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General News of Saturday, 23 December 2017

Source: Daniel Kaku

Don't shift our attention from current corrupt activities to NCA saga - Group to government

A group calling itself, Center for Progressive Governance (CenProG) has called on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to stop shifting from an ongoing public discussion about alleged gargantuan corruption being perpetrated by the current government officials and therefore stop humiliating its political opponents for cheap political gains.

The former Board Chairman of the National Communication Authority (NCA) under the Mahama government, Mr. Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie and four others were arraigned before Accra Commercial High Court on Friday, December 22, 2017, for willfully causing financial loss to the state.

The State believes Mr. Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former NCA Board Chairman, Mr. William Tevie, former CEO of the NCA, Alhaji Osman, former Deputy National Security Coordinator, were aided by a private citizen, George Oppong to engage in the act.

According to the State, the previous administration had contracted a company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply listening equipment at the cost of $6 million, to enable the authorities to monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in terror activities.

The accused persons are expected to reappear in court next year Tuesday, January 9, 2018, after the court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour granted them bail of $1 million each with 3 sureties and are to surrender their passports to the court Registrar.

This according to a press statement issued on December 22, 2017, by CenProG national executives indicated that it is a well-calculated attempt by the government to shift the ongoing public discussion about alleged gargantuan corruption being perpetrated by its current appointees.

According to the group, the government has therefore cooked up 17 counts of causing financial loss to the state against former members of the NCA board and a private person and "we at CenProG find this most unfortunate".

They added that "The Akufo-Addo led government had promised Ghanaians that it will not rush to court but will only prosecute former officials after thorough investigations..the particulars of the 17 charges show lack of due diligence and a hasty attempt to arraign the accused persons without concrete evidence".

Below is the full statement

CENTER FOR PROGRESSIVE GOVERNANCE (CenProG)

TRUMPED UP CHARGES AGAINST FORMER NCA BOARD MEMBERS IS MOST UNFORTUNATE

The Center for Progressive Governance's (CenProG) attention has been drawn to a well-calculated attempt by the government to shift the ongoing public discussion about alleged gargantuan corruption being perpetrated by current government officials. The government has therefore cooked up 17 counts of causing financial loss to the state against former members of the NCA board and a private person and we at CenProG find this most unfortunate.

The Akufo-Addo led government had promised Ghanaians that it will not rush to court but will only prosecute former officials after thorough investigations. However, the particulars of the 17 charges show a lack of due diligence and a hasty attempt to arraign the accused persons without concrete evidence.

This is why we strongly believe that it is just an attempt by the government to set the agenda since it has been on the backfoot lately due to several acts of glaring corruption that have been exposed by the minority and well-meaning Ghanaians. The government is advised not to abuse our state attorneys in this manner by covertly using them to advance its own selfish agenda.

It is quite disgraceful that even before the accused persons would have their day in court, the Minister of Information had gone from radio to radio churning out misinformation to the effect that the accused persons had admitted guilt to all the allegations. A claim that was swiftly rebutted by those involved.

CenProG notes with a heavy heart that the government sees no wrong in compromising Ghana's security just in an attempt to score political points by persecuting political opponents. By putting this sensitive equipment in the public domain, all security and/or confidentiality has effectively been breached.

CenProG like all other well-meaning Ghanaians will NEVER shield any corrupt former or current official but it must not be politically motivated attempt at just humiliating political opponents in the court of public opinion rather than giving them a fair hearing in the law courts.

The accused have denied all the allegations levelled against them and until proven otherwise, they are INNOCENT. The particulars of the charges have no basis and we foresee a case that you will be dragged and eventually end nowhere. The government is very much aware of this but as long as it will shift the discussion from the current corruption discussion, they simply do not care how it ends.

God Bless our homeland Ghana and make it GREAT and STRONG.

Signed!

Sawadogo Mahmoud Executive Secretary, CenProG 0504607005/0244997751

Mallam Yahya Mohammed Executive Director, CenProG 0243728659

Cc: His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, Flagstaff House, Accra.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Accra.

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