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General News of Friday, 28 February 2020

Source: GNA

Fifth accused opens defense in NCA trial

Former Board Chairman of NCA, William T. Tevie Former Board Chairman of NCA, William T. Tevie

George Derrick Oppong, the Managing Director of Infralock Development Limited (IDL) and the fifth accused in the $4-million cyber security equipment trial on Thursday opened his defense at an Accra High Court.

Led in evidence by Mr. Andrew Obeng Appau his defense counsel, Oppong said the National Communication Authority (NCA) made first payment of the cyber security equipment on March 11, 2016.

Oppong further told the court that his company that is IDL instructed Ecobank Ghana Limited to transfer $3 million to NSO, an Israeli firm.

He said several meetings were held with representatives of NSO an Israeli firm, NCA and IDL before payment was made for the Pegasus equipment.

He said that after interacting with William T Tevie, the second accused and a former Director-General, NCA, he was referred to one Henry Kanoe, a Technical Director of NCA.

The accused said initially the NCA made him aware that the authority could not transfer money to the IDL account because the said account was a forex one instead of a foreign account.

According to Oppong he was caught between rock and hard stone hence left the transaction on money transfers to Ecobank and NSO.

He said however the two institutions found a way out and an addendum contract was prepared for the money transfer transaction in compliance to Bank of Ghana regulations.

Oppong told the court that after the addendum contract, NSO shipped the hardware of the equipment valued at one million dollars to Ghana.

Asked by his counsel how IDL came into the transaction of the NCA cyber security equipment, Oppong said a business associate name withheld informed him about it.

Oppong said IDL accepted the role as a re-seller following various checks by him and tendered in two contracts signed between NSO and NCA.

He said in the said contracts IDL was to supply the Pegasus equipment as a re-seller.

The fifth accused said additionally, under the contracts IDL was to assist with logistics and take up risk in case of delayed payment or non-payment of the machine.

According to the accused, he wanted his friend who was a solicitor to represent at one of the meetings at NCA but the said lawyer could not make it on that day.

Oppong is standing trial with Eugene Baffoe Bonnie, former Board chairman of NCA, William T. Tevie, former Director-General, NCA, Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former NCA board member and Alhaji Salifu Mimina, an ex-deputy National Security Coordinator.

The accused persons have pleaded not guilty to various charges including stealing, use of Public office for personal gain, willfully causing financial loss to the state in respect of the purchase of the Pegasus equip which was to be used in the fight against terrorism.

The trial has been adjourned to March 2.