The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, yesterday continued with the cross-examination of Dr. Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former chairman of the finance sub-committee of the board of the National Communications Authority (NCA).
The cross-examination largely focused on his role on the NCA board as the chairman of the sub-committee, the approval of funds for purchases above the threshold of the Director-General of the NCA, as well as some $300,000 which was deposited in his account which the prosecution claims was proceeds from the purchase of the Pegasus equipment for the National Security.
Dr. Ensaw together with 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 (NSC).
He opened his defence last Tuesday and denied all the charges against him and also explained to the court how the $300,000 was deposited in his account which the court had ordered him to explain.
He told the court that the money came from part of his savings and he had been converting cedis to dollars due to the depreciation of the cedi against the dollar at the time, adding that he had been doing it since early 2001.
The DPP put it to Dr. Ensaw that the issue of the $4 million support for the purchase of the equipment never came to the NCA board for approval and the accused said he did not recollect the issue coming to the board.
Mrs. Atakora-Obuobisa then asked him about what the approval limit of the Director-General of the NCA was and maintained that all expenses above GH¢100,000 which is the threshold of the DG must be sent to the board for approval.
Dr. Ensaw told the court that when he was inaugurated onto the NCA board, they did not meet any document detailing that threshold, instead they inherited a policy where all payments above GH¢100,000 must be approved by a member of the board except the CEO.
The DPP then reminded the accused that he had told the court he had been converting cedis to dollar since 2001 and asked where he was at that time and whether he was doing any work.
On the dollar conversion issue, Dr. Ensaw said when he was in the fourth year of medical school and during his time in school he was engaged in phone recharge cards sales as well as sachet water business which he said went well for him.
He told the court that it was part of his saving that he started converting into dollars.
The DPP also asked Dr. Ensaw about a dollar account he opened with Stanbic Bank in September 2016, with an opening amount of $4,000 after which there were a lot of cash inflows and withdrawals in October that year.
The accused said the deposits were payment he received from Huawei Ghana for a project he undertook for them and the withdrawals.
Mrs. Atakora-Obuobisa asked Dr. Ensaw what prompted him to open a dollar account in 2016 when he had been saving his dollars at home all this while.
He said it was due to a vision he had to put up a specialist hospital and one of the SMEs, American Town Inc, said he had to prove that he had $1 million and a land for the project before they could support him.
He said it was based on this that he opened the account and deposited the $300,000 in it.
Hearing continues on February 18, 2020.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak