General News of Saturday, 20 October 2018
The credibility of the second prosecution witness in the National Communication Authority (NCA) $4 million scandal was tested at the Commercial Court yesterday, when counsel for one of the accused persons, sought to know why he had different signatures for various purposes.
Mr Thaddeus Sory, counsel for Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, also put to the witness, Dr Isaac Yaw Ani, a former Director of Finance at the NCA, why he gave the court account numbers that were contrary to what had been captured in documents presented by the prosecution.The witness, who is currenlty a Deputy Director-
General of the NCA, last Tuesday told the court that he became aware of National Security’s request for equipment to fight cybercrime in February 2016. However, it emerged during Mr Sory’s cross-examination that Dr Ani was part of meetings to discuss the project eight months before February 2018.
Documents from the NCA, which had been tendered in as evidence, indicated that Dr Ani became aware of the request only eight months ago.
In addition, although Dr Ani claimed in his testimony that his consultancy firm, Mckush Consultancy Services, was into teaching, Mr Sory produced records from the Registrar General’s Department to show that the witness’ firm was into risk management, accounting and marketing strategy.
Here are excerps from the cross-examination:
Mr Sory: Did you amend the objects of the company?
Dr Ani: My Lord, I did not because I have not started the risk management aspect.
Mr Sory: I only asked the business Mckush started and intended to start.
Dr Ani: My Lord, I did not hear the question clearly.
Dr Ani admitted being the signatory of some documents relating to the case but explained that he used a different signature for cheques aside from official documents.
He explained that he adopted that strategy to protect his signatures from being cloned on cheques.
“So your signatures on all documents are the same apart from cheques?” Mr Sory queried, to which Dr Ani answered, “Yes and even on internal memos”.
Mr Sory: So you have three signatures?
Dr Ani: It is similar to what I sign.
The witness had told the court that neither he nor his company had dealt with companies called LTI Management Limited and Infralocks Development Limited.
However, a letter dated December 5, 2016 tendered in as evidence showed that Dr Ani directed Infralocks Developemnt Limited to release $2 million to LTI Management Limited.
Hearing continues on October 23, 2018.
A former Director-General of the NCA, William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, Nana Owusu Ensaw and Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, all former board members, and a businessman, George Derek Oppong, have been accused of playing various roles leading to the loss of $4 million to the state.
The accused persons have been charged with diverse counts of wilfully causing financial loss of $4 million to the state.
They have been accused of engaging in infractions in the procurement of listening devices for the state.
The accused persons have denied the charges.