An Accra high court has sentenced former National Communications Authority (NCA) chairman Eugene Baffoe Bonnie to 6 years in prison with hard labor. Bonnie was accused with 5 others for conspiring to commit a crime by playing a role in the purchase of a cyber-security equipment which they valued more than 4 million dollars. Out of the five three have been convicted including the former NCA Director General Willian Tetteh Tevie who will serve 5 years with hard labor and former Deputy National Security Coordinator Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman who will also serve 5 years.
In the trial, both Osman and Tevie were found guilty of knowingly causing a financial loss to the nation and going against the public procurement act. The three accused persons are said to have aided Oppong in the engagement of a criminal act. The lawyers of Tevie pleaded with the court for a non-custodial sentence siting that his client has health problems.
In the sentencing, Justice Kyei Baffour ordered the Attorney General to seize assets of the three accused persons amounting to$3 million. The three are expected to start their respective terms immediately.
Background of the case
Bonnie, Tevie, and Osman are accused of assisting George Dereck Oppong from the previous administration in committing an economic crime. The team and others not mentioned contracted an Israeli company called NSO Group Technology Limited to supply equipment worth $6 million to enable NCA to monitor conversations of people suspected to engage in terror activities. The transaction was to be facilitated by a local agent called Infraloks Development Limited who were to be paid an extra $2 million bringing the total cost of the project to $8 million.
Shortly after the agreement $4 million was withdrawn from NCA accounts but only $1 million was deposited into the Israeli company accounts. The other $3 million is said to have been deposited into Oppong’s account.