Court clears ex-NCA board member to travel

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson

The Accra High Court has given the green light for Nana Owusu Ensaw, one of the National Communications Authority (NCA) ‘gang’ of five standing trial over an alleged $4-million scandal, to travel abroad for medical check-up.

Ensaw, a former board member of the NCA; William Matthew Tevie, former Director-General of the NCA; Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, a former Board Chairman of the NCA; Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator, and a businessman, George Derek Oppong, are standing trial over the alleged scandal.

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The five are alleged to have played various roles leading to the loss of $4 million to the state in a deal for the purchase of listening equipment for the National Security which was sponsored by the NCA.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice Eric Kyei-Baffour, has admitted each of the accused persons to bail in the sum of $1 million, with three sureties.

As part of the bail conditions, it ordered the accused persons to surrender their passports to the registrar of the court.


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Permission to travel

Ensaw, represented by his counsel, Mr Samuel Cudjoe, filed a motion praying the court to release his passport to him to enable him to travel outside the country for a medical procedure.

Mr Justice Kyei-Baffour granted the motion but ordered the accused to surrender the passport back to the court registry before or on September 30, 2018.

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The hearing of the substantive case will continue on October 16, 2018 when the Judiciary returns from its annual legal vacation.

Facts of the case

According to the facts of the case, Baffoe-Bonnie, Tevie and Osman were allegedly aided by Oppong to engage in the alleged illegal act.

The previous government, the prosecution said, had contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply listening equipment at a cost of $6 million to enable the authorities to monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in terror activities.

A local agent, Infraloks Development Limited, charged $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.

The facts said the National Security did not have the money to fund the transaction and for that reason the NCA, which had supervisory jurisdiction over the use of the equipment, was asked to fund the project.

It said $4 million was withdrawn from the account of the NCA, while $1 million out of the withdrawn amount was deposited into the account of the Israeli company.

According to the state, the remaining $3 million was lodged in the account of Oppong, who acted as a representative of the local agents, Infraloks Development Ltd.

The prosecution said Osman allegedly fronted for the entire deal.

The accused persons are alleged to have later laundered the amount for their private benefit.

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