A former Board Chairman of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, has opened his defence in the $4 million Pegasus equipment trial in which he and four others have been accused of causing financial loss to the state.
In his defence, Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie distanced himself from the contract that was signed between the NCA and Infralocks Development Limited (IDL) for the purchase of the Pegasus System for cyber security and surveillance in Ghana.
Led in evidence by Abu Juan, the ex-NCA Board Chairman said the NCA/IDL contract “was a contract between IDL and NCA; as Board Chairman, I did not even know the details. I had no idea about the content of the contract between IDL and NCA.”
This was after his lawyer reminded him that the state’s first prosecution witness in her testimony suggested that Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie purposely hid the contract document between the IDL and NCA from the authority.
The lawyer also asked Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie about who contracted one of the accused persons, George Dereck Oppong, a businessman, as the re-seller of the Pegasus equipment since the prosecution has already claimed that Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie and the other accused persons brought the businessman in the deal as a re-seller of the Pegasus System in order to defraud the state.
The accused person, in his defence, however, told the court that he played no role in the selection of the re-seller but rather it was NSO, the Israeli security company, which supplied the Pegasus System that nominated George Dereck Opong as their agent or re-seller.
The defence lawyer after leading his client in evidence for about two and half hours pleaded with the court for an adjournment which was granted by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour.
Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie, together with other ex-board members, including William Mathew Tetteh Tevie, a former Director General of the NCA; Nana Owusu Ensaw; Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former National Security Coordinator, as well as a private businessman George Derek Oppong, Director of Infraloks Development Limited, are being tried for allegedly causing financial loss to the state in the purchase of the cyber security equipment for the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) for counter terrorism purposes.
The five accused persons are facing 16 other charges, including conspiracy, stealing, using public office for profit, money laundering, among others, and the amount complained of by the state is about $4 million.
Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie’s evidence-in-chief continues on December 19.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak