General News of Friday, 22 December 2017

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Ex-NCA Board chair, 4 others charged for fleecing the State

A former board chairman of the National Communication Authority (NCA) under the Mahama administration Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie and four others have been arraigned in an Accra Commercial High Court for willfully causing financial loss to the State.

The five have also been slapped with 16 other charges.

Today in court the five accused persons pleaded not guilty when their plea was taken after the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo read the facts of the State.

Three of the accused persons present in court were granted bail by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour’s court to the tune of 1 million dollars each with 3 sureties and are to surrender their passports to the court Registrar.

The accused persons are expected to reappear in court in Tuesday, January 9, 2018.

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

According to the State, the previous administration had contracted an Israeli 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.

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

The State said National Security did not have the money to fund the transaction, therefore, the NCA which has supervisory jurisdiction over the use of such equipment was asked to fund the project.

The officials withdrew $4 million from the accounts of the NCA and paid $1 million into the accounts of the Israeli company.

According to the State, the remaining $3 million was lodged in the accounts of George Oppong, who acted as a representative of the local agents, Infraloks Development Ltd. The entire deal was fronted by Alhaji Osman, the Minister claimed.