The first Prosecution Witness in the case involving five former appointees of the Mahama administration has dismissed claims the supposed purchase of the $4million cyber surveillance equipment by the National Communications Authority (NCA) was for national security.
Mrs. Abena Asafo-Adjei, Director of Legal Services at the NCA said there has never been a time national security had asked the Authority for institutional support.
In the view of the witness, the only request for external support was in regard to some two over million Cedis support for the Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation (GBC).
Thaddeus Sory, lawyer for Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, a former Board Chairman of the NCA; had under cross examination claimed the purchase of the equipment was based on a request to the national security.
He argued that such matters of security are not subjected to general rules of procurement.
William Tevie, former Chief Executive Officer, NCA; Nana Owusu Ensaw; Alhaji Osman, former Deputy National Security Coordinator and George Derrek Oppong, a private businessman, and Director of IDL are before the court facing 17 charges such as conspiracy to steal, stealing, using public office for profit, money laundering, among others.
According to the prosecution, the accused persons are being tried for allegedly causing financial loss to the State to the tune of $4 million under the guise of procuring a Cyber Surveillance System which they claimed were to be used for anti-terrorism activities in the country.
Mrs. Asafo-Adjei under cross-examination was emphatic that she is snot aware of any letter from motional security Baffoe-Bonnie and Tevie.
She explained that she became aware of the $4million contract between NCA and Infralocks Development Limited (IDL)through the case investigator.
The witness told the court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei-Baffour, the issue of cyber surveillance was not part of the mandate of the authority.
Explaining, the head of the NCA Legal Department indicated, the issue of cyber surveillance emerged when the Information Technology Department of NCA was set up.
According to her, the contract between the Authority and IDL signed in 2015 was also not captured within the list of contacts of the NCA for that year neither was it a matter for discussion in any of the meetings of the Board of the Authority.
Mrs. Asafo-Adjei told the court that it was during Baffuor Bonnie that she was removed as Director Legal and was also compelled to go on leave her accumulated leave.
The Lawyer wondered if the witness felt she was discriminated against and treated unfairly by Baffuor Bonnie when she was asked to procced on leave with immediate effect.
Mrs. Asafo-Adjei refuted that claim by the lawyer that she doesn’t like Baffuor Bonnie and that if she has any opportunity to pay him back, she will do so.
The NCA Head of Legal said “not at all my lord…” insisting that is not true and that Mr. Bonnie has been her good friend since he took over as board chair and that they travelled for official assignments together sometimes.
Hearing continues on Tuesday.
By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson/ thePublisher