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General News of Friday, 26 May 2017


NCA Scandal: Spy equipment in ‘someone’s garage’ – IDL

Eavesdropping equipment supposed to have been procured and installed with about $8 million of the taxpayers’ money are lying unused in the garage of some former officials of the National Communication’s Authority (NCA).

This is a claim by George Oppong, a Ghanaian whose company Infraloks Development Limited (IDL) has been indicted in the scandal that has hit the NCA over the purchase of the eavesdropping equipment.

“I am very disappointed to discover, courtesy the National Security Minister, in the most shocking fashion that contrary to representations by NCA including via said letter of June 10 2016 from NCA to NSO, that the system was sitting in someone’s garage,” he stated in a statement.

George Oppong had been accused of conniving with three former officials in the John Mahama administration, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former Board Chairman of the NCA; William Tevie, former Chief Executive Officer of the NCA; and Alhaji Osman, former Deputy National Security Coordinator to drain the state of $4 million through the purchase of eavesdropping equipment for national security.

But Mr. Oppong in the statement denied conniving with the said officials to siphon state money stating that his contract was genuine.
He added that at a point his company was virtually sidelined by the NCA in the deal.

About Eavesdropping contract

Mr. Oppong explained that after being awarded the $8 million contract from the NCA, IDL also contracted NSO Group Technologies Limited – an Israeli company, for the supply and installation of the equipment in which the Israeli company was to receive about $6 million of the total sum.

He added that IDL received a $4 million (out of $8 million) as the first tranche of payment from NCA adding that they also forwarded about $3 million of the amount to NSO to enable them NSO supply the facility.

Undertaking with BoG

He said all the parties involved in the deal subsequently signed an undertaking with the Bank of Ghana following the huge sums of money involved.

Mr. Oppong said after NCA cleared the equipment it failed to write back to IDL as the contract stated despite several requests to the Authority.
He said this issue delayed the payments of the second and third tranche as well as the installation by NSO adding that he was later informed that the installation had been done.

“…After the clearance, IDL facilitated a visit of a team of technicians from NSO to Ghana to install and commission the system, and that I was informed, two weeks later, by NCA that the installation and the commissioning of the system had been completed.”

IDL sidelined

“That it is significant to note that IDL was not involved in the operational side of the transaction for what was said to be genuine national security reasons, informing the bank’s requirement for written confirmation by NCA to IDL on completion of each phase of the project,” the statement added.

Mr. Oppong explained that he later discovered that “NCA, curiously, had written only to the bank [Bank of Ghana] and NSO to confirm, among others, delivery of equipment and installation of same by NSO.”

He said NCA also told NSO that it [NCA] had made some payments to IDL, which he said was not true hence the Israeli company threatened a law suit.

“That NSO, whom NCA later informed IDL that it had paid $2,000,000, continue to demand payment from IDL for completion of second phase of the project using and relying on a letter from NCA to NSO which represented that the installation and commissioning phase of the project was complete, and that NSO insists that payment obligations were undertaken by IDL, threatening a suit as the overdue amount is subject to a late payment fee at a daily rate of 0.04%.”

I’ll go to court if…

Meanwhile, Mr. Oppong said he had provided details to the Bureau of National Investigations which is investigating the case and has also threatened to go to court on the matter.

“IDL believes in due process in the democratic dispensation and accordingly have our lawyers in readiness to, in due course, assert my rights and those of the company under the contract with the Republic through the appropriate lawful forum should same become the inevitable resort,” he added.