The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, yesterday pointed out to the embattled former Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mathew William Tetteh-Tevie, that a sum GHC15, 498,000.00 was extended for payment to Infraloks Development Limited (IDL) for the supply of listening equipment without the approval from the NCA board.
She insisted, during cross-examination, that there was no budgetary allocation for the NCA, between 2015 and 2016, to support the National Surveillance Communications System (NSCS) “and that you and other accused authorised for the payment of $4m into the IDL account.”
The former NCA boss, however, responded that the budget served as a guide to the management and could be varied once it was not cast in stone, but prepared by human beings.
“The fact, you see, Infraloks in the NCA development account means that the NCA was aware, and documentation have been shown as a collective decision on the payment of the monies. It was not only Infraloks; if you turn to page four, you will see the multiple we have given to many institutions,” he told the DPP.
The court was presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, a justice of the Court of Appeal with additional responsibility as a high court judge.
The second accused person argued that the purchase of the cyber security surveillance system was a collective decision and a request from the National Security Council Secretariat seeking for institutional support.
He argued therefore that the charge of procurement breaches “does not constitute causing financial loss to the state, stealing, nor misappropriation of public fund”, adding that they could not have randomly signed for the payment of the $4m if it was not captured in the budget.
Mr Tetteh-Tevie told the DPP that the National Security did not have the expertise to do this project solely on their own and that NCA contributed its might by helping to secure the project.
“This project was a sister support to help the National Security. As you can see, the request was $8m, but we managed to secure $4m because the project was government owned,” he explained.
Notwithstanding, the DPP further insisted that there was no provision made in the budget for institutional support to the NSCS.
Mr Tevie sought to claim that the prosecution was not been fair to him and that he is being prosecuted for following instructions as a public servant.
He queried the rationale behind the state’s decision to try him before the court, while the Deputy Director-General of the Authority, Dr Isaac Yaw Ani, also a signatory to the NCA account, walks freely and used by the state as a prosecution witness in his trial.
He told the court during his testimony that one of the accused persons, Eugene Baffoe Bonnie, impressed upon him to make the transfer of some $4 million without documentation.