It’s a little hard to believe, but not many predicted that the Ghana Police Service could take over news headlines and form the basis for major talking points across the country for three or so weeks continuously.
Thanks to the current Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, and his leadership, which some have been unhappy with, it has led to where the discussions currently are on the subject about the police service.
But the last 24 hours may pass for one of the most politically-tensed ones, only next to when COP George Alex Mensah, a former Director-General of Operations of the service, appeared to give his testimony to the ad hoc committee of parliament investigating the leaked audio tape in which he and some others were plotting to oust the IGP.
So, what has been happening in the last hours that is so different or unique?
First statement on interdiction of three senior officers:
Thursday, September 7, 2023, is when all the action happened, starting with a statement from the Ghana Police Service on a major action against COP George Alex Mensah, Supt George Asare, and Supt Emmanuel Gyebi.
These men, together with the former Northern Regional Chairman of New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bugri Naabu, were heard plotting against Dr. George Dampare, the IGP.
In what a number of people, including a security expert, Adib Saani, described as an ill-timed action, the Ghana Police Service issued a statement to state that it had interdicted the three police officers.
The statement, signed by the Director of Public Affairs, ACP Grace Ansah-Akrofi, said that their interdiction was due to their roles in the leaked audio tape and also to make way for disciplinary actions to be taken against them.
“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.
“The interdiction is to make way for disciplinary proceedings into their conduct in line with Police Service regulations,” the statement said.
This followed an earlier leaked internal memo sent to COP George Mensah informing him of his interdiction, as well as the directives on the things he needed to return to the police service while preparing for disciplinary action against him.
Parliamentary probe into leaked audio:
At the time the interdiction of these police officers was made, Ghana’s parliament had already been in the process of investigating the matter.
A special 7-member committee set up by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, and chaired by the Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, had already heard testimonies from the four men; the three police officers and Bugri Naabu.
The committee had adjourned as of its last sitting on Tuesday, September 5, 2023.
The major U-turn on interdiction decision:
With many already questioning why the Ghana Police Service would be making a pre-judicial decision when parliament was already investigating the details of the leaked audio tape, the service again announced another surprising decision; a revocation of their earlier interdiction.
The statement, also dated Thursday, September 7, said that while the police service wanted to initiate disciplinary processes into the involvements of the police officers, it had decided that the timing was not right, and that it would rather allow for the parliamentary process to continue first.
“In order not to prejudice the ongoing probe, the Police Administration has suspended their interdiction,” the statement, signed by ACP Grace Ansah-Akrofi, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police, said.
More rot about the operations of the Ghana Police Service:
Also, a series of new recordings have surfaced on social media heightening the controversy in the alleged plot to oust the current Inspector-General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare.
The new tapes comprising video recordings, shows the former Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Bugri Naabu, in various conversations with yet-to-be-identified individuals discussing several schemes.
In one of the videos, Bugri Naabu is captured sitting in his office where an individual is accusing him of short-changing him and others in a contract kickback scheme.
“The contract was given to Ben Kofi and Ben Kofi gave the contract to him. So, it is not that me and him we know about IGP giving him the contract. That contract didn’t come, look at what they are telling me now. This particular contract, the job was given to Ben Kofi and Ben Kofi also intend subletting it to him… so tell me, are you halting any money for me to give to the boys or what?
“Because you said you got some calls from even vice president’s office people called you. Me I don’t know how they got your number but I called your sister and your sister told me the contract was ready, they are now going to do production. Now, I went to IG (Inspector General), IG too says the contract is completed. If you don’t want trouble, bring the money for me to give to the boys. Otherwise, I cannot guarantee you, the problem can come.
“So, he told me that, today is Monday, he said today he is going to meet Ben Kofi, the person the contract was awarded to, they will discuss it and see if they can get some money,” Bugri Naabu is heard stating in one of the videos in a setting that looks like his office said to be located at Osu.