…Secret videos, pictures and names of missing suspects out
The interdiction of the three high-ranking officers of the Ghana Police Service, namely Commissioner of Police (COP) Alex Mensah, Superintendent George Lysander Asare and Superintendent Emmanuel Eric Gyebi, has been greeted with mixed reaction, with many in the Police Service ,saying it came too late, especially when a Parliamentary Committee is investigating the matter.
It is also raising concerns among personnel with many confused as to whether the interdiction came from the Police Council or the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, who has been faulted and likely to be summoned by the Committee over the leaked audio recording involving discussions about his removal from office.
But the most interesting twist The Herald’s intelligence has picked up is that, the interdicted officers, who had opted for an in-camera hearing with the Parliamentary Committee citing national security reasons, no longer want it. They rather want a public hearing of their testimonies with their accounts televised live. They are incensed by the interdictions and might drop some bombshells of some extra judicial killings of some suspects.
What is making the interdiction of the three, a thought-provoking one in the ongoing probe, is the emergence of the two secret videos of former Northern Regional Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Daniel Bugri Naabu, with one in which he claimed that the Police administration, has been paying him GHC10, 000 as paramount chief to be an informant.
The man, who did the videos sounded angry at Bugri Naabu for shortchanging him in sharing some monies, although he had introduced Dr Dampare to the NPP stalwart ahead of him becoming Chief Constable of the Ghana Police Service.
The angry man, who had claimed to be working for President Akufo-Addo, the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, the NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako alias “Chairman Wontumi”, Captain Koda of the President’s security detail, insisted that Dampare was the one paying the GHC10, 000 to Bugri Naabu, but the NPP top man denied, saying the money was rather coming from the police service.
An equally angry Bugri Naabu retorted “he doesn’t give me GHC10, 000. It is the police. …..I receive 10,000 from the police and they told me, the security work I am doing as a paramount chief in the ..area when there is a problem, I report to them,” Bugri Naabu, said and asked the angry man to wait for something he had been assured of, but if he can’t wait but intent on destroying him, he could go ahead and do so”.
The videos emerged alongside a claim that Bugri Naabu, had gotten a contract to supply some 40,000 police boots at a cost of GHC8 million.
Again, the videos have also emerged alongside reports of some extra judicial killings by the police of some 12 persons with Nigerian names. They were said to have been arrested separately, but have since gone missing after they were sent to the National Operations Department (JOC) at Police Headquarters.
First, was a group of seven Nigerians, who were arrested at Kasoa, but had since been missing, their names were given as; Michael Eke, Chukwudi Moses, Prince John Akossey, Udoka Njoka, Nnaji Ekezie, Elachi and Nzete Chukunanu Best.
The second group of five Nigerians, including a pregnant woman were arrested over a robbery incident at Caprice, Accra.
Their names were given as Prince Anthony Chiobi, Izichuku Igwenagu, Emmanuella Chinwetalu (the pregnant lady), Ahamafula Onwukwa and Godfrey Chukuebuka, aka, Caleb. They are also said to have gone missing, however, one Ikebana, said to be the husband of Emmanuella Chinwetalu, the pregnant lady, is at large.
The leaked tape, which has been widely shared on social media and other platforms, reportedly contains conversations among the three senior police officers discussing plans and strategies related to the potential removal of the current IGP .
Ghana Police Service, had in a press statement issued on Thursday stated that “The Police Service has interdicted Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr. George Alex Mensah, Superintendent Mr Emmanuel Eric Gyebi and Superintendent Mr. George Lysander Asare in connection with the audio tape which has become a subject matter of investigation by Parliament.”
During his appearance before the parliamentary committee, COP Mensah, accused Dr Dampare, of mismanaging the Police Service, insisting that the IGP’s leadership has led to a decline in morale among police officers.
COP Mensah, also admitted to being involved in politics and working in the interest of a political party, although he did not disclose which party it was.
His comments align with similar sentiments expressed in the leaked tape, where he can be heard saying that the IGP must be removed to ensure the victory of the NPP in the 2024 elections.
However, COP Mensah, strongly refuted the authenticity of the tape, claiming that it had been doctored and did not accurately reflect the original conversation with Bugri Naabu.
Supt Asare, also noted that portions of the tape were doctored and accused the IGP of plotting the audio recording when he appeared before the committee.
The investigation into the leaked audio, however, took a new turn on Monday after a fresh tape emerged.
This revelation came to light after COP George Mensah and Supt. George Asare, testified that portions of the original tape in evidence were doctored.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee probing the incident, Samuel Atta Akyea, disclosed this information to the media after Monday’s proceedings.
He stated that the committee would decide whether to hold an in-camera hearing or not, based on the evidence presented.
The Chairman went on to explain that the committee would listen to the tape and read the transcript to determine the next steps.
He added that they may call on all stakeholders to attend a hearing with their lawyers for cross-examination and cross-firing to take place.
However, the committee will also be cautious of national security implications and may hold an in-camera hearing for sensitive matters.
“We have the benefit of a tape, on the assumption that it’s authentic. Members of the committee will have to listen to the tape and read the transcript, which will give us ideas on what to do next. First of all, do we bring all the stakeholders together with their lawyers for cross-examination and cross-firing to take place, while listening attentively? And then, after they have finished, will we have our turn?”
“And then, are there matters which should not come into the public domain because of national security implications? So we will hold a long in-house or in-camera hearing, and then we will make some sense of it. This is how we are going to proceed. We will be guided strongly by the fact that this is not a simple exercise and that not everything should be fed to the public.”
The sitting has been adjourned indefinitely while the committee deliberates on the way forward. The development of a new tape has introduced an interesting twist to the investigation.
The public awaits the outcome with bated breath as there are national security implications to be considered.
Meanwhile, a Security analyst, Emmanuel Kotin, has described the interdiction of the three police officers accused of plotting to oust the IGP, as premature.
Mr Kotin, believes that these officers were interdicted solely for allegedly tarnishing the image of the Inspector General of Police and called for a fair handling of the matter.
“I think the decision is premature because if you look at the people involved in the leaked tape, it involves directly the personality of the IGP, so if these police officers are to be interdicted, then it is fair that the IGP equally part ways, so that we can have a very independent investigation into this matter.”
“Why will these officers be interdicted at this time? Why were they not interdicted at the time the tape came out such that we have confidence in the system that indeed, they were keen to get to the bottom of the matter?”
Emanuel Kotin, further urged President Akufo-Addo, to establish an independent committee to investigate the matter to establish clarity.
“I will call on the president to intervene and widen the scope of the ad-hoc committee of Parliament [probing the matter] because their terms of reference do not go far because they don’t have prosecutorial powers and the president should form an independent commission to probe all the allegations that have been raised.”