[ 2017-05-24 ]
Eugene Baffoe-Bonney (left) and William Tevie
BNI probes 3 Mahama appointees over $4m graft
Three appointees of former President John Mahama
are being investigated by the Bureau of National
Investigations (BNI) for allegedly dipping their
hands into the coffers of the National
Communications Authority (NCA) for $4million which
they have failed to account for.
The three appointees, according to Information
Minister Mustapha Hamid, conspired with a private
citizen to commit the act.
The former Mahama appointees being investigated,
as named by Mr Hamid in an interview with Joy FM’s
Kojo Yankson on Wednesday, 24 May, include Mr
Eugene Baffoe-Bonney, former Board Chairman of the
NCA; Mr William Tevie, former Chief Executive
Officer of the NCA, and Alhaji Osman, former
Deputy National Security Coordinator.
Their conspirator is George Oppong. Mr Hamid said
they engaged in the graft in connection with a
contract between the Mahama administration and an
Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, in
which the latter was to supply eavesdropping
gadgets worth $6 million. The equipment were meant
to help the government of Ghana monitor the calls
of suspected terrorists.
In the course of the transaction, Mr Hamid said a
local agent – Infraloks Development Limited –
charged $2million as facilitation fee, bringing
the total amount to $8million.
According to Mr Hamid, National Security, which
did not have the funds for the equipment, allowed
the NCA, which supervises the use of such
equipment to fund the project.
The NCA top officials, he revealed, withdrew $4
million from the NCA’s kitty but gave only
$1million to the Israeli firm.
The surplus, according to Mr Hamid, was deposited
into the personal accounts of Mr George Oppong,
who fronted as an agent of Infraloks Development
Ltd. He said Alhaji Osman orchestrated the entire
According to Mr Hamid, demands by the Israeli firm
to be paid the $5 million balance after the Mahama
administration lost power in the December 2016
elections prompted the new Akufo-Addo government
to probe the transaction after which the graft was
Mr Hamid said: “They took $4 million from NCA
accounts and paid $1 million to the Israeli
company and then deposited $3 million in the
accounts of the local agent, one Mr George Oppong
and proceeded to share the $3million among
Mr Hamid gave the breakdown of the share of the $3
million as follows: “Mr. Eugene Baffoe-Bonney took
$200,000; George Oppong took $100,000; William
Tevie got $150,000, Alhaji Osman received $70,000”
while one other person got $500,000.
He said apart from Alhaji Osman, the others have
admitted to the crime and have been given bail
after the BNI interrogated them. Alhaji Osman is,
however, at large, according to the Minister.
Mr Hamid revealed that Mr Oppong has refunded $1
million while Mr Baffoe-Bonney promised to refund
$40,000 as of last week. He said the others have
also promised to refund every cent. “BNI hasn’t
even decided at this stage because they believe
that the money must be returned. … If they succeed
in retrieving the money then they will decide
their next action,” Mr. Hamid said.
According to him, the transaction was a clear case
of top officials colluding to plunder the state
“The reason why this is a classic case of 'create,
loot and share' is that…it was basically Alhaji
Osman acting as Deputy National Security
Coordinator, who spearheaded this deal. …People
cannot just go and open a state vault and take
whatever that is in there” Mr Hamid lamented.
Source - classfmonline.com
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