Ghana’s National Security establishment, has suffered yet another embarrassing spectacle with the arrest of an operative as a member of a gang of robbers known to have been terrorizing residents of Weija and its environs.
It is becoming clear that, the government’s continuous cover-up of criminal activities by its armed operatives at National Security, is coming back to haunt it rather hard.
Suspect Joseph Arkoh, was arrested together with three others, after they broke into the residence of their victims at Ajasco Red Top, Kokrobite, and made away with their personal effects on Thursday, November 18, 2021.
Speaking in an interview with Starr FM, the Director of Public Affairs-Police Service, Supt Alexander Obeng, stated that investigations, have so far confirmed the status of Joseph Arkoh, as a National Security Operative.
So far, The Herald has counted at least six criminal incidents, in which operatives of the National Security, have been involved in, but were neither prosecuted in the court of law or publicly punished to serve as deterrent to other operatives.
The incidents, include an armed robbery which occurred in East Legon, Accra where a Police officer and two National Security operatives, were arrested for robbing a man of a sum of GH¢5,650, which he had withdrawn from an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
The incident occurred on Saturday, January 13, 2021, when the victim, identified as Emmanuel David, went to withdraw money from the adb Bank ATM at Ring Road Central Branch. After taking the money, he was crossed by the suspects who forced him into their Toyota Corolla vehicle.
The suspects succeeded in taking the money from him, then proceeded to push him out of the car near East Airport.
But Emmanuel David, did not relent and secretly followed the suspects in a taxi.
He then raised an alarm when he chanced upon a Police vehicle being driven by COP Rev. David Nenyi Ampah-Bennin.
The suspects, were chased and arrested, but one of them managed to escape.
Upon thorough search, it was uncovered that the suspects were Nathaniel Akomeah, a police officer and two other persons, Francis Amoako and Richard Boateng, believed to be National Security operatives.
Meanwhile, the cash stolen from the victim, has been retrieved.
The suspects were never prosecuted or publicly punished, at least Ghanaians did not hear of any punishment being meted to them.
In May, this year, the Eastern Regional Police Command, transferred 20 National Security operatives to the National Police Headquarters in Accra for further probe.
The suspects were arrested by some youth for allegedly engaging in illegal mining in the Atewa forest. They were arrested at Akyem Akanteng, in the West Akyem municipality of the Eastern Region.
The suspects were initially questioned at the Eastern Regional Police Command before they were brought to Accra for further interrogation.
A press release signed by the Minister of Information, Kwadwo Oppong Nkrumah, indicated that these suspects together with a contractor had been remanded and due to be arraigned before court.
This follows an investigation by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) that claimed that the heavily armed suspects were not national security operatives as purported by them.
The suspects who were wearing military uniforms, according to the Kade District manager of the forestry Commission, had invaded the reserve in Akyem-Akateng onboard a Toyota Land Cruiser V8 with sophisticated rifles on the dawn of under the guise of clamping down on illegal miners.
However, upon a thorough investigation, the suspects named a staff worker as the mastermind behind the illegality.
After this press statement, nothing has been heard since then.
Recently, Serwaa Broni, a Ghanaian lady based in Canada, made damning claims about President Akufo-Addo on social media.
In a Facebook live on Monday, October 25, 2021, Serwaa Broni, accused the president of causing her trauma, because he had used operatives of the National Security, to threaten her life after his attempts to have an affair with her failed.
Serwaa, said National Security operatives in 2019, under the command of Hopeson Adorye, who was serving at the Airport as rep of the national security, were gotten to stage a robbery attack on her and her friend, just to get her phone and other gadgets in a desperate attempt to erase any trace of communications, videos and audio between her and the president.
The ‘robbery’ episode, which occurred on the Tema Aflao Highway near Central University, Serwaa added, had given her Posttraumatic Stress Disorder which she is still treating.
The government had used the same operative in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election. They fired gunshots and physically assaulted many people, leaving them wounded and hospitalized. A commission of enquiry led by Justice Emily Short, had its report rejected by President Akufo-Addo. They were not punished over the incident, although it was recommended.
But the Weija incident, involving the National Security operatives, is the second reported incident to have happened in that area.
In May 2018, The Herald reported that Captain Koda, who serves as a top security aide to President Akufo-Addo, is reported to have been attacked by armed robbers who made away with some GHC800,000.
The robbers were said to have expressed shock, seeing the amount of money the ex-army captain was keeping at home. The robbers were said to have daringly identified themselves as members of the pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) Invincible Forces, sections of the paper read.
The newspaper publication, further stated that the governing NPP government wanted to cover up the incident to save face. However, speaking on Pace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, Captain Koda, strongly rejected such claims, insisting he was never robbed.
Speaking on last week’s incident, the Director of Public Affairs-Police Service, Supt Alexander Obeng, served notice that the police administration, will not countenance security personnel engaging in criminal activities and will make sure culpable persons face the law.
“It’s already been confirmed that one of the arrested is a National Security Operative.”
“You cannot hide behind acrobatics, the law does not exempt anybody from criminal prosecution. Crime doesn’t pay. If you’re a compatriot, you better deliver a service that the general public approves rather than being a worker of crime. This is a clear indication to miscreants to refrain from committing crimes. The Police are ready and will not be perturbed,” he said.
Superintendent Obeng added that “it is important that it is reinforced that it doesn’t matter your profession, the position you occupy now, in the future or in the past. If you don’t comply with the criminal code of Act 29 of 1960 and you commit any crime you will have your day in court,” he added.
Benjamin Otoo alias Dada Joe, Tony Mensah Yedu alias Big Joe, Bismark Asabree alias Dagbano and Nana Yaw Arko, reportedly broke into their victims’ residence and forcibly made away with their three laptops, an iPhone 8 plus, three Infinix smartphones and Techno Cammon 7.
Others were 1 Bluetooth speaker, an extension board, 3 phone chargers, 2 laptop chargers together with an unspecified amount of money.
Police after receiving a report of the incident mounted an 8-hour long special intelligence-led operation that led to the arrest of Benjamin Otoo, Tony Mensah Yedu and Bismark Asabree at their hideouts at Ajasco Red Top and New Aplaku on Saturday, November 20, 2021.
According to a police statement released on November 22, 2021, “suspect, Bismark Asabree later led the Police to arrest suspect Nana Yaw Arko, from his hideout at Labadi.
A search on them led to the retrieval of 20 assorted phones, a taxi cab, 3 laptops, 1 motorbike, 1 locally manufactured pistol, a police vest, 1 Gota and 14 assorted wristwatches.”
By Alfred Dogbe