Former Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has come out playing double game in the leaked audio recording, involving some senior police officers discussing a plot to remove the Inspector General of Police (IGP), George Akuffo Dampare.
Daniel Bugri Naabu, had confessed secretly taping the meeting and handing the audio to the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, to have him appreciate what the police officers were saying about the IGP as working for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, but he (Naabu) called Commander Asare, one of the officers taped by him to enquire from him, how the tape got into the media to be played on radio.
According to the NPP stalwart, Commander Asare, rather threatened to deal with him and hang up the phone on him.
Bugri Naabu, revealed that the only person he gave the tape of a recording he made during his meeting with some senior police officers, including Commander Asare, was President Nana Akufo-Addo; insisting that he did not leak the tape.
He added that, he made this move to protect the NPP from losing the 2024 elections unfairly if indeed, IGP Dampare is a member of the NDC.
He was happy about the NPP winning the Kumawu by-election, but was unhappy about the NDC’s victory at the Assin North by-election, saying that he had by now come to believe the IGP was indeed, working for the opposition party.
Speaking at a public hearing on the matter by a 7-member committee chaired by Samuel Atta Akyea set up by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, on Monday, August 28, 2023, Bugri Naabu, said that he rather called Commander Asare – not President Akufo-Addo – to find out who leaked the tape only for him to be threatened.
“I called Mr Asare and asked him who sent the tape into the public domain and he banged the phone on me. Then I called him again and he refused to talk to me.
“But rather he sent a message through my son, that he will deal with me, he threatened me,” Bugri Naabu further said.
Asked whether the police officer in question truly threatened him, the chief said; “You are right to say he was threatening me”.
Appearing as the first witness in the leaked tape saga, Bugri Naabu, explained that he recorded the conversation about the proposed plot to protect the interests of his party; the NPP.
He confirmed the authenticity of the secret tape and expressed his intention to forward it to President Akufo-Addo.
“The reason for recording this tape is that they are coming to tell me to go and tell the President something that they know they are saying, and it is either I don’t go and tell the President and then I and my party suffer for it, or if I also go to talk to the President, it is good to tell him the right thing, and since I cannot keep everything they were telling me at that point, it was very good to record and I know the President, that if I go and tell him something and it turns out not to be true, next time he won’t give me respect,” he explained to the Committee,” Bugri Naabu told the committee.
The recording features an officer who identifies himself as “Mensah”.
Their conversation revolves around plans to remove the IGP from office due to fears that he would be too firm during the 2024 elections and prevent any potential rigging.
The Commissioner of Police, who turned out to be the Director General of Operations at the Ghana Police Service, George Alex Mensah, also specifically identifies the IGP’s handling of the Assin North by-election as evidence of his commitment to ensuring free and fair elections.
The Parliament of Ghana set up a 7-member committee to conduct a probe into the leaked tape after calls by the NDC Members of Parliament. Government supporters had however stated that the allegations in the said tape should not be taken seriously because the President has no plans to change IGP.
Meanwhile, COP George Alex Mensah, along with two others are scheduled to appear before the 7-member committee tomorrow, Thursday, August 31, 2023 regarding the leaked tape
Confirming this, the chairman of the committee, who is the MP for Abuakwa South, said all three must be present on Thursday, August 31, 2023
“Our next sitting is on Thursday. COP George Alex Mensah will appear, and Superintendent Asare and Superintendent Emmanuel Gyebi will also appear. These are the three individuals who will appear on Thursday,” he said.
During the interrogation, he responded in the affirmative when the Member of Parliament for Okaikoi Central, Patrick Boamah, said that he believed the tape was recorded to protect the NPP.
He added that he made this move to protect the NPP from losing the 2024 elections unfairly if indeed, IGP Dampare is a member of the NDC.
“Mr. Chairman, I think that was my main interest; to protect the party,” he said.
The NPP former Northern Regional chairman further revealed that he recorded the conversation to hand it over to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo because he could not keep everything the police officers were discussing with him.
“… if I go to talk to the president, it is good to tell him the right thing and since I cannot keep everything, they were telling me at that point, it was very good to record them. I know the president, if I tell him something and he follows up and it is not the truth, next time, he will not give me respect.
“My only interest was to gather the information and pass it on to the president… after that, I gave the tape out to him. I gave it to the president,” he said.
The Committee is expected to submit its report on September 10.