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General News Thu, 14 May 2020

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I’m not convinced with judge's ruling on NCA case – Ndebugri

Private legal practitioner, John Ndebugri has expressed his dissatisfaction with a High Court ruling which incarcerated some three former officials of the NCA found guilty of wilfully causing financial loss to the state in a $4m scandal.

According to John Ndebugri, although the judges may have substantive reasons behind their verdict, the mere fact that a chief accused person in the case was left off the hook without any charges, leaves him with questions.

Speaking in an interview on Point Blank, the renowned legislator said he is yet to find convincing reasons behind the 67-page judgement on the position of the judges.

“All I can say now is that I am not too convinced about the position of the judge in that case. It is a lengthy judgement of about 67 pages, so I am going to make an attempt to re-read it carefully and then see whether I can now be convinced. But as at now, I am not too convinced about the position taken by that judge,” he added.

The trial of the five accused persons, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, the former Board Chair of the National Communication Authority (NCA); William Tetteh Tevie, former Director-General of the NCA; Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former board member; Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator, and a businessman, George Derek Oppong, began on the 16th of January 2018 and ended on 10th of March 2020.

Subsequent in the trial, two persons were acquitted while three - Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, William Tetteh Tevie, Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman – were found guilty of a conspiratorial drill to cause financial loss to the State and handed a 16-year jail term.

Businessman, Derrick Oppong and Nana Owusu Ensaw were the two accused persons who were acquitted and discharged in the trial process by the court.

But presenting a dissenting view to this, John Ndebugri said the basis of acquitting and discharging the businessman in question on the basis that he was conducting his usual business still leaves him with no option but to disagree with the judgment.

“As to the three persons who were sentenced to a total of 16 years, I have read the judgement, and I am not as convinced of the position of that judge. The basis upon which the chief accused person was acquitted and discharged on the fact that he is a businessman and he was doing his business, therefore, he couldn’t be bothered too much, I don’t agree with that totally. And then it [the judgement] then goes into the analysis of the first and the second accused persons who are now convicted.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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