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General News of Sunday, 28 May 2017

Source: thebftonline.com

Daily Guide must retract and apologise - Former NCA boss

The immediate past Director–General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), William Tevie has also denied media reports that he is involved in the US$4m scandal that has rocked the telecom regulator NCA.

In a strong worded rejoinder, which was directed to Daily Guide Newspaper, Mr. Tevie not only denied being party to the alleged “fraudulent deal” but also stated that, he has never admitted to receiving any money, not to talk of having agreed to refund the said monies as is being speculated.

According to the rejoinder, the former NCA boss said, “the banner headline of your May 16, 2017 publication, ‘NCA boss to refund $1.5m cash’ is not only false but diabolically concocted to mislead the reading public and tarnish my reputation” because “I have never, at any time, whether privately, before the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), or any state investigating agency, admitted that I, William Tevie, former Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), accepted any money or monies, and which I have agreed to refund”.

The rejoinder comes after the private newspaper Daily Guide published a story "NCA Boss To Refund $1.5m Cash" to the effect that Mr. Tevie had agreed to refund the money and want a retraction and apology.

However, he insists that the publications are false and “therefore demanding an immediate retraction and an unqualified apology to me, failing which I will advise myself accordingly”.

This brings to three, those who are denying have taken part of the over $3 million that cannot be accounted for in the purchase of a listening device for the National Security to aid its counter-terrorist fight.

The former appointee, together with four others whose names are being investigated by the BNI, according to Information Minister Mustapha Hamid, conspired with a private citizen to commit the act.

Find Statement: Rejoinder addressed to the Editor of the Daily Guide:

NCA Boss To Refund $1.5m Cash

The banner headline of your May 16, 2017 publication, ‘NCA boss to refund $1.5m cash’ is not only false but diabolically concocted to mislead the reading public and tarnish my reputation.

I have never, at any time, whether privately, before the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) or any state investigating agency, admitted that I, William Tevie, Former Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), accepted any money or monies, and which I have agreed to refund.

I was invited by the BNI and questioned about an allegation that some former Board Members of the NCA and I were given an amount of money to share. I categorically denied the allegation. If the alleged monies were given or received by anybody or group of persons, I am not aware and I was definitely not a party to it.

I hesitate to irresponsibly go into specifics because the transaction in question was handled by the National Security Council Secretariat because of its very sensitive nature. Your reportage on the issue was not only mischievous but also smacked of ill motive.

I am therefore demanding an immediate retraction and an unqualified apology to me failing which I will advise myself accordingly.

William Tevie

Former Director General

National Communications Authority

Background

The news about how former NCA officials allegedly withdrew $4 million from the accounts of the NCA and failed to account for it broke last week.

According to media reports, officials had contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply listening equipment at the cost of $6 million, to enable National Security monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in terror activities.

A local agent, Infraloks Development Limited, was also charging $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.

But only $1 million was paid into the accounts of the Israeli company while the remaining $3 million was lodged into the accounts of one George Oppong, representing the local agents, Infraloks Development Limited.

According to media reports, all persons involved except Alhaji Osman [whose whereabouts are unknown] and Mr. Tevie, have admitted to taking the money and have been granted bail after the BNI took their statements. Some of them have started refunding the money to the state.

Gov’t committed to retrieve the money - Mustapha Hamid

Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, told Joy FM government is determined to retrieve “every pesewa” wrongfully taken from the accounts of the National Communications Authority (NCA) by former Board members.

“Their goal is to retrieve as much of whatever was looted from the state as possible.”

Mustapha Hamid explained that there is always the difficulty in getting the monies paid back into the state coffers when the culprits are prosecuted or even incarcerated.