IDL couldn’t make further payment to NSO for Pegasus equipment – Accused

George Derrick Oppong the fifth accused in the National Communication Authority (NCA) trial on Tuesday said due to non- availability of customs clearance processes, Infralock Development Limited (IDL) was unable to make further payments to NSO, the Israeli firm which sold the Pegasus equipment to the country.

According to Oppong, NSO has therefore sent demand of payment notices to IDL and has also drew attention of the IDL’s breach of the contract with NSO.

Oppong was continuing his evidence in chief at an Accra High Court trying him and four others for allegedly causing financial loss to the state following the purchase of a Pegasus machine for the National Security in the year 2016 which could not function.

The fifth accused who is the Managing Director of IDL said he also received some e-mails from NSO representatives over the non-payment of the rest of the money.

He therefore tendered the e-mails IDL received from NSO following the non-payment of the rest of the monies to NSO.

According to the fifth accused, NSO was to receive the second payment of $3 million after the shipment of the equipment.

The Prosecution led by Ms. Sefakor Batse challenged the defense counsel for Oppong for tendering in the alleged email notices without filing them earlier in court.

According to prosecution, defence counsel should have filed the e-mails and other documents for the prosecution to have fore knowledge of them before being tendered.

The trial judge, Mr. Justice Eric Yei Baffour, a Court of Appeal Judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge indicated that he had earlier on informed the defence to file documents they intended tendering in court but they failed to do so.

Oppong explained that NSO had Barclays Bank as their bankers and NCA was to make payment of the Pegasus equipment through it.

According to the accused, before NSO could deploy the shipment of the equipment NCA was also to satisfy some pre-conditions.

He said these pre-conditions was for the accused to obtain a Customs Clearance Process, an End User Responsibility, an On -site Infrastructure Readiness, End User Vendor Responsibility.

Oppong said although IDL was the reseller of the equipment, NCA was to ensure its clearance, provide logistics and the deployment of the equipment when it finally arrived in Ghana.

In furtherance of this, Oppong said, Mr. Henry Kanoe, the forth prosecution witness and a Technical Director of NCA was assigned to ensure the deployment of the machine.

Oppong is standing trial with Eugene Baffoe Bonnie, former Board Chairman of NCA, William T. Tevie, former Director-General NCA, Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former Board member, Alhaji Salifu Mimina, former National Security Coordinator.

The accused have been charged with stealing, using public office for personal gain, willfully causing financial loss to the state in respect of the purchase of a cyber-security equipment worth $4 million.

They have all denied the offences and have been granted bail.

The trial continues on Thursday March 5.

Source: GNA

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