Tension rises at $4m NCA hearing

BY: Mabel Aku Baneseh
Former NCA boss, Mr William Matthew Tetteh Tevie
Former NCA boss, Mr William Matthew Tetteh Tevie

Yesterday’s hearing of the $4 million loss at the National Communications Authority (NCA) ended on a heated note when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mrs Yvonne Attakorah-Obuobisa, attempted to re-examine the second prosecution witness over a document that had been tendered in evidence.

The witness, Dr Yaw Isaac Ani, on October 16, 2018, told the court that neither he nor his company had dealt with companies called LTI Management Limited and Infralocks Development Limited (IDL). But a letter dated December 5, 2016, and tendered into evidence showed Dr Ani directing IDL to release $2 million to LTI Management Limited.

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IDL is the company that was used to procure $4 million worth of cybersecurity equipment for the National Security.

One of the accused persons in the case, George Derek Oppong, is the Managing Director of IDL.

Following from Dr Ani’s denial that neither he nor his company, Mckush Consultancy Services Limited, had dealt with LTI Management Limited and IDL, one of the defence lawyers, Mr Thaddeus Sory, tendered in evidence the December 5, 2016 letter indicating otherwise.


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The letter, addressed to IDL and allegedly signed by Dr Ani, said: “I refer to the arrangement made between your company and my firm about the above payment.”

DPP

The drama began when the defence lawyers announced the end of the cross-examination of Dr Ani.

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Mrs Attakorah-Obuobisa, in her bid to re-examine the witness, asked if he had authored the December 5, 2016 letter.

The witness denied being the author and explained that, although he had admitted having three signatures for different purposes he was not the author of the December 5, 2016 letter.

This move did not go down well with the defence team, resulting in one of the lawyers, Mr Godwin Edudzi Tameklo, protesting the line of re-examination.

According to counsel, the letter was tendered in evidence without any objection from the prosecution and for that reason it was unfortunate for the DPP to re-examine the witness on it.

He said the DPP was “cleverly” reconstructing the case of the witness by questioning him on issues that he had not been questioned about during the cross-examination.

The court, nonetheless, allowed Dr Ani’s answer from the re-examination to remain on record.

Earlier, it emerged that the signed copy of the minutes of the 42nd meeting of the NCA Board was unavailable although the defence team had requested for it.

The defence team accordingly decided to forego its request for the minutes because unsigned minutes were not recognised in law.

Hearing continues on October 30, 2018.

Trial

A former Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, Nana Owusu Ensaw and Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, all former board members, and a businessman, George Derek Oppong, have been accused of playing various roles leading to the loss of $4 million to the state.

The accused persons have been charged with diverse counts of willfully causing financial loss of $4 million to the state.

They have been accused of engaging in infractions in the procurement of listening devices for the state.

The five are facing four counts of conspiracy to willfully cause financial loss to the state, willfully causing financial loss to the state and conspiracy to steal.

They have been accused of acting jointly to misapply $4 million belonging to the state.

The accused persons have denied the charges.