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NCA trial: My client did not receive any money -Counsel

botchway April 15, 2019

 

By Bernice Bessey            .

Mr KojoYankson, defence lawyer for the fourth accused person (A4), Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, in the ongoing National Communication Authority (NCA) case, has put up a spirited  defence that the sixth prosecution witness (PW6), Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, has no basis to accuse his client of taking any money meant for securing the cyber security equipment.

According to him, PW6 should provide evidence that the purported amount was received by A4, since he mentioned that two other accused persons, Dr Owusu Ensaw and William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, received US$200,000 and US$150,000 respectively.

Although PW6 couldn’t state emphatically how much A4 received, he said a total amount of US$500,000 out of the US$4 million was shared among the three.

Mr Yankson, last Thursday, during cross-examination at an Accra commercial court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor, claimed that none of the accused persons in their statements indicated that they gave money to A4.

Counsel for A4, then asked C/Ispt Nkrumah (PW6) how he came by that information and he responded that it was contained in A1’s statement.

Q: Show me where in that statement?

PW6 answered (A): My lord, a total amount of 500,000 was disbursed to the following Mr William MatthewTevie…

Q: Where in that statement is it stated that money was given to fourth accused person?

A: To the best of my recollection the breakdown of the disbursement is as follows: Dr Ensaw, US$200,000, William Tevie, US$1,500.

Q: Is it stated that money was given to Alhaji Osman or it was a proposal? Is it stated there?

A: A1 directed.

Q: A1 directed who?

A: He directed Dr Ensaw.

Q: And did Dr Ensaw state he gave any money to A4?

A: No my lord.

Q: Mr Nkrumah, you know for sure that A4 had insisted that he wanted to confront his accuser or accusers, and you promised and never gave him the opportunity?

A: That is not true, my lord.

Q: Did you confront A4 with his alleged accusers?

A: No, my lord.

Q: Why do you, as an experienced investigator, go about saying A4 has taken money?

A: My lord because A1 said it.

Q: Mr Nkrumah, I am putting it to you, and you know that A4 never took any money from anybody?

A: That is not true, my lord.

Q: That is not true!

Judge: Are you surprised by his answer? [Visitors in the court laugh to this interjection by the judge and counsel’s surprise at PW6’s answer.]

Q: This your answer is not backed by evidence?

A: It is back by A1’s statement.

Q: Mr Nkrumah, you said you have worked as a police officer for how many years?

A: My lord for 24 years.

Q: And, worked for National Security for how long?

A: I don’t work for the National Security.

Q: Do you not work with the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI)?

A: My lord that is where I work.

Q: Is BNI not part of National Security?

A: My lord it is part, but National Security now has its own investigators there.

Q: Having worked with BNI, I know you are aware of the laws and regulations governing the BNI?

A: No, my lord, because I am not a permit staff.

Q: You are an investigator attached to the BNI, is that not correct?

A: That is correct my lord.

Q: Then, why do you say you are not conversant with the laws and regulations of the place you work at?

A: My lord, BNI does a lot of activities there, and my only role is to assist them to conduct investigations into criminal cases. I don’t take part in the activities of the BNI.

Q: You must know the National Security Coordinator, is that not correct?

A: That is correct, my lord.

Q: You must also know in the scheme of things the Deputy National Security coordinator?

A: I know the Deputy National Security Coordinator.

Q: You must know the functions of the National Security Coordinator and the Deputy, including coordinating the activities of the BNI?

A: My lord I know the BNI reports to the Coordinator of National Security.

Q: You know that the National Security Coordinator determines the man power requirement of the BNI?

A: No, my lord.

Q: You also know that the technical equipment of the security services is handled by the National Security Coordinator?

A: No, I don’t.

Q: It is for this knowledge that you have that is why you went to the National Security Council Secretariat to check on the Pegasus equipment?

A: My lord, I went to National Security to check on the authenticity of the request letter that was signed by A4 to NCA, and also to find out if they have any engagement for the purchase of the Pegasus system. And, also to find out the equipment had been used or they haven’t.

Q: You know that the National Security Coordinator can purchase equipment like the Pegasus system?

A: My lord, he can purchase when he has the approval from the National Security Council.

Q:  Where did you get the approval concept from?

A: My lord, National Security is a public institution, and public institutions, whenever purchases are made, there should be a need to get authorisation before it can be purchased.

Q: C/Ispt Nkrumah, I put it to you that by law the National Security Coordinator is the head of the National Security?

A: My lord, that is not true.

Q: So who is the head of National Security?

A: My lord, the President is the head of National Security.

Q: The President is the head of the National Security Council, but for the Secretariat, the National Security Coordinator is the head, I put it to you?

A: That is correct, my lord.

Q: I further put it to you that based on this fact, the office of the National Security Coordinator can do purchases, especially of security equipment without reference to the President?

A: That is not true, my lord.

Q: Why do you say it is not true?

A: My lord, I am saying it is not true because before such equipment could be purchased there should be a discussion before the Coordinator can go ahead.

Q: Where did you get this information from, since you didn’t even know the rules and regulations governing National Security?

A: My lord that is the system of public administration in Ghana.

Q: What is the system?

A: My lord the system is to get approval or authority from the right places or sources.

Q: Mr Nkrumah, I will take it you don’t know what you are talking about, especially matters on National Security?

A: My lord I know what I am talking about.

The judge ended the day’s proceeding and adjourned to April 16, 2019.

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