NPP Owns Up To 3 South African Mercenaries

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…But Hides Evil Intention For STL & EC Biometric Machines

The National Youth Organizer, and the Deputy Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have admitted that, the party brought in the three alleged South African mercenaries, arrested by the state security apparatus, but insisted that, their presence in Ghana, has nothing to do with subversive tendencies.

Although, both Samuel Awuku, and Perry Okudzeto, claimed that the party brought the three individuals to train NPP loyalists as security aides to the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, and his running mate; Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, The Herald’s findings reveal otherwise.

Indeed, the two NPP officers, had separately asserted that, the South Africans, were brought into Ghana, because Nana Addo, and Dr. Bawumia’s popularities, keep soaring by the day ahead of the November Presidential and Parliamentary elections, hence needed a robust security around them, especially for crowd control.

This was without the strict instruction and guidelines from the Interior Ministry, which frowns on armed training or arm handling by private security persons.

The Herald’s findings, are also that, the three retired South African police officers, picked up at Agona Duakwa in the Central Region, for allegedly engaging in activities that threaten the nation’s security, had been in Ghana before.

Further findings by this paper are that, apart from training the NPP loyalists, they were also planning to jam the information systems of the STL and Electoral Commission (EC), especially its biometric machines, on Election Day.

Their names were given as, Major Ahmed Shaik (retd), 54, Warrant Officer Denver Dwahye, 33, and Captain Mlungiseli Jokani, 45 – were picked up at the El-Capitano Hotel, where they had been based, since arriving in the country early this month.

They were said to be training some fifteen (15) young people in various security drills, including unarmed combat, weapon handling, VIP protection techniques, and rapid response manoeuvres. Also found on them, were a brief on the STL, profile of STL staff among others.

This paper’s information is that, ahead of the 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, the NPP brought in these same individuals, negotiated with them on training party folks, and also jamming the biometric machines in certain areas of the country.

Details of the meeting which included, Nana Akufo-Addo and other senior NPP officials, got leaked to the National Security establishment at the time, forcing the system to keep an eagle eye on their operations.

It was not surprising that, after the elections, Sammy Awuku and Osafo Maafo, stormed the offices of STL in Dzorwulu, wanting to ransack that office on the claim that, the Israelis, had help the NDC’s John Mahama to rig the 2012 election.

Nana Addo, Dr. Bawumia and the late Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, followed up later by going to the Supreme Court with an election petition crying a stolen verdict accusing the EC and STL of stealing the election for President Mahama and the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The arrest of the foreigners, have left many people dumbfounded, especially so as the menace of vigilantes and gangsterism is taking root in some political parties.

The police are struggling to control the activities of the Invincible Forces located at the NPP headquarters in Accra and others such as the Delta Force operating in the Ashanti Regional capital Kumasi, under the command and control of Bernard Antwi-Boasiako alias Chairman Wontumi; the Ashanti Regional NPP chairman.

But, despites these and many other facts provided by him, Sammy Awuku, speaking on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo, hosted by Kwami Sefa Kayi, could not understand why Nana Addo is being blamed for bringing a “terrorist squad” to Ghana.

The hard hitting NPP youth leader, confirmed this is not the first time such an arrangement is being made by the NPP with respect to these individual, adding as in 2012, one of them was in the country to secretly train party loyalties in a similar security tactics.

He mentioned one of the South Africans as having served as security aide to the late South African President, Nelson Mandela, as well as the ex-President, Thabo Mbeki, before retiring.

He revealed that after this particular officer retired, he set up a private security company in South Africa. Mr. Awuku, however, failed to give the name of the particular private security company, and where in South African, it could be located.

Mr. Awuku suggested that, there was nothing wrong with his party bringing in the South Africans to train its men and women for security purposes.

He disclosed his own personal security arrangements, saying he has a registered a pump action gun but the weapon means nothing to his safety and security, if he does not receive and training in weapon handling.

On his party, the NPP Deputy Director of Communications, Perry Okudzeto, has also claimed that the three former South African police officers in the grips of Ghana’s Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), were engaged by the NPP to train some party members to control crowd around the flagbearer of the party.

Responding to the claims that the three were training terrorists, Mr. Okudzeto, pointed out that the “people who are being trained are being trained for crowd control.

They are bodyguards of our presidential candidate and his running mate. They are not training them as mercenaries and [they are] not being trained illegally. This is under the auspices of a registered security company here in Ghana”.

He also debunked reports that, the NPP, had brought terrorists into the country and accused the BNI of peddling falsehood to give the party a bad name.

“The way the BNI presented the issue and the way the media presented the issue, putting a certain spin on it as if the NPP has brought terrorists into this country, is very irresponsible,” he noted.

According to him, the party followed due process in engaging the services of the foreigners to train the NPP security ahead of the 2016 general elections on November 7.

Responding to a question on whether the security company notified the Interior Ministry about the exercise involving the three South Africans coming to train the individuals, he said: “Of course they [the company] did and was up to the company [to have those details].

“There are protocols for it and of course a security firm here in Ghana that is registered and trains people regularly is the one undertaking this operation.”

He emphasized that the exercise was not meant to destabilize the security of the country.

“They are not training them on how to use arms, they are not training them to engage in any combative exercise, and it is routine,” he added.

He also disclosed that their lawyers were working on the matter.

The Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Nana Obiri Boahen, has said that linking Nana Akufo-Addo and his head of security, Captain Edmund Kojo Koda, brought in the three South Africans, who have been arrested by the BNI, is “madness”.

Referring to the claims of NDC’s Koku Anyidoho, Mr. Boahen said the NDC Deputy General Secretary’s allegations were “absurd” and “immature”.

“…Only the unrepentant immature person will draw that conclusion…the police have not done any investigations, so, it is only immature people exhibiting amateurish [behaviour], who will draw that conclusion.

“Even nursery kids will not talk that way. Let’s not rush. …It is absurdity of the highest order,” the lawyer said, and advised Mr Anyidoho to strive to speak in a manner complimentary of his (Koku’s) father’s stature as a respected senior citizen and statesman in the country.

“… To draw that conclusion is madness…even if criminals are arraigned before court, the presumption is that they are innocent until proven guilty,” Mr Boahen told Chief Jerry Forson on Accra100.5fm’s breakfast show ‘Ghana Yensom’ on Tuesday March 22.

Mr. Anyidoho, had said that the BNI will invite for questioning Captain Koda, in connection with the arrest of the three South Africans.

The Daily Graphic reported yesterday that although the suspects had initially indicated that they were training the young men for the owner of the hotel, Captain Kwesi Acquah (retd), who is also the owner of Delta Force Security Company Limited, the leader of the group, Major Hazis, was reported to have told interrogators that they were brought in by an unnamed retired military officer to train young men as bodyguards and a rapid response for some politicians and political parties.

The Daily Graphic, had quoted highly placed security sources as having revealed that Hazis, had also indicated that he was in Ghana in 2012 for similar purposes.

The sources said considering the heightened security alert, the suspects would be thoroughly interrogated.

They said a perusal of their passports also indicated that the visas issued to them were business visas.

“The visas did not entitle them to engage in any kind of contract or business as they were found to be engaged in,” one of the sources explained to the Daily Graphic.

The sources said, when a search was conducted in their rooms, a comprehensive report on the operations of Superlock Technologies Limited (STL) was found in Hazis’ possession.

The STL is the company engaged by the EC for the transmission of collated results to the EC during the 2012 general election.

They said, the document contained a detailed profile of all the workers of STL, both past and present, and identified key staff members, assessing their strengths and vulnerabilities.

The source said Hazis, denied authoring the document, but he could not explain where he got it from.

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