Supreme Court Sets June 7 To Rule On $4m NCA Case


The Supreme Court has set 7 June 2018 to determine whether or not article 19 clause 2 (e) and (g) of the 1992 constitution puts an obligation on the prosecution team to furnish the defence counsel with documents they intend to rely on for prosecution in relation to the National Communications Authority (NCA) case.

This came to light after both the defence and the prosecution teams filed their legal submissions at the last adjourned date.

Class91.3FM’s Ibrahim Obeng-Mensah reported on Tuesday, 24 April 2018 that the chair of the panel, Justice William Atuguba, adjourned the matter to 7 June 2018 after both parties had relied on their legal submissions filed earlier on different dates.

The issue was referred to the Supreme Court by an Accra High Court Judge, Justice Eric Kyei-Baffour, for an interpretation of the provision.

Some former officials of the NCA are standing trial for willfully causing financial loss to the state vis-a-vis a $4m procurement of monitoring equipment during the Mahama administration.

The five accused persons, most of them former NCA officials, were charged with various corruption-related offences.

Former Board Chair Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie and the four others, were charged and arraigned for willfully causing financial loss to the state contrary to section 23(1) and section 179(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960, Act 29.

The Director for Legal Administration at the NCA, Abena Kwakoa Asafo-Adjei, who doubles as Secretary to the governing board, told the Commercial Court 7 of the Accra High Court presided by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, on Tuesday, 16 January that she began working with the NCA on June 2003 but in 2015, was asked to proceed on leave with immediate effect.

According to her, she resumed work on 23 March 2016 by which time her position was taken from her but later restored with an additional duty as Secretary to the Authority.

Class 91.3FMs Ibrahim Obeng-Mensah, who was in court, reported that she told the hearing that per her position at NCA, she plays an oversight role as far as procurement, awarding and signing of contracts to interested parties were concerned.

Reacting to a contract document signed between the NCA and IDL which was tendered by the prosecution, she told the court that the said contract was signed for and on behalf of the Authority by the former Board Chairman and the former Director of the Authority, William Mathew Tetteh Tevie, who are second and third accused persons, respectively.

Facts of the Case
The state believes Mr Baffoe-Bonnie, Mr Tevie, and Alhaji Osman, were aided by Mr Oppong, a private citizen, to engage in financial malfeasance.

According to the state, the previous administration had contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply listening equipment at the cost of $6 million, to enable the authorities monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in terrorism.

Mr Oppong also charged $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million. The state said National Security did not have the money to fund the transaction, therefore, the NCA, which has supervisory jurisdiction over the use of such equipment, was asked to fund the project.

The officials according to the state, withdrew $4 million from the accounts of the NCA and paid $1 million into the accounts of the Israeli company.

The remaining $3 million was lodged in the accounts of Mr Oppong, who acted as a representative of local agent Infraloks Development Ltd.

The entire deal was allegedly fronted by Alhaji Osman, Minister of Information Mustapha Abdul-Hamid told journalists last year.

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