There was no approval for National Communications Authority petty cash, former director general Tevie tells court Featured

By Paul Nyojah Dalafu January 31, 2020 6797 2489 comments

The former director general of the National Communications Authority (NCA), William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, has told an Accra high court that apart from approval of funds by the board of the Authority for purchases of large equipment, there was no approval for payments by petty cash on his watch.

He told prosecution lawyers, led by the Director of Public Prosecutions, that he had no specific approval limit.

“The board had to give approval before I could approve funds, but for payment of petty cash for the purchase of fuel, among others, I gave without the board’s approval,” he told the DPP.

During cross-examination yesterday, Mr Tevie told the court that there were laid-down procedures for payments of money into the eight bank accounts held by the NCA.

He said that if proper procedures were not followed, the bank would decline a request to take cash out of or pay cash into any of the accounts.

Office for profit

The immediate past board chairman of the NCA, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, together with Mr Tevie, Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former chairman of the NCA’s finance subcommittee, Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former National Security Co-ordinator who was on the NCA board, and George Derek Oppong, director of Infraloks Development Ltd (IDL), are accused of conspiring to cause financial loss to the state.

The five are facing 16 other charges, including conspiracy, stealing, using public office for profit and money laundering.

They have been charged with allegedly creating, looting and sharing US$4 million under the guise of procuring a cyber-surveillance system for anti-terrorism activities in Ghana.

Mr Tevie told the court that the national cyber-surveillance system purchased was tested in conjunction with the supplier and that he could not be held liable for causing financial loss to the state.

He told the court that the equipment has been used by the state to fight against cyber threats.

He denies the charge of wilfully causing the loss of US$4m of state-owned money, insisting that the Pegasus equipment was tested and installed for National Security and that the purchase fit the intended purpose.

Other charges

Arguing against the charge of contravening the Public Procurement Act, Mr Tevie argued that the purchase was an act of corporate social responsibility initiated by National Security and that he could not have breached the law on procurement as the prosecution alleges.

The court heard that the money from the NCA was paid directly to IDL for purchase of the equipment to be used by National Security.

The court also learned that the decision to purchase the Pegasus surveillance system was collective and not one taken by any individual.
Presiding, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour adjourned the case to February 4.

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