Former Board Member of the National Communications Authority, Nana Owusu-Ensaw, has rebutted allegations of any involvement in the embezzlement of some $4 million in a deal by the Authority to procure a listening device on behalf of National Security.
The denial comes on the back of allegations levelled against him and two others of conspiring to defraud the state. Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, a former Board Chairman of the NCA, Mr William Tevie; former Director General of the NCA and Nana Owusu-Ensaw; a former Board Member of the NCA have been accused of conniving to rip the state of some $4million.
Information Minister Mustapha Hamid says the three with the help of former Deputy National Security Coordinator, Alhaji Osman, and Mr George Oppong were involved in the embezzlement of $4million supposedly used in the procurement of some listening devices to help the National Security in the fight against terrorism.
The arrangement was for National Security to pay $4 million upfront for the supply of the equipment. Upon installation, another 35 per cent would be paid, with the remaining amount paid after the device was up and running. But with National Security without funds to pay for the equipment, the NCA was asked to procure the equipment on its behalf.
Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, explaining details of the scandal revealed that though an amount of $4million was withdrawn from the account of the NCA only $1million was paid to the Israeli firm.
The surplus, according to Mr Hamid, was deposited into the personal accounts of Mr George Oppong, citing Alhaji Osman as the orchestrater of the entire deal.
According to Mr Hamid, demands by the Israeli firm to be paid the $5 million balance after the Mahama administration lost power in the December 2016 elections prompted the new Akufo-Addo government to probe the transaction after which the graft was detected.
Mr Hamid said: “They took $4 million from NCA accounts and paid $1 million to the Israeli company and then deposited $3 million in the accounts of the local agent, one Mr George Oppong, and proceeded to share the $3million among themselves.”
Mr Hamid gave the breakdown of the share of the $3 million as follows: “Mr. Eugene Baffoe-Bonney took $200,000; George Oppong took $100,000; William Tevie got $150,000, Alhaji Osman received $70,000” while one other person got $500,000.
He said apart from Alhaji Osman, the others have admitted to the crime and have been given bail after the BNI interrogated them. Alhaji Osman is, however, at large, according to the Minister.
Mr Hamid revealed that Mr Oppong has refunded $1 million while Mr Baffoe-Bonney promised to refund $40,000 as of last week. He said the others have also promised to refund every cent. “BNI hasn’t even decided at this stage because they believe that the money must be returned. … If they succeed in retrieving the money then they will decide their next action,” Mr Hamid said.
Meanwhile, Mr Oppong of IDL, has threatened a legal suit against the NCA for sidelining it in the “operational transaction”.
In his rejoinder, Mr Oppong said: “IDL was not involved in the operational side of the transaction for what was said to be genuine national security reasons.” He, therefore, said: “… IDL believes in due process in the democratic dispensation and accordingly have our lawyers in readiness to, in due course, assert my rights and those of the company under the contract with the Republic through the appropriate lawful forum should same become the inevitable resort.”
One of the other accused persons is also denying involvement in the scandalous act expressing his willingness to cooperate with the security apparatus to bring the perpetrators of the act to book.
Find below Nana Owusu-Ensaw’s full statement