Why Director Was Sacked, Koku Anyidoho Arrest Blunder & Other Matters
Impeccable information picked up by The Herald, indicates that the once powerful state security and intelligence wing of the security service; the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), is on its knees and very redundant under the administration of President Nana Akufo-Addo.
The situation is being blamed on the unprecedented power play between the National Security Coordinator, Joshua Kyeremeh on one hand and the Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, on another hand.
The sad development which this paper reported in January, has to do with who is more powerful, who should control money, deploy personnel, as well as give security briefs to the President.
The once dreaded BNI, has now been reduced to nothing; it is a demoralized army, with no teeth to bite.
Insiders say, the outfit now has its intelligence officers, who hitherto went round the country nosing for secrets, gauging the popularity of government policies and fishing essential information for the government of the day, idling about.
Morale of officers are also said to be at its lowest ebb, and sources say, some are even contemplating on resigning from the service, if immediate resolution is not found.
The nonperformance of the BNI, The Herald gathered, is what led to the dismissal of its director, William Akwasi Appiah, last week by the National Security Minister, at a meeting inside the BNI headquarters at North Ridge – Accra, which lasted less than ten minutes.
Mr. Appiah, a career intelligence officer, was said to be on the side of the National Security Coordinator, who unlike the National Security Minister, has his position backed by law; the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act of1996- Act 526.
The Security Minister and his colleague Minister of State at National Security, Bryan Acheampong, are working to reduce the powers of the BNI boss to a mere desk officer at the Ministry of National Security by reviewing the law, and this is not sitting well with the personnel of the Bureau, hence the silence protests.
According to this paper’s sources, the Bureau, has been made so redundant that it is no longer used for covert and overt operations.
There is high level of mistrust among the Police, the Bureau, National Security Secretariat and the Ministry of National Security.
Koku Anyidoho’s Arrest and Police blunder
Insiders cited, the arrest of the Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Koku Anyidoho, as one of the biggest security lapses under this government, saying the operations would have ordinarily been executed by the BNI and not the Police, who used brute force in the process.
The arrest which was condemned by many, would have been an invitation if it was done by the BNI, and not the Police, who publicly embarrassed themselves and injured some party supporters and journalists, who followed Koku to the Police Headquarters to report on the issue.
The BNI, would have saved the nation the disgraceful spectacle of arrest by the Police, who stormed the International Press Centre with sophisticated guns during a press conference on Tuesday ahead of an impending demonstration to arrest Mr. Anyidoho, for allegedly making treasonable comment on radio.
The Police, numbering 15, wielding guns, were instrumented by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante Apeatu and Mr. Kan-Dapaah, who are best paddies to effect the arrest of Anyidoho.
But for the mistrust, the BNI, would have been used to invite Mr. Anyidoho or trailed him from the International Press Centre to probably his house and quietly ask him to go with them to their offices to assist them with their investigations.
This could have been performed diligently, without any show of gun power, media attention, live radio and TV report on the incident, while walking in the streets of Accra with the suspect from the International Press Centre all the way to the CID headquarters in Accra.
Dismissal of BNI Boss
Again, The Herald learnt that, the sacking of the BNI boss, had nothing to do with the leakage of pictures of former President John Mahama and Koku at the BNI cells as speculated last Thursday.
In fact, the pictures this paper was told, was taken at the offices of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police and not the BNI offices or cells.
The pictures were taken with the phone of the CID boss, Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, who had begged for a photograph with the ex-President.
It is not clear, how she did not appear in any of the pictures of Mr. Mahama and Koku in circulation, especially in social media.
The pictures were taken in her office with her phone as the NDC officials, were not allowed with their phones into the room where Mr. Anyidoho was.
Additional, The Herald learnt that, the BNI boss, was out of the country when the arrest was made and Mr. Anyidoho taken to the BNI cells.
He was called from his trip abroad to attend a meeting, it was upon arrival at the meeting that his dismissal letter was handed him by Mr. Kan-Dapaah at the BNI head office in Accra.
His meeting with the Minister, barely lasted more than 10 minutes, as nothing else was discussed. Present was the National Security Coordinator, Joshua Kyeremeh, who was reportedly shocked at the duration of the meeting, joking the meeting started and ended without prayers.
Mr. Appiah, has been replaced with one Rashid Inusah from Research Department; Ghana’s civilian foreign intelligence service under the Foreign Affair Ministry, was said to have been handpicked to head the BNI by the now National Secretary Coordinator, Mr. Kyeremeh, who was once the BNI director.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah, who seems to be winning the power tussle, is busily working to review the Security and Intelligence Services Agencies Act 1996 (Act 526) which recognizes only the Coordinator but mentions no National Security Minister.
The existing Act was said to have been drafted to favour Captain Kojo Tsikata. The once powerful man could report directly to the then President Jerry John Rawlings, hence there was no need for a National Security Minister.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah’s position is the creation of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Mr. Francis Poku, was the first man to serve as National Security Minister under ex-President John Kufuor. The position came back with the Presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo.
More to come!