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General News of Thursday, 15 November 2018


NCA gang run to Appeal Court

Defence lawyers in the case of the National Communication Authority (NCA) have filed for stay of proceedings.

They have filed for an appeal at Court of Appeal over the High Court’s admission of what they termed controversial evidence.

The lawyers filed a motion for stay of proceedings at the High Court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, which is trying William Tevie, former Director General of NCA and four others.

The accused are awaiting the determination of the Court of Appeal over a ruling of the High Court judge that admitted evidence tendered by the prosecution through the third prosecution witness.

At the last sitting, the lawyers opposed the tendering of the handing over notes by the third prosecution witness, which they deemed as incomplete.

They also opposed the in-camera cross-examination of the witness contrary to some sections of the evidence Act.

However, the prosecution was of the view that part of the handing over notes that had national security implications and could not be disclosed in full to the defence team and the general public in particular.

Justice Baffour admitted the documents on those grounds.

Based on that, the defence lawyers decided to appeal the ruling and have served the High Court notice of its intention.

The case stands sine die.

Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, NCA former Board Chairman, William Tevie, a former Director General, Dr Nana Owusu Ensaw, former Board Member, George Derrick Oppong, Director of Infralock Development Limited, Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, former Deputy National Security Coordinator, are standing trial for alleged malfeasance in the purchase of a Cyber Surveillance Equipment.

They have variously been charged with willfully causing financial loss to the state, conspiracy to steal and stealing, using public office for private gain in contravention with the Public Procurement Act, Money laundering and intentionally misapplying public property.

All the accused persons have denied the various charges and are each on a bail of GHC1 million with three sureties.

In 2015, the accused persons, without authorisation, decided to purchase a Cyber Surveillance system, which they claimed was to be used for anti-terrorism operations.

The system, which was to be used in the fight against terrorism, reportedly had some of its components missing and could not be utilised.

On December 22, 2017, three persons, including Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former NCA Board Chairman and two others, were arraigned before court over the alleged fraudulent purchase of the Cyber Security Surveillance system which cost $8 million without approval of the Authority’s Board.

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