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Deputy General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Obiri Boahen, has described those politicizing the conviction of the three former officials of National Communication Authority (NCA) as nation wreckers who do not want the good of the country.
An Accra High Court presided over by Justice Kyei Barfuor on Tuesday handed a six-year jail term to Mr. William Tetteh Tevie, former NCA Director-General; Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former NCA Board Chairman and slapped a five-year jail term on Salifu Osman, a former National Security representative coordinator.
Justice Eric Kyei Baffour found them guilty of causing $4 million financial loss to the state.
Among the charges were stealing, using public office for personal gains, and wilfully causing financial loss to the state in respect of the purchase of a Pegasus machine worth $4 million, to among other things assist in the fight against terrorism.
Lawyer Abraham Amaliba commenting on the issue in an interview with Kasapa FM Wednesday, described the ruling as a travesty of justice and urged NDC members to unite and work hard to kick out the NPP government.
“This sentencing will not break or deter the NDC party. We’ve gone through this before, in 2003 there was a similar incident where Kwame Peprah, Sipa Yankey, and Ibrahim Adam were jailed. But NDC won the 2004 general elections and came to power. This is a difficult time to be an NDC member and but with this situation the unity within the NDC will be more strengthened. Every member of the NDC will then know that the common enemy is the NPP government hence everyone will put his or her shoulder to the wheel and work hard to see the NPP voted out of power come 7th December elections. This will rather unite us to fight against this despotic government,” he said.
But reacting to some of the utterances of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' Morning Show, Nana Obiri Boahen rather encouraged state institutions to perform their responsibilities for the betterment of the country.
“I disagree with those who are using the COVID-19 as an excuse for the state institutions not to perform their responsibilities for the betterment of the state. We cannot say that because of COVID-19, we cannot convict or sentence people. It is just like those who are saying that due to the COVID-19, the EC should not compile a new register. We don’t need to talk like that; it is not COVID-19 . . . it is about the laws of this country working,” he opined.
He was of the view that life will be short, nasty and brutish in the country if the laws of the land are not allowed to work; stressing that he shares the statement of the trial judge Justice Kyei Barfuor that there is too much indiscipline in the country.
“This money in the NCA trial, $4 million is the tip of the iceberg. Do you know what $4 million can do for Ghana? When I hear that some people are politicizing this case then it hurts me and I wonder why the love for the country is not in some people except only politics,” he bemoaned.
Explaining the law on wilfully causing financial loss to the state, Nana Obiri Boahen said that it is not every financial loss to the state that can be considered as a criminal act unless the act was intentional, deliberate and negligent on the part of the public officer.
He further explained that “it can be that the person did not directly benefit from the money but the person acted negligently. Again, if for instance, the person puts the state money into someone accounts with the agreement that they will share the money; the fact that the person refused to share the money with the person who sent it does not make the sender not guilty of a crime. It is immaterial in law”.
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