The Director of Business Development of Infraloks Development Limited (IDL), one of the companies cited in the ongoing $4 million National Communication Authority (NCA) Board scandal, Mr George Oppong, has served notice to take legal action to serve his interest and that of the company.
He, however, indicated his willingness to cooperate with the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) in its efforts to get to the bottom of the matter.
Mr Oppong has been named as a co-conspirator in the scandal, which involves the immediate past Managing Director of the NCA and some Board Members alleged to have shared $4 million, which was meant for the purchase of security equipment from Israel.
In a rejoinder addressed to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, Mr Oppong explained that his company on December 7, 2015, executed a contract with the NCA as the reseller of anti-terrorist system as part of the country’s efforts to equip itself and stand ready to prevent and fight off terrorists.
He said an additional contract was entered into between IDL and NSO Group Technologies Limited – the Israeli company, which supplied the equipment.
The contract involved a sum total of $8,000,000 out of which $6,000,000 was to be due to NSO Group with certificate of end-user from the Ministry of Defence – Israel.
Mr Oppong said he was “very disappointed to discover, courtesy the National Security Minister, in the most shocking fashion that contrary to representations by NCA including via the said letter of June 10 2016 from NCA to NSO, that the system was sitting in someone’s garage.”
Mr Oppong noted that he was currently co-operating with the BNI “in utmost good faith and without prejudice as I give my fullest co-operation in its investigations.”
The IDL, he noted, believed in due process in the democratic dispensation and accordingly stated the IDL’s lawyers’ readiness to, in due course, assert his rights and those of the company under the contract with the Republic through the appropriate lawful forum should same become the inevitable resort.
According to media reports, the board chairman, with the approval of the Chief Executive of the NCA, withdrew $4 million from the NCA’s account and deposited it in Mr Oppong’s account.
The alleged culprits, according to government sources, then transferred only $1 million to the Israeli company’s account and then proceeded to share the remaining $3 million among themselves.
Narrating his side of the story in the rejoinder, Mr Oppong said “the NCA did make a first tranche payment of $4,000,000 in accordance with the terms of the contract with NCA.
“That upon first tranche payment by NCA to IDL, I did immediately instruct the bank to transfer
$3, 000,000 to NSO as per initial contract payment terms with NSO, but the bank declined the transfer request on grounds of Bank of Ghana rules and regulations on forex transfers of such amounts of money requiring specific documentation as precondition,” Mr Oppong explained.
Under the new terms, “the bank also made IDL sign an undertaking to provide Customs Documentation covering the clearance of the hardware equipment from the Airport, though NCA instructed NSO to address the Airway Bill to IDL and the National Security Coordinator.
According to Mr Oppong, “the sponsor (NCA), in the meantime, sought through its signatory to the contract and obtained sums in amounts allowed by forex transaction regulations and same reaching a cumulative gross amount of about $1,500,000.
“That it bears emphasis that I have informed the authorities that, out of the total amount of $4,000,000 NCA transferred to IDL, $1, 000,000 was successfully transferred to NSO, NCA’s signatory to the contract has sought and obtained a cumulative gross of about $1,500,000, and that IDL still held $1,500,000 which NSO’s portion could not be transferred for the stated reasons.
“That obviously the transaction could not be completed because NCA did not meet its obligations to IDL as per the terms of the contract with it, having, among others, failed to provide required documents to facilitate payments to NSO as well as NCA’s outstanding obligation of 2nd and 3rd tranche payments of a total of $4,000,000 to IDL,” the rejoinder explained.
Mr Oppong noted that “NSO, whom NCA later informed IDL that it had paid $2,000,000, continue to demand payment from IDL for completion of second phase of the project using and relying on a letter from NCA to NSO which represented that the installation and commissioning phase of the project was complete, and that NSO insists that payment obligations were undertaken by IDL, threatening a suit as the overdue amount is subject to a late payment fee at a daily rate of 0.04%.”