The President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, had scathing words for former officials for the National Communication’s Authority (NCA) following the claim that surveillance equipment meant to have been procured and installed with about $8 million of the taxpayers’ money was lying in some of their garages.
Mr. Cudjoe described such a move as the highest order of stupidity on The Big Issue, whilst being mindful that he was commenting on mere claims.
“It is the highest form of stupidity. I am using these expressions because I couldn’t understand how someone could actually be part of a deal to pay millions to some spy agency and then be given some gadgets he believes is actually a listening and then he hands over the gadget and dumps it away in the garage. That’s the stupidity.”
“To think that you spent millions to procure a gadget that the person who eventually handed over that gadget into a reclusive area like a garage probably didn’t understand what he was getting into. You can’t make this stuff up,” Mr. Cudjoe said.
The claim the equipment was lying garages was made by George Oppong, a Ghanaian whose company’ Infraloks Development Limited (IDL) has been indicted in the scandal that has hit the NCA over the purchase of the eavesdropping equipment.
George Oppong had been accused of conniving with three former officials in the Mahama administration, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former Board Chairman of the NCA; William Tevie, former Chief Executive Officer of the NCA; and Alhaji Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator to drain the state of $4 million through the purchase of the equipment for national security.
But Mr. Oppong in the statement denied conniving with the said officials to syphon state money, maintaining that his contract was genuine.
In the broader picture, the NCA officials allegedly withdrew $4 million from the accounts of the NCA which they failed to account for.
The NCA officials had contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply listening equipment at the cost of $6 million, to enable National Security monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in terror activities.
Infraloks Development Limited, was also charging $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.
Keep an eye on Boards
Mr. Cudjoe also said this scandal reminded that some of these boards were also capable major financial malfeasances and not just politicians.
“The powerful nature of certain boards unknown to the powers that be. That is how come the people who make money in this town are not really the politicians but board members of state entities because they can take decisions that are as useless, as costly and as stupid as this one.”