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NCA trial: You have no proof my client took any money

botchway April 13, 2019

 

By Bernice Bessey            .

The counsel for the third accused person, Nana Owusu Ensaw, in the ongoing National Communication Authority (NCA) security system purchase saga, Samuel Cudjoe, has indicated that the police investigator has no proof that his client was part to the US$4 million booty.

According to him, the investigator is only relying on a statement reportedly made by the first accused person, without the backing of concrete evidence.

Mr. Cudjoe, while cross-examining the Chief Inspector Michael, a prosecution witness (PW) at an Accra Commercial Court presided Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor, yesterday, stated that the witness, apart from A1’s statement, had no evidence against his client.

And, also the US$300,000 that the investigator had referred to as his portion of the booty was income he has saved for himself, from some projects with the help of his partners.

The following was how Mr Cudjoe grilled Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah:

Q: You said transferred US$2 million to Infralock and refunded US$1 million to NCA while the case was still ongoing. So I am right to say that as at July 21, 2017, you were aware that US$2 million of the money had been transferred by A5 to …  US$1 million to NCA and another US$1 million to the NSO Group?

A: Yes.

Q: Even though you were aware of this, almost three weeks after which you have taken the statements, that is August 18, 2017, you gave a statement and misrepresented that the four people, thus A3 together with A1, A2, A2, A4 and A5, shared US$3 million, isn’t it?

A: That is so my lord, but I must say that when the US$1 million was transferred to NSO, the remaining US$3 million was shared, and I still stand by it. And I want to indicate that A5 transferred US$1 million from other account to IDS’s account before he was able to refund the US$1 million to NCA.

Q: In fact, as an investigator of 20 years, Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, you actually traced where this US$1 million came from for the refund for NCA, isn’t it?

A: No my lord, because there was no need for me to trace that source… A5 never transferred any money, that is the US$4 million, into any other account. So where he got the US$1 million from was not the subject of the investigation.

Q: Can you give him exhibit QQ. Mr Nkrumah you have in your hands exhibit QQ, isn’t it?

A: Yes my lord.

Q: It was this US$1 million, from the statement you made, which was transferred to the NCA, isn’t it? You have no evidence or whatsoever, including the statement that the A3 took part in the sharing of US3 million?

A: My lord, A3’s bank statement; there was no indication that any of the accused persons transferred money to A3, however, there was evidence of US$300,000 deposit made by A3 into his Stanbic Bank account, which was close to the period of the transaction regarding the purchasing of the Pegasus System. So I believe that is his share of the money he deposited in his account.

Q: So that A5, in all his statements, has never mentioned he gave any money to A3, isn’t it?

A: My lord, this came in as a result of (Lawyer: No you answer, then you can give your explanation). My lord, the last paragraph that I just read came in when I was referring to the account of the accused person to his earlier statement that has already made.

Q: So as you sit here in the court; you don’t have any statement or any admission before court that A5 gave any money to A3?

A: That is correct that there is no statement that any of them gave money to A3.

Q: And, in fact, from exhibit QQ, which is the ECO Bank statement of Infralock, which you claimed you suspect was used as a conduit to take money and give to A3, doesn’t support that?

A:  My lord, it supports the statement of the statement of the A1.

Q: Can you show me on the statement withdrawals which supported the statement of A1, that US$550,000 was withdrawn?

A: My lord, I have already stated that on the bank statement there was no transfer between any of the accused persons, but it appears the A5 did the withdrawals and gave out cash. It wasn’t bank transfers.

Q: So I take it that you, Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, don’t have any evidence to support that fact that any sum of money was paid to A3 apart from what A1 told you?

A: My lord, apart from what A1 told me, I have indicated that evidence that I have is the US$300,000 that A3 deposited in his Stanbic Bank account, which was close to period of the transaction.

Q: So that it was when you believed A1 went to the US$300,000, isn’t it?

A: That was it my lord.

Q: Now, let come to the GCB Bank statement. Chief Inspector Nkrumah, having been informed by A3 that he was earning extra income from his numerous construction projects; he gave you exhibit 24(b) that is the GCB statement, isn’t it?

A: That is it my lord.

Q: In fact, when you look at exhibit 24, that is the statement of 2014, you will realise that huge sums of monies were withdrawn from the account, isn’t it?

A: That is it, my lord.

Q: The withdrawals were made by A3, and also some done by Daniel Atea, his General Manager, isn’t it?

A: That is it my lord.

Q: And, of course, A3 informed you that he changed part of this money into dollars and kept it in the house, isn’t it?

A: My lord, A3 informed me that he changed cedis into dollars, but looking at the withdrawal made in exhibit 24, almost all the amounts were transferred to Atea or withdrawn by Atea, who is the Managing Director of the company, which indicates that he used such money to pay for construction materials or finance the project. My lord, this exhibit dated back to 2014 and by then no deposit was made to his Stanbic Bank account, but after the purchase of the Pegasus System transaction took place, US$300,000 was transferred into that account, that is why I am saying that the money withdrawn by Atea was not…

Q: In fact, you never spoke to Daniel Atea?

A: No my lord.

Q: Did you ask for the receipt of the dollars that was changed?

A: No, my lord, because that transaction was not subject to investigation. So I did not ask.

Q: I am putting it to you that the only reason why you didn’t ask for the receipt of the construction material was it would have exonerated A3?

A: That is not true, my lord.

Q: If you look on the page 2 of the statement, exhibit 24, on the November 11, 2014, A3 withdrew GH¢150,000, on December 15, 2014, he also withdrew GH¢132,959.20, isn’t it?

A: That is it my lord.

Q: Then on the same Dec19, 2014, he also withdrew GH¢45,000, isn’t it?

A: That is it my lord.

Q: So when you add these figures, the money that A3 personally withdrew was GH¢300,000 between November and December, isn’t it?

A: Yes my lord, but all that I am saying is that there is no indication that such monies were converted into dollars.

Q: But you will agree with me that A3 told you he converted the cedis in dollars?

A: My lord, I asked him to provide the receipt.

Q: Where did you state in the statement that you asked him for a receipt and he did not provide it?

A: I didn’t state it.

Q: I am putting it to you that you didn’t ask him of the receipt, and further if you had asked him he would have explained to you that he never knew this was going to be ever requested?

A: My lord, I asked him to provide the receipt.

Q: Did you check exchange rate in 2014?

A: No, my lord, because he didn’t provide me with the receipt.

Q: Chief Inspector Nkrumah, A1 did not give you any receipt but you believed him, isn’t it?

A: Yes, my lord, because he didn’t change the monies into dollars

Q: In fact, he never gave any evidence apart from the statement that he gave that A3 should go for any money?

A: That is correct. He only stated it in his statement.

Q: A5 who is supposed to have given monies also doesn’t state in his statement he gave any money to A3?

A: That is correct.

Q: I am putting it to you that you have no basis for believing that A3 took any money. In that you did not have any evidence to support this fact?

A: My lord, the evidence that I have is the US$300,000 A3 deposited into his account close to the transaction of the purchase of the Pegasus System.

The judge adjourned sitting to Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

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