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NCA trial lawyers fight new witness

Wed, 30 Jan 2019 Source: dailyguideafrica.com

An Accra High Court has rejected a request by defence lawyers in the trial of the former Board Chairman of the National Communications Authority (NCA) and four others to prevent the fifth prosecution witness from testifying in the matter.

According to them, the witness’ statement was not part of the documents filed by the state to prosecute its case.

The defence lawyers argued that the prosecution introduced the new witness, Duncan Opare, who is the Deputy Coordinator of the National Security Council Secretariat, in order to repair and reconstruct its case to secure the conviction of their clients.

Thaddeus Sory, lawyer for Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, told the court that allowing the witness to testify in the matter would infringe on the rights of his client as guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution.

According to him, Mr. Opare’s testimony was an afterthought on the part of the prosecution.

He, however, prayed the court to adjourn the matter to allow his client to adequately prepare if decides to allow the witness to testify in the matter.

Another defence lawyer, Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, who is lead council for William Mathew Tetteh Tevie, concurred with Mr. Sory and prayed the court not to allow the witness to testify in the matter.

Lawyers for the Nana Owusu Ensaw, Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman and George Derek Oppong all said his statement was not part of the disclosures made by the prosecution at the beginning of the trial.

But the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, said the prosecution had prosecuted the case in accordance to all the constitutional provisions, particularly Articles 19 Clause 2 E and G which deal with facilities and fair trial.

She stated that based on the decision of the Supreme Court on disclosure, it can continue till the final.

The Director of Public Prosecution debunked assertions by the defence lawyers that the prosecution was seeking to repair its case through the witness, insisting that they have a solid case that does not need any reconstruction.

“Defence lawyers have argued that we are trying to close gaps and reconstruct our case. It is clear to us that we have a very solid and unshakeable evidence so far which have not in anyway been dented for which we may seek reconstruction,” the DPP argued.

The court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Barfour, in his ruling, held that so far as the prosecution has not closed its case, the state is at liberty to call witnesses to prove its case within the confines of the rule.

He said it would be too much to ask the court to moderate persons the prosecution intends to call to testify in the matter.

Justice Eric Kyei Barfour subsequently adjourned the matter to February 5, 2019 for the witness to give his evidence-in-chief.

The immediate-past Board Chairman of the NCA, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, together with William Mathew Tetteh Tevie, former Director General of the NCA; Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former chairman of finance sub-committee of the NCA; Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former National Security Coordinator on the NCA Board, as well as a private businessman, George Derek Oppong, Director of Infraloks Development Limited (IDL), have been accused of conspiring to cause financial loss to the state.

They are being charged for allegedly creating, looting and sharing $4 million under the guise of procuring a Cyber Surveillance System for anti-terrorism activities in the country.

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

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