‘Kokonsa’ Police Chiefs To Be Grilled Today
…Over Leaked ‘IGP Tape’
Three top police chiefs, embroiled in a leaked tape, allegedly plotting to have the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, removed will have their day, with the Samuel Atta Akyea-led seven-member ad-hoc committee later today.
The committee, sanctioned by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, on Monday August 28, heard its first witness, a former Northern Regional chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Daniel Bugri Naabu, disclosing the identity of the men in uniform.
Mr. Bugri Naabu, singing like a canary bird, among others, named the three officers as Commissioner of Police (COP) George Alex Mensah, who is Director General of Operations; Superintendent Asare and one Superintendent Emmanuel Gyebi at the headquarters in Accra, as the main architects of the plot.
He revealed that, COP Mensah is currently on leave, ahead of his retirement from the police service.
They will be expected to tell the committee, which telecasts its sitting live, what they know about the explosive tape.
The embattled police officers, who it appears wanted the IGP job for their preferred colleague desperately, had wanted to use the traditional ruler and influential Northern Region politician as a conduit for their agenda.
They had emphasized that failure to get Dr.Dampare ousted will spell doom for the governing party’s ‘break the 8’ mantra, going into the 2024 elections.
“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 should be 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)… 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 elder of the party.
The police chief had also claimed in the tape that Dr.Dampare was in bed with former President John Mahama, who they alleged has promised to maintain him as IGP in the event that the NDC wins next year’s general election.
Confirming their appearance for today, the chairman of the committee, Samuel Atta Akyea, after the first day of hearing, said all three must be present on this Thursday.
“Our next sitting is on Thursday. COP George Alex Mensah will appear. Superintendent Asare and Superintendent Emmanuel Gyebi will also appear. These are the three individuals who will appear on Thursday,” the Abuakwa South parliamentarian stressed.
The NPP heavyweight said that, prior to the recording of the conversation, which transpired at his office, near the Osu Police station in Accra, he had an encounter with the officers and so prepared himself by acquiring a recording device at the Accra Mall.
While defending his recording of the conversation, Bugri Naabu also noted that the information Commander Asare, COP Mensah and Superintendent Gyebi were providing frightened him to the extent that it made his “anus shake.”
“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.
Aside from denying any involvement in the leakage of the tape, the former Northern Regional chairman of the NPP, who is now a paramount chief, said he has been threatened by a son of COP Asare for bringing disgrace to them.
The politician told the committee that, after the tape was leaked last month, he had sought to call COP Asare to inquire how the tape got leaked because, to the best of his knowledge, he shared it with only President Akufo-Addo.
But to his dismay, he said, the police chief after recognizing him as the one on the phone banged it on him. “Subsequently, every attempt to call him failed, he pointed out, adding that later COP Asare’s son rather called his son and threatened to deal with him, Bugri Naabu.
Last month, the content of the leaked tape generated a national discussion considering the explosive nature of the conversation with senior police officers involved.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, had led the charge by filing an urgent statement on the floor, calling for an investigation into it.
Speaker then set up the committee, chaired by Mr. Atta Akyea, deputized by the Builsa North MP and a former Deputy Minister for the Interior, James Agalga, to delve into the matter.
The committee consists of three Members of Parliament from each side of the house, along with the assistance of a technical expert to support their work.
It has the mandate to investigate both the authenticity of the leaked tape and the intricate allegations that have captured the nation’s attention. But before they even started their work, Bugri Naabu confirmed the authenticity of the tape in an earlier interview with Kumasi-based Oyerepa Television, after his secretary and another person were picked up by the National Investigations Bureau (NIB).
The committee is to submit its report on September 10.