By: Justicia Shipena
Former National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) CEO Mike Nghipunya on Monday denied holding a 50% stake in the Wanakadu Investment CC.
Nghipunya, who State advocate Cliff Lutibezi was cross-examining in his bail hearing, told the court that the agreement titled ‘Utilisation of Revenue’ could have been forged.
Wanakadu Investment cc allegedly sold dried fish to Fishcor for N$4,2 million.
“Anyone could have taken my computer and used my electronic signature to sign the MoU,” he said.
He also denied that he co-owns a company with his co-accused Phillipus Mwaapopi.
“I will never take accountability on any form of the ground on this agreement. If we look at this agreement, it is not signed by the other party. It has no date and no witnesses.”
According to the document, Mwaapopi agreed not to claim ownership in funds transferred to the company account.
It also states that the funds are not for the daily operations revenue of the company.
However, during his testimony, Nghipunya confirmed that the agreement was signed in 2016.
The signing procedure was done the same year Mwaapopi sold dried fish from the state-owned company Fishcor.
According to Lutibezi, Nghipunya had an interest in Wanakadu Investment CC, and N$1.04 million remained in the accounts of Wanakadu after the transfers.
Nghipunya said the State has been desperate to link him to certain activities by pining it to his co-accused.
“The state is doing this without pinning me to any of those misappropriations.”
During the proceedings, Nghipunya’s lawyer Phatela Thabang rejected a request on hearsay.
According to him, hearsay can only be introduced if it is not disputed.
However, Lutibezi questioned how the court would know that this evidence is disputed.
Lutibezi stands his ground to say that hearsay evidence is admissible, and it is not for the court to decide what to do with it.
“It is rather for the court to decide upon giving the ruling what weight to attach to such hearsay evidence,” he argued.
According to High Court judge Shafimana Ueitele, an applicant comes to court to prove that circumstances exist in the interest of justice for bail to be granted.
“On the evidence available and that will be led at trial, there is a possibility that the person may be convicted, and it is therefore not in the interest of justice that this person is released on bail.”
Ueitele then informed Lutibezi that he was entitled to put the question.
However, Lutibezi must identify the statement and the person who is coming to testify.
“The witness should also be given an opportunity to look at the statement,” he said.
Reading a statement by Kaisi, State advocate Cliff Lutibezi reads that N$3.1 million was paid into their account.
According to the statement, the chairman of the board of Fishcor, James Hatuikulipi, instructed for the payments to be made.
“The first payment of N$2.1 million was done on 18 July 2020, and the second payment was valued at N$1 million.”
Lutibezi asked Nghipunya to take note of the statement.
“He is asking me to note this, but if I am noting, then I should be allowed to confirm whether I am noting correctly,” Nghipunya expressed.
Lutibezi then asked Nghipunya about his name appearing on a document sent by two devices: a Samsung Galaxy A20 and a Dell PC.
Thabang then refused for his client to answer questions on devices.
“It is a serious constitutional issue which will affect the admissibility of these documents,” he said.
Thabang also indicated to the court that the documents were not before the court.
“No one is forcing him to answer any questions. He doesn’t have to answer any questions, but it cannot be prevented,” Lutibezi interferes.
Lutibezi also cross-examined Nghipunya on an agreement between Nghipunya and his co-accused Otneel Shuudifonya.
Nghipunya then stood his ground and also distanced himself from the agreement.
The bail hearing will continue on Tuesday in the Windhoek High Court.