the state.

Tevie, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former Board Chairman Nana Owusu Ensaw, Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman and George Derek Oppong have been accused of engaging in infractions in the procurement of listening devices for the state.

The five are facing four counts of conspiracy to wilfully cause financial loss to the state, wilfully causing financial loss to the state and conspiracy to steal.

They have been accused of acting jointly to misapply $4 million belonging to the state.

The accused persons have denied the charges.

Witness

Led by a Chief State Attorney, Mrs Yvonne Attakorah-Obuobisa, to give his evidence in chief, Dr Ani told the court that in February 2016, Tevie invited him (Dr Ani) to Tevie’s office where Baffoe-Bonnie was present.

He said Baffoe-Bonnie told him (the witness) there was an urgent need to procure cyber security equipment and for that reason the NCA should support national security with $4 million.

“I requested for the letter of support but the Board Chairman said we should go ahead and prepare a transfer letter while the request letter was prepared because of the urgency,” the witness said.

According to Dr Ani, the request letter from the National Security came two weeks after the transfer letter requesting the bank to transfer $4 million into the account of Infralock Development Limited was prepared.

The witness, who is now a Deputy Director-General of the NCA, said Tevie minuted a letter directing the Finance Department to process the payment of $4 million.

Cross-examination

Answering questions under cross-examination from Mr Thaddeus Sory, counsel for Baffoe-Bonnie, the witness admitted being the owner of Mckush Consultancy Services but denied ever dealing with Infralock Consultancy Limited.

Mr Sory: I am putting it to you that Mckush has had a relationship with Infralock Consultancy Services

Dr Ani: My Lord, that is not true.

Hearing continues on Thursday, October 18, 2018.

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