It has turned out that the immediate-past National Security Coordinator, Yaw Donkor, did not sanction the purchase of the cyber-security equipment for the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) for counter terrorism purposes.
An Accra High Court hearing the case of the former National Communications Authority (NCA) Board Chairman and four others was told that Mr. Donkor was not even aware of plans by the then Deputy National Security Coordinator, Alhaji Salifu Osman Mimina, one of the accused persons, to purchase the equipment.
The investigator of the case, Detective Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, told the court that during interrogation, Mr. Donkor indicated that he never authorised his deputy – Alhaji Osman – to write any letter to NCA requesting financial assistance for the purchase of the equipment.
Led in his evidence-in-chief by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Yvonne Attakora-Obuobisa, the investigator told the court that the former National Security Coordinator said he had no knowledge of the request letter which he (Detective Nkrumah) showed to him.
Interestingly, the witness also revealed that Mr. Donkor stated that NSCS did not need the Pegasus system, and that if the council needed it, it would pass it through him because he was the representative at the National Security Council and not his deputy – Alhaji Osman.
“He told me that he was seeing the letter for the first time and that he had no knowledge of it. He further told me that he never authorised his deputy Alhaji Osman to write the letter to NCA,” the witness said.
Detective Chief Inspector Nkrumah told the court that he extended his investigations to the current National Security Coordinator, Joshua Kyereme, who also indicated that he was not aware of the request letter seeking funds to purchase the letter.
According to him, there was no record of the request letter at the NSCS Registry where such letters and requests emanate.
He stated that the National Security Coordinator showed him the handover note from his predecessor which did not contain the request letter.
The investigator further told the court that when the equipment arrived in the country, they were installed on the premises of Baba Kamara, former National Security Advisor to former President John Mahama.
Detective Chief Inspector Nkrumah stated that the ‘airway bill’ on the equipment was also addressed to the office of Mr. Kamara as the consignee of the equipment.
He said Mr Kamara, however, denied prior knowledge of the Pegasus equipment and airway bill.
“I further found out from him as to why the equipment was installed on his premises and he said he was there in early 2016 when Alhaji Osman approached him that NSCS was purchasing cyber security equipment and he needed a place to install them. Baba Kamara further said that he voluntarily gave out a single room which was empty for Alhaji Osman for that purpose,” Detective Nkrumah.
The investigator said, “I then asked Mr. Kamara why the equipment were moved from his house to a private warehouse and he indicated to me that in early 2017 after the NDC had handed over to NPP, he asked Alhaji Osman to retrieve the items from his premises and send them to the National Security’s premises. So he could not tell why the pieces of equipment were taken to the PSB Warehouse,” the witness added.
Meanwhile, the trial judge, Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor, has dismissed a “Trojan Horse” application by Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, counsel for William Tetteh-Tevie, to expunge the testimony of the Deputy National Security Coordinator Duncan Opare.
The court also dismissed another application by Reindolf Twumasi Ankrah, counsel for businessman, George Dereck Oppong, to exclude the admission of certain documents the prosecution intends to rely on because they were not part of the earlier disclosures.
The investigator would continue his testimony on February 28, 2019.
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