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General News of Thursday, 18 January 2018

Source: citifmonline.com

NCA Board didn’t approve withdrawal of $4m – Legal Director

The Director of Legal Services at the National Communications Authority, [NCA], Abena Asafo Adjei, has told an Accra High Court that the money withdrawn from the NCA’s account, which was used to purchase security equipment did not have the approval of the board of the Authority.

According to her, minutes of Board meetings during the period from 2015 till date, do not show any request and approval brought before members of the board.

Mrs. Asafo Adjei also added that, the only request for external support had to do with some Ghc2 million for the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

Mrs. Asafo Adjei was testifying in the case in which a former Director General of the NCA, William Tevie, a former Board Chairman Eugene Baffoh Bonnie, and three others, are facing trial for fraudulently withdrawing four million cedis from the account of the NCA. The Director of Legal Services of the NCA, who is the first prosecution witness in the case, brought her testimony to an end today [Thursday].

NCA Legal Director denies knowledge of $4m deal

Abena Asafo Adjei, early on Tuesday told the court that she had no knowledge of the supposed contract signed between the Authority and Infralocks Development Limited.

According to her, as head of the NCA’s legal division, although she is responsible for the drafting of contractual documents, she had no knowledge of this particular contract between the NCA and Infraloks Security Limited.

The witness further added that, she only came across the contract when the investigator handling the case came to her office and handed the document to her.

Madam Asafo Adjei revealed that, when she carried out her checks, she found nothing about the contract.

Mrs. Asafo Adjei is the first prosecution witness in the case arising from the contract that has seen former Board Chair of the NCA, Eugene Baffuor Bonnie, former Directer General William Mathew Tevie, and three others charged with causing financial loss to the state.

Background

The case in question involves the former Director General of the NCA, William Tevie and four others, who have been arraigned for alleged fraud and for causing financial loss to the state over the alleged fraudulent $6 million contract signed between the NCA and Infraloks Development Limited (IDL).

The five are said to have fraudulently withdrawn some four million dollars from NCA accounts without justification.

Reports indicate that an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited was contracted to supply the surveillance equipment at the cost of $6 million, to enable National Security monitor conversations of persons believed to be engaged in terrorism.

IDL was also reportedly charging $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.

But the three, through the said contract, allegedly withdrew $4 million from the accounts of the NCA and have failed to account for it.

But only $1 million was allegedly paid into the accounts of the Israeli company.

AG, defence lawyers argue over hearing days

At the last meeting, it was agreed that the hearings will be done on Tuesdays and Thursdays following arguments put across by both Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, and defence lawyers.

While the AG’s office was pushing for the case to be heard every working day in a week, lawyers of the accused persons argued for once a week, citing among other things, the poor health conditions of their clients.

Resolving the disagreement between the lawyers, the judge, Justice Kyei Baffour, ruled that the case will be heard twice a week, and further asked the AG’s office to furnish the defence with all the documents they will rely on to allow for a speedy trial.