The Minority in Parliament is urging the government to thoroughly investigate a leaked tape which suggests that the government is seeking to rig the upcoming general elections, following a planned removal of the Inspector General of Police (IGP0, Dr George Akuffo Dampare.
In response to these claims, the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, strongly refuted allegations of a clandestine scheme to oust the IGP, from his position prior to the 2024 general elections.
A leaked tape has surfaced involving a high-ranking police officer and a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), aimed at removing the IGP for one Commission of Police (COP) George Alex Mensah to replace him.
The most vocal person on the audio directly addressed someone who sounded like Bugri Naabu, the NPP bigwig, insisting he was more than qualified as an MP.
The COP George Alex Mensah, appeared present in the meeting but did not author a word. But he was said to be ready to doll out money to the man suspected to be Bugri Naabu to lobby people for the IGP to be removed.
Names mentioned on the tape, were those of Joe Osei Owusu, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai and First Deputy Speaker of Parliament. He was said to be ready to relinquish the seat in Bekwai for the police officer who is a lawyer and a chartered accountant to become an MP.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, ex-Presidents, Jerry John Rawlings, John Mahama, ex-Police Chief, Nathan Kofi Boakye, the Special Prosecutor, John Boadu, the ex-NPP General Secretary, Paul Adom-Okyere of Metro TV, Jerry Ahmed of the Coastal Development, Elizabeth Sackey, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (Accra) boss, Ga Mantse Kelvin and Nii Adortey Otintor II of Sempe, were mentioned on the tape.
The motive behind this plot, appears to be the concern that Dr Dampare could impede efforts to rig the 2024 general elections. The NPP has been unhappy with the IGP over the security measures he put in place during the recent by-election at Assin North in the Central Region.
Addressing a press conference in Parliament yesterday, Ambrose Dery, dismissed the allegations, urging the public to disregard them as baseless and unfounded.
Earlier, the Ranking Member on the Defense and Interior Committee of Parliament, James Agalga, said such comments pass for treason hence the need for urgent action to be taken by the government to deal with the concern.
“The actions of the one behind the audio for me pass for treason. And this matter must be dealt with as such. It is an attempt to subvert the will of the people in 2024. Such conducts can compromise the security of our country because if the people exercise their sovereign will in 2024 and anybody attempts to stand in the way of our people, clearly we are not going to allow that to happen,” he stated.
Mr Agalga, urged the interior minister to take steps immediately to investigate the matter and bring the persons involved to book and not just refute the claim and end it there.
The IGP, since the Assin North by-election, has been affiliated to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), on the tape, the people concluded that the NPP’s “Breaking the 8” agenda will be impossible with Dampare at the helm of the police.
“Alhaji, my only problem… this current IGP, if we do a mistake and take him to the elections, it will not help us. It will not help us at all and I will not mind if the position is not given to me, but that man is changed; because he will not help us, he will not help us at all… he won’t help the party at all.
“I know there are others who are also good for this position, if I don’t get and this man is changed and those people that we think they are our men get I (it is ok)t… Because we need to break this 8. That is important, we need to break the 8… Because I wouldn’t want doctor to become the flagbearer and then we lose the elections… ” one of the senior officers told the senior NPP member who is believed to be a former regional chairman of the party and now a traditional ruler.
The senior police officer ,who seemed interested in the IGP position but would not mind losing as far as a pro-NPP IGP is installed, went on to admit that elections sometimes require machinations to win.
“This IGP is not correct, he won’t help us. Alhaji you have done politics, you know elections is not… sometimes elections mafia work is inside,” he stated to which the party guru concurred saying “not just sometimes, mafia work is inside. As for elections mafia work is involved.”
Citing the recent by-election in Assin North, the senior officer complained bitterly about Dr Dampare’s security arrangement, noting how it went against the NPP.
He alleged that Dr Dampare is an NDC person who was given promotions during NDC governments and served as aide-de-camp to late President John Evans Atta Mills.
“Alhaji whatever we need to do to get somebody else to supervise these elections (2024) we need to do. Because as we speak, this IGP is not fine with the military, he is fighting with the army. You find out, if any army officer is your friend, you call him and ask him that how do you see this IGP. He has been arresting military cars; commanders’ cars,” he said.
He further revealed that Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia who is a flagbearer hopeful of the NPP was not in favour of Dr Dampare becoming the IGP and that the two have a frosty relationship.
“If you find out yourself, he is not in good terms with Dr Bawumia… find out if you are close to Dr Bawumia because he knows that Dr Bawumia did not recommend him as IGP… Dr Bawumia knows that if we take him to elections we’ll have difficulties,” he stated.
The senior party member expressed concern about how the matter has not been brought to the attention of leading members of the party and the government, but was informed by the senior officer that such attempts have proved futile.
He further revealed that Dr Dampare enjoys the support of some close relatives of the president, including his executive secretary Nana Asante Bediatuo and Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko.
The party official, who was surprised by the information noted that having a fovourable security service has a major role to play in winning the elections, stating that “without them we can’t do anything.”
GhanaWeb’s sources in the security sector reveal that the tape secret recordings which include videos some of which border on grave national security issues, have been brought to the attention of the powers that be.
“There are even video recordings but due to national security issues they are being withheld,” the source disclosed.
Other portions of the recording include plans by the cabal to push their agenda through various fronts including spiritual means.
The former NPP party chairman at a point received a call which he informed his guests was from the president.
Meanwhile the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Wa West Constituency and a retired police officer, Peter Toobu, is urging Ghanaians and the IGP to disregard a leaked tape that suggests the government is planning to rig the 2024 elections.
In an interview with Citi FM, Mr Toobu, advised Ghanaians to shift their focus to more meaningful matters and avoid wasting time investigating the claims made in the tape or attempting to identify the individuals.
“I am saying that it is below the IGP’s response and I think that if someone is trying to do all kinds of things to let them fire the IGP and it becomes public knowledge, it means that the trap has been revealed. So I think that as a nation we should just let it slide.”
“We should not waste precious time investigating unethical stuff that has the potential to dent our democracy when in fact it has been revealed and they can no longer do it,” he stated.
He, however, described the tape as despicable and has the intention to paint the Ghana Police Service (GPS) black, if attention is paid to it.
“What we have gotten from the tape is disgraceful, shameful, and very unethical. If we give an ear to such things we will destroy the police institution,” he noted.
He maintained that there is no such plot against the Inspector General of Police, emphasizing the importance of upholding the integrity and independence of the police force during the electoral process.
“Tapes will be useful if they relate to a crime, but otherwise No. But I haven’t made that determination whether this is criminal or not. Let me make it absolutely clear that this government is not going to tamper with the 2024 elections. The president does not want to stay one more hour beyond his term. We also want to make sure that we have a free and fair election,” he said.