The former Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Matthew Tetteh Tevie, the second accused person in the case of the Republic versus Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie and four others will open his defence before the Commercial High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour at the next court sitting fixed for Thursday 23rd of January 2020.
The path was cleared for him to do same as the first accused, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, the former Board Chairman of NCA, closed his defence today the 21st of January 2020.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuabisa, crossed examined Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie, about his level of involvement in the purchase of the controversial Pergasus (Cyber Security) system. Among the several questions that were asked by (DPP) and answers that were given by the accused person (BB) are as follows;
DPP – Can you tell the Court who are the signatories on the document, (Exhibit S) and when it was signed?
BB – Exhibit S and T was signed by George Oppong for IDL and for NCA, it was signed by Matthew Tetteh Tevie.
Concerning Exhibit T, the NSO Group Technologies part was signed by Pinat, and the IDL part was signed by Mr. George Derek Oppong. Exhibit S was signed and dated December 17, 2015. Exhibit T, was signed Pinat on the 14th of December 2015 and George Derek Oppong signed on December 17th 2015.
DPP – You knew that the reseller that is IDL who was actually recommended by you had already signed exhibit S and T and that is why it was IDL that still provided the cyber equipment base on exhibit G?
BB – I did not know that he had signed these contracts.
DPP – When you wrote that the 5th accused person after he had been engaged came to show appreciation to you, it was because you were the one who recommended him?
BB – It is not correct.
DPP – You procured the Pergasus System with public funds without going through the right Procurement processes?
BB – That is not correct. I have already stated in this Court that as Board Chairman of the NCA, I did not participate in the procurement.
Justice Eric Kyei Baffour’s Court after the cross-examination of the first accused person by the Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Atakora Obuabisa, ended, he adjourned sitting to Thursday, 23rd of January 2020.
The State closed its case against the accused persons on the 18th of April 2019, following which, the accused persons chose to exercise their rights under section 173 of Criminal and Other Offences Procedure Act (Act 30) to file “Submissions of No Case”. In all, the State called six (6) prosecution witnesses in her bit to establish its case against the accused persons.
The prosecution witnesses were, Director of Legal Administration at the National Communications Authority (NCA), Abena Awarkoa Asafo Adjei, Dr. Isaac Yaw Ani, Deputy Director-General in charge of Management and Operations at the National Communications Authority (NCA), Henry Kanor, Deputy Director-General in charge of Technical Operations at the National Communications Authority (NCA), Colonel Michael Kwadwo Poku, Director of Operations at the National Security, Deputy National Security Coordinator, Duncan Opare, and Detective Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, Investigator of the case.
According to the facts of the case, as presented by the A-G, Baffoe-Bonnie, Tevie, Ensaw and Osman were allegedly aided by Oppong to engage in the criminal act. It said the previous administration 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 explained that 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 such equipment, was asked to fund the project.
It said $4 million was withdrawn from the NCA’s account, while $1 million out of the withdrawn amount was deposited into the account of the Israeli company. The A-G explained that the remaining $3 million was lodged in the account of Oppong, who acted as a representative of the local agents, Infraloks Development Ltd.