Dr. Nana Owusu Ensaw
A former board member of the National
Communications Authority (NCA), Dr. Nana Owusu Ensaw, has been essentially
discharged by the Court of Appeal after it upheld his appeal against the
decision of an Accra High Court where he and four others are standing trial for
allegedly causing financial loss to the state.
The trial court had asked him to open his
defence in the case after it held that the prosecution had been able to
establish a primary facie case against him in respect of two (2) out of the six
(6) charges which he was initially charged with.
Not satisfied, his lawyers filed an appeal
against the decision and subsequently filed an application for stay of
proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.
The application was dismissed by both the trial
court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor and the Court of Appeal and
the accused person went on to open his defence and denied all the charges.
But a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal
presided over by Justice Victor Ofoe yesterday upheld the appeal, thereby
discharging Dr. Ensaw of the charges levelled against him.
Per the Court of Appeal’s decision, Dr. Ensaw
is technically out of the case.
Dr. Ensaw and a former board chairman of the
NCA board, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie; the former Director General, Mathew Tetteh-Tevie;
a board member, Alhaji Oman Mimina and a private businessman, George Derek
Oppong, are before an Accra High Court for allegedly stealing money from the
purchase of the $4 million Pegasus equipment for the National Security Council
He was the Chairman of
the Finance sub-Committee of the NCA Board at the time the equipment was
The prosecution had called six witnesses to
prove its case and the court ordered the accused persons to open their defence.
They subsequently filed a submission of no case
to answer which was dismissed by the trial court presided over by Justice Eric
Kyei Baffour who is now a Court of Appeal judge.
Justice Kyei Baffour, in his ruling, acquitted
Dr. Ensaw of four of the six charges levelled against him but ordered him to
open his defence in the remaining two.
The court had held that although Dr. Ensaw was
not charged with dishonestly receiving but with the offence of conspiracy to
steal and due to section 156 of Act 30, that connects stealing with dishonestly
receiving, it was necessary that an opportunity be offered Dr. Ensaw to explain
further how the $300,000 was obtained and deposited almost contemporaneous to
the time that one of the accused persons was making various withdrawals from
Lawyers for the accused then appealed the
decision of the Court of Appeal.
It was their argument that the accused person
was not charged with dishonestly reviving but with conspiracy to steal and
stealing hence the court could not have asked him to explain where he got the
The three-member panel of the Court of Appeal
made up of Justices Victor Ofoe, Suurbaareh and Bright Mensah, in a unanimous decision, indicated that
clearly from the face of the record before them, the trial High Court did not
establish a prima facie evidence against Dr. Ensaw and that the court
misapplied in its ruling.
The Appeals Court, therefore, upheld the appeal
and dismissed the ruling of the High Court which asked him to open his defence.
The judgment for the main case for all the other accused persons is due on May 12, 2020.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak