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General News Wed, 12 Feb 2020

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2 accused disagree at NCA trial

A former Chairman of the finance sub-committee of the National Communications Authority (NCA) board, Dr. Nana Owusu Ensaw, has denied allegations made by a former board chairman of the authority that he (Dr. Ensaw) was in charge of the distribution of their ‘shares’ from the purchase of the four-million-dollar Pegasus equipment for the National Security Council (NSCS).

Opening his defence before an Accra High Court where he and four others are standing trial, Dr. Ensaw stated that he never took any money from anyone and Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie who made the allegations could not confirm it.

He told the court that the ex-NCA board chairman was “very very confused and could not confirm the allegation” when he confronted him at the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

Money Sharing

The court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor in March last year, admitted into evidence the ‘confession’ police caution statement of Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie, who was facing trial with four others for causing financial loss to the state.

The ex-board chairman, in the police caution statement, which necessitated a mini trial, claimed the accused persons ‘benefited financially’ from the purchase of the four-million-dollar Pegasus equipment.

The statement which was read by the investigator, Detective Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, in court showed how the accused persons allegedly shared the money.

Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie, in the confession statement, said he instructed Nana Owusu Ensaw to collect $500,000 from George Dereck Oppong, the private businessman, also on trial, and shared among William Tetteh-Tevie, Alhaji Salifu Osman and himself (Nana Ensaw).

According to the statement, “Nana Ensaw took $200,000 and gave $150,000 each to Tetteh-Tevie and Alhaji Osman, who did not necessarily know the source of the money.”

Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie allegedly told the police that he would make an initial refund of $40,000 and get the other accused persons to pay the remaining amount in “a couple of weeks.”

Defence

Dr. Ensaw, led in his evidence by Johnson Normesinu, denied the allegation saying there was no evidence to support that claim as Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie himself could not confirm it.

“That is false. A1 (Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie) never instructed me to go for any money from anyone. In fact, when I was called to BNI and was told about his statement, I requested a confrontation with him so he was brought and when it was put to him he looked very very confused and he couldn’t confirm the allegation,” he told the court.

Dr. Ensaw also denied conspiring with any of the accused persons to steal money from the state and also said he had not had any discussions or meetings with any of them or the prosecution witnesses on the Pegasus equipment prior to its purchase.

On the issue of $300,000 being deposited in his bank account which the prosecution is pushing that it was his share of the money from the purchase of the equipment, he said the money came from part of his savings and he had been converting cedis to dollars due to the depreciation of the cedi against the dollar at the time.

He added that he had been doing that since early 2001.

Cross-Examination

Dr. Ensaw while under cross-examination by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, confirmed that during his time as chairman, the finance sub-committee never sat to discuss the request from the NSCS and a decision taken to give them an institutional support of four million dollars.

He also confirmed to the court that the first time he heard about the transfer of four million dollars from the bank account of the NCA to IDL for the purchase of the equipment was when he had an interaction with Dr. Ani, who was the Director of Finance at NCA at the time.

Dr. Ensaw confirmed to the court that it was Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie who authorized the payment of four million dollars from the NCA account to IDL for the equipment.

Asked by the DPP whether the four-million-dollar expenditure ever came to the NCA board for ratification, he said a management report was prepared for the board but he could not remember the board sitting on it because he did not attend all meetings.

Hearing continues on February 13, 2020.

Source: Daily Guide Network

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