The admission by three appointees of the National Communications Authority (NCA) that they diverted some $4million belonging to the Authority into their private accounts, was a deliberate attempt to dupe the state.
The three appointees, who are being investigated by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), according to Information Minister Mustapha Hamid, conspired with a private citizen to commit the act.
The former Mahama appointees being investigated, as named by Mr Hamid in an interview with Joy FM’s Kojo Yankson on Wednesday, 24 May, include Mr Eugene Baffoe-Bonney, former Board Chairman of the NCA; Mr William Tevie, former Chief Executive Officer of the NCA, and Alhaji Osman, former Deputy National Security Coordinator.
Their conspirator is George Oppong. Mr Hamid said they engaged in the graft in connection with a contract between the Mahama administration and an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, in which the latter was to supply eavesdropping gadgets worth $6 million. The equipment were meant to help the government of Ghana monitor the calls of suspected terrorists.
In the course of the transaction, Mr Hamid said a local agent – Infraloks Development Limited – charged $2million as facilitation fee, bringing the total amount to $8million.
According to Mr Hamid, National Security, which did not have the funds for the equipment, allowed the NCA, which supervises the use of such equipment to fund the project.
The NCA top officials, he revealed, withdrew $4 million from the NCA’s kitty but gave only $1million to the Israeli firm.
Commenting on this development on TV3’s New Day programme on Saturday May 27, Dr Jinapor said: “It looks as if in this country there is this connivance between indigenes or citizens and foreign companies just to milk this country. This story is about an Israeli company, and if you listened to the Minister, the Israeli company, what they were supposed to bring in never happened; there was a connivance to dupe the country.
“If you connive to dupe the country, whether you are a foreign company or not, willingly and unwillingly, doing something to steal from the state is a criminal offence. So I think this issue is not a simple issue, it is a very complicated issue and I will really want this government or the Police, the BNI, to come clear on this issue and try as much as possible to make sure that this issue is brought to finality.”
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