Ghana: NCA U.S.$4 Million Financial Loss Case - Accused Acquitted of Charges

Nana Owusu, one of the five persons standing trial for allegedly causing $4 million financial loss to the state in a cyber security equipment deal involving the National Communications Authority (NCA), has been acquitted of some of the charges preferred against him, by the Accra High Court.

The charges are conspiracy, willfully causing financial loss to the state, using public office for profit and intentionally misapplying public property.

The court, presided by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, however, asked the accused to open his defence in respect of conspiracy to steal and money laundering, two of the five charges filed against the accused by the state.

His alleged accomplices, Mr Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, a former Director General of NCA, William Tetteh-Tevie, NCA board member, Alhaji Osma Salifu, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator, and Derrick Opong, a private citizen, have been asked to open their defence respectively on all charges made against them.

The charges were woefully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, contravention of Public Procurement Authority, conspiracy to steal, stealing and causing damage to public property.

In a ruling on submission of no case, filed by counsel for the accused, the judge said, he was convinced that the prosecution, led by Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), had adduced sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case against the accused.

Justice Baffour held that the accused must be given the opportunity to respond to the claims by the prosecution.

So far, the prosecution invited six witnesses to make a case that the accused acted together with a common purpose to woefully cause financial loss to the state.

On April 11, 2019, a prosecution witness, Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, told the court that Nana Owusu was charged because he failed to produce evidence of conversion of cedis into $300,000.

The witness said that although there was no evidence to suggest that the accused received any monies, he believed the $300,000 deposited in one of Mr Owusu's bank accounts, was his (accused) share of the $3 million shared among four others.

Counsel for Nana Owusu, Mr Samuel Codjoe, disagreed with the allegations made by Chief Insp Nkrumah that his client received $300,000 from Opong, the fifth accused.

Mr Codjoe suggested to the witness during cross-examination that he (witness) was untruthful to the court, because he had no evidence to substantiate allegations of receipt of $300,000 by Mr Owusu.

Counsel contended that his client had been changing cedis into dollars since he commenced business, to enable him to construct a specialised hospital in future.

Mr Codjoe averred that Nana Owusu was not a man of straw, and that the accused had more than $300,000 in his account.

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