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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Source: GNA

Third accused in NCA trial opens his defence

Nana Owusu Ensaw one of the accused in the four million dollar cyber security equipment trial on Tuesday denied that he conspired with the four others to steal money belonging to the state.

Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former Board Member of the National Communication Authority (NCA) also denied engaging in money laundering; “My Lord, I have never conspired with anyone to steal.

“I have never had discussions or meeting with any of the accused on the issue of Pegasus prior to its purchase and I have also not signed any documents in relation to the purchase of the Pegasus equipment”.

Nana Owusu Ensaw made the denials when his counsel, Johnson Nyormesenu led him to open his defence in the four million dollar cyber security equipment trial at an Accra High Court.

According to the third accused person he has never taken $500,000 and distributed it to any of the accused persons adding that “it was not true that I took $300,000 out of the $500,000 and share the remaining amount to rest of the accused”.

He also debunked prosecution assertion that the $300,000 in his account was his share of the four million dollar purchase of the Pegasus equipment.

Nana Owusu Ensaw, a Physician Specialist told the court that “I started doing other forms of businesses when I was at the University of Ghana Medical School”.

He explained that he has businesses in the field of mining and that his organisation was engaged in the renting out of mining equipment such as excavators.

The third accused persons said in latter part of the year 2016, he travelled outside the country and returned in the early part of December 2016.

According to him he got to know of the Pegasus equipment purchase when he went to see one Dr Ani, a Director of Finance at the National Communications Authority.

“I went through the NCA account AS THE Sub-committee Chairman in charge of finance and realized that four million dollars have been paid to Infralock Development Limited (IDL). I enquired from Dr. Ani and he told me that it was authorized by the former board Chairman and if I have some questions I should go to him.

“I followed up to the then Board Chairman and he confirmed it was a National Security issue so I should leave it to him,” Ensaw said.

Ensaw recounted how he wrote to his bankers to give clarification on his bank account details and that the bank wrote back confirming that he opened his account on September 22, 2016 and that his initial deposit was $4,000.

In respect of his company account, Ensaw said he withdrew monies throughout the year.

He explained to that court that in the year 2014, he withdrew two million cedis and in the year 2015 he again withdrew GH¢10 million.

“In the year 2016 over GH¢10million was deposited in the account and I took over GH¢10 million”.

The accused said his company had gained and executed World Bank and GETFUND projects and that the $300,000 found in one of his accounts were part of savings he made by changing cedis into dollars over the years.

“I started changing cedis into dollars since 2001 onwards,” he said.

On the huge dollar denominations, Ensaw said his company dealt with the banks and forex bureau operators.

Lawyers of the four accused person also took turns to cross examined Ensaw on the purchase of the cyber security equipment.

Ensaw under cross-examination by Mrs Yvonne Attakora-Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), told the court that some institutional support to the Attorney General office was not put before the NCA board.

Ensaw is standing trial with Eugene Baffoe Bonnie, former Board Chairman; William Tetteh Tevie former NCA Director General; Alhaji Salifu Mimina, former Deputy National Security Coordinator; and George Derrick Oppong, a Director of Infralock Development Limited.

The accused have been variously charged with stealing, using public office for personal gain, wilfully causing financial loss to the state in respect of the purchase of a cyber-security equipment worth four million dollars.

They have all denied the charges and are currently on bail.

All the accused persons are expected to reappear before the court presided over by Mr Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, a Court of Appeal Judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge on February 13.

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