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Accused in NCA trial file submissions of no case

BY: Mabel Aku Baneseh
Joseph Anokye
Joseph Anokye

The Commercial Division of the High Court in Accra will on May 23, 2019 rule on whether or not to order five persons to open their defence in a case accusing them of causing $4 million financial loss to the state.

Justice Eric Kyei Baffour directed the prosecution to file its response to the defence team’s submission of no case by May 14, 2019.

Lawyers for the accused persons have since filed their written submissions of no case.

They are praying the court to free their clients because the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against their clients.

The state called a total of six witnesses.

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Addresses

At the court’s sitting in Accra last Tuesday, the trial judge announced that he had received filed submissions from three of the accused persons but was yet to study them.

He wondered whether or not the other two would also follow suit, but Mr Thaddeus Sory, counsel for the first accused person, Mr Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, informed the court that the others filed their submission of no case on Monday, April 29, 2019.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Yvonne Attakora Obuobisa, told the court that the prosecution was yet to be served with the applications.

She said the state would want to respond to the applications upon service and for that reason it would need two weeks to do that.

Charges

Baffoe-Bonnie is standing trial with William Tetteh Tevie, a 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.

They are standing trial for their alleged involvement in the embezzlement of $4 million of state funds during the purchase of listening devices for the National Security, which was sponsored by the NCA.

The accused persons have been charged with diverse counts of willfully causing financial loss of $4 million to the state, stealing, conspiracy, money laundering, among other charges.
They have pleaded not guilty to all the charges and are currently on bail in the sum of $1 million each.

Facts

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.