NCA Trial: Court rejects some cautioned statements of Baffoe-Bonnie

A High Court in Accra has rejected the first three cautioned statements of Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former Board Chairman of the National Communication Authority (NCA) on the basis that they were taken without the presence of independent witnesses.

It however admitted the last three statements of Baffoe- Bonnie on the grounds that they were taken in the presence of a witness and his lawyer.

According to the court presided over by Mr Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, in the last three statements, there was nothing to show that Baffoe-Bonnie was threatened and that he voluntarily left his house to the offices of the Bureau of National Investigations to offer those statements.

This was a ruling by the court after a mini trial to ascertained whether statements of Baffoe Bonnnie should be admitted in the trial.

Counsel for Baffoe-Bonnie, Thaddeus Sory had challenged the admissibility of statements of the former Board Chairman saying those statements were made under duress and without the presence of an independent as well as the right to a lawyer.

Defence Counsel further opined that the cautioned and charged statements had indicated that the former Board chairman and the rest of the accused persons benefitted financially from the purchase of the cyber security equipment.

The state led by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mrs Yvonne Atakorah Obuobisa has denied that that Baffoe-Bonnie was threatened when he gave his statements and that he had confirmed in his statements that he was advised on his right to a counsel of his choice.

Baffoe-Bonnie is standing trial with William Tevie, a former Director General, NCA, Nana Owusu Ensaw, NCA board Member, Alhaji Salifu Mimina, former Deputy National Security Coordinator and George Derrick Oppong, a Director of Infralock Development (IDL).

They are being held on the charges of willfully causing financial loss to the state in respect of the purchase of a cyber security equipment worth four million dollars.

They have all denied the charges and are currently on bail.

Continuing with his evidence in chief, Detective Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah said investigations led him to obtain the bank statements of NCA and IDL through the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) adding that the accused persons bank statements were not left out.

Chief Inspector Nkrumah said he found out that as at the time the NCA made request for the cyber security machine, it did not have four million dollars in its accounts.

According to him, the NCA at the time had only had GH¢57,000 in their open accounts.

He said investigations showed that NCA later received from government the equivalent of $4 million into its accounts.

He said that money was later transferred in three tranches to IDL accounts owned by Ensaw.

The Investigator said on November 2, 2016, Ensaw personally made cash deposit of GH¢300,000 into his private account and when he (the Investigator) quizzed him over how he came by that money, he said whiles he was in the Medical School he had intention to establish private clinic and has continue saving from that period.

The investigator said Ensaw also showed him all the contracts he had executed but there was no proof of payments.

Mr Nkruman said Ensaw further said all the savings monies were kept in his room in his house and later decided to transfer all the monies into his personal account.

Hearing continues on April 4.

Source: GNA

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