The National Communications Authority (NCA) has been rocked with financial malfeasance as it comes into the spotlight with report of massive ‘chop chop’ involving some members of the previous board under the John Mahama administration, running into several millions of dollars.
According to intelligence report picked up by DAILY GUIDE, money meant for buying ‘spying and phone tapping’ equipment for the National Security totaling $4 million, landed in private pockets of some NCA board members.
The importation of the equipment from an Israeli company was even concealed from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration as the equipment were reportedly moved into a private property at the time the NPP took over – with no documentation at the National Security Secretariat. There was no inventory nor traces of it in the handing over notes left behind, making the whole transaction suspicious.
Sources say the NCA was approached by the National Security under the NDC administration to provide funding for the spying and phone tapping equipment purchased from Israel for counter terrorism operation.
However, the $4 million paid by the NCA, instead of going to the suppliers, only $1 million got to the Israeli company with the rest shared among some board members, including the immediate past board chairman, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie.
Like spoils of war, the chairman allegedly took $1.5 million and shared it among members, pocketing $200,000.
Mr Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie is a brother of Seinti Baffoe-Bonnie, a senior staffer to former President John Mahama.
The case is now before the National Security with the suspects hauled before the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) where their statements were said to have been taken.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that the total contract for the project was $8 million with $6 million of the money going to the Israeli company while the local agent keeps $2 million.
The NCA, with instruction from the National Security, made $4 million part-payment into the private account of the local agent at Ecobank and subsequently transferred $1 million to the company in Israel.
The $3 million left in the account was then split into two, with less than half going into the pockets of board members and the chairman allegedly taking the lion’s share of $200,000.
According to a report stumbled upon by DAILY GUIDE, William Mathew Tevie, who was the Director General, had $150,000; the local agent, George Oppong got $1,000,000; Alhaji Salifu Osman, a Deputy National Security Coordinator who represented the outfit on the NCA board, was allegedly given $70,000 and Dr. Nana Owusu-Ensaw, another board member, allegedly took home $500,000 to be shared with other unnamed persons.
The local representative of the Israeli company, a certain Penny, was also paid $100,000.
The BNI has already had sessions with some of the people mentioned who have confessed receiving the money, while others are denying any knowledge of the deal.
They are being investigated for abuse of office and causing financial loss to the state.
According to National Security sources, the money was not approved by the NCA board as there was no minute to support the payment, except instruction to the finance officer of the NCA to do the payment.
Alhaji Salifu Osman, who was a chief director at the Ministry of the Interior – before John Mahama appointed him a Deputy National Security Coordinator – is said not to be cooperating with investigators.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that security operatives may go to arrest him if he continues to exhibit obstinacy and non-cooperation as his name features prominently in the dodgy transaction.
Report says the cover of the transaction was blown by the Israeli company which was persistent in demanding the payment of the service rendered, having shipped the phone tapping equipment to Ghana and cleared them from the port. This persistent demand drew the attention of the National Security hierarchy to the deal, upon which Alhaji Osman was invited. Upon pressure exerted on him, he conceded that they actually imported the equipment after which he allegedly refused to cooperate with the investigators.
Attempts to speak to Mr Baffoe-Bonnie were unsuccessful as calls made to his phone were unanswered.