As election 2016 draws closer, accusations, insults, intimidations, and lies, have taken front seat in the quest for power, mainly between the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). Read on:
Three former South African policemen were arrested March 20 in the Central Region of Ghana by the Bereau of National InvestigationS (BNI),
allegedly for illegally training fifteen private security personnel of the NPP, the major political opposition party to engage in acts of terrorism. Also, picked up were two former Ghanaian military men, Capt Edmund Kojo Koda and Capt Kwesi Acquah. The three South Africans were arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court March 24, pleaded not guity, and each was granted a bail in the sum of GHC20,000 with one surety and ordered to reppear in Court April 12. However, the BNI defied the Court’s bail granting and locked the three up. Ghana woke up March 29 to discover than the three had been deported to South Africa.
Below, we bring you a Press Release of Ghana’s Ministry of Interior, and a counter Press Release by the attorneys of the deported trio.
ARREST OF THREE (3) SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONALS
1. Three (3) South-African Nationals namely, Ahmed Shaik HAZIS, Denver Dwayne NAIDU and Mlungiseleli JOKANI were arrested on 20/03/16 at EL CAPITANO Hotel at AGONA DUAKWA in the Central Region by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI). They were arrested while training fifteen (15) men in various security drills.
2. Two (2) of the suspects, JOKANI and NAIDU arrived in the country on 14/03/16 on South-African passport numbers A05213410 and M00096231 respectively. HAZIS arrived on 05/03/16 with Passport Number M00052092. HAZIS has visited Ghana several times between 2012 and 2016. They came into the country on B1 visas (temporary visas) for business.
3. The three (3) trainers revealed that they are retired police officers of the South-African Police Force. Mr. HAZIS is employed by iMvula Quality Protection as Director of Operations. NAIDU and JOKANI are employed by GLAEXEC Protection Services (GPS) (PTY Limited) of South-Africa as Directors.
4. A comprehensive report on the operations of Superlock Technologies Limited (STL) and an assessment of some key staff’s vulnerability for possible compromise was retrieved from HAZIS’S room. STL is the company contracted by the Electoral Commission to transmit tallied election results.
5. HAZIS denied authoring the document but indicated that it was given to him by DANI ISAACA, an Israeli based in South- Africa. HAZIS claimed he had not read the document which had been in his possession for about three (3) weeks. During interrogation it was evident that he was conversant with the content of the document.
6. The suspects denied that they were invited by Captain Kwesi ACQUAH, owner of Delta Force Security. However, all items for the training were shipped in the name of Delta Force Security and his hotel, El Capitano was used for the training. Captain Acquah was released from the Ghana Army in 1980.
7. HAZIS, the leader of the team, revealed that Captain Edmund Kojo KODA, Head of Nana Akufo ADDO’s Personal Security, who was in the Ghana Army at the same time as Captain Acquah, contracted him to train the Flagbearer’s Security detail and he in turn engaged the other two (2). He also disclosed that he was in the country in 2012 and worked closely with Captain KODA during the 2012 elections. As a young officer, Captain Koda had been involved in the AFRC regime. Following accusations of corruption he was convicted together with a colleague and incarcerated in the Ussher Fort Prison. They subsequently escaped during a jail break and went into exile outside Ghana.
8. Captain Koda’s current arrest comes on the heels of a previous security alert in 2014, after his name popped up in a National Security investigation of the activities of some Serbian nationals who were brought into the country to train selected people drawn from across the country in the art of civil insurrection. A training dubbed “Assaulting the pillars of power”.
9. During interrogation, Captain ACQUAH denied the claim that he invited the South Africans but indicated that Captain KODA requested to use his facility (EL CAPITANO Hotel) for the training of his personnel. He also indicated that it was purely a business arrangement with Captain KODA and nothing else. CAPTAIN KODA on his part confirmed that he invited the suspects to train his personnel. Captain KODA conceded that with hindsight he should have sought permission from the authorities before engaging in that exercise.
10. A review of the visa applications submitted by the three (3) South Africans revealed that two (2) of the suspects (JOKANI and NAIDU) were invited by Dr. Daniel MCKORLEY, Chairman, McDan Group of Companies while HAZIS was invited by Nana Attobrah QUAICOE, Director of Danquah Institute (DI). Efforts to reach the two gentlemen for questioning have so far not been successful.
11. Both Captains KODA and ACQUAH have been granted police inquiry bail pending further investigation.
12. On 23/03/16, the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) started an investigation into the immigration status of the three (3) accused persons and requested the BNI to hand them over for further action. They were therefore released on 24/03/16 to the GIS as requested. Meanwhile, in line with regular practice the GIS requested that the BNI provide custody of the suspects.
13. During the course of investigation, the following places were searched: Captain KODA’s residence, Captain ACQUAH’s residence and Hotel El Capitano.
14. The security agencies of Ghana can assure the citizenry, political stakeholders and all who deem themselves to be high value targets to be assured of the commitment of the security agencies and government to provide the required and utmost security as has been exhibited since the commencement of our current democratic dispensation. Should the need arise for any stakeholder to opt for private security as we have witnessed under this index case, we strongly advise that the mandatory legal processes are followed and exhausted. The peace, security and stability of our dear nation and its people shall always remain paramount to government.
PROSPER D.K. BANI
MINISTER FOR THE INTERIOR
RESPONSE TO STATEMENT BY PROSPER BANI, MINISTER FOR INTERIOR
The attention of Captain Edmund Koda (rtd) has been drawn to a statement released in the evening of Monday, March 28, by the Minister for Interior, Propser Bani, titled “Arrest of 3 South African Nationals”.
In the era where the Mahama Government continues to justify the unjustifiable, and our security agencies blatantly flout an order of the court, we are not surprised that a Minister, who is mandated to ensure internal security, as well as the maintenance of law and order in the country, would also join the fray and spew palpable falsehoods in the bid to link the NPP and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to violence.
The following false statements were made by the Minister which we wish to correct:
Bani: “As a young officer, Captain Koda had been involved in the AFRC regime. Following accusations of corruption he was convicted together with a colleague and incarcerated in the Ussher Fort Prison.”
Fact: Yes, Captain Edmund Koda was involved in the uprising of June 4, 1979, which brought the AFRC regime into power. He was a member of the pre-trial investigation team. He and other members of the team were accused of having embezzled funds and were tried twice on the same charges by the ‘People’s Court’. On both occasions, Captain Koda was acquitted and discharged. He was, however, imprisoned in the Ussher Fort prison. Indeed, the Chairman of the AFRC, Flt. Lt. J.J Rawlings demanded their release in November 1979, a request which was refused by the Liman government. Captain Koda, and his other colleagues, eventually broke jail and sought political asylum in the United Kingdom. The Francois Commission, headed by Appeal Court Judge, Justice Francois, was set up to investigate the jail break. At the hearings of the Commission, Squadron Leader Dagbe, the President of the People’s Court, admitted that Captain Koda had been acquitted and discharged at the trial on the charges of “embezzlement”. Captain Koda has never been convicted of corruption as is being claimed by the Minister of Interior. Refer to Francois Commission report which is available at the Supreme Court Library. Perhaps, it is equally unsurprising that a simple check of official records to confirm basic facts is also fraught with incompetence.
Bani: “Captain Koda’s current arrest comes on the heels of a previous security alert in 2014, after his name popped up in a National Security investigation of the activities of some Serbian nationals who were brought into the country to train selected people drawn from across the country in the art of civil insurrection. A training dubbed “Assaulting the pillars of power”.
Fact: This is the most ludicrous of all the statements made by the Interior Minister. For the avoidance of doubt, Captain Koda did not meet any Serbian in 2014 or any other time, let alone engage the services of Serbian nationals, or any other persons, to train Ghanaians in the art of “civil insurrection”, which is a treasonable offence. The only Serbian Captain Koda knows is the former coach of the Black Stars. Is it not curious that Captain Koda, since 2014, has been walking a free man and has not been invited for questioning by National Security or the BNI on this serious charge? Is the Minister saying that our country’s security would allow a man who has attempted to destabilize the country walk free? Indeed, Captain Koda was in the custody of the BNI? Why was he not charged or questioned on this Serbian issue? Why did he only learn of this matter from the Minister’s statement?
This is not the kind of conduct expected from a Minister of Interior. We are surprised that a high ranking member of government would lend himself to being used for this kind of propaganda. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. The Mahama government is obsessed with trying to tag the NPP, and, indeed, Nana Akufo-Addo, with violence, with no shred of evidence. Indeed, the terrorists and mercenaries which this government claimed had been imported by the NPP have been deported during the pendency of the case and without being subjected to trial.
Nana Akufo-Addo has spent his adult life fighting, not with weapons of destruction or war, but his courage, his patriotism, his mouth, his sense of justice, and his love for freedom, democracy and development in Ghana. No amount of propaganda can take away that fact.
We continue to urge the people of Ghana to ignore the claims made by the Minister of Interior against Captain Koda as merely coming from a desperate government clutching at any and everything to advance a dubious and ultimately embarrassing, self-defeating political agenda.
Nana Asante Bediatuo
Lawyer for Captain Koda (0244349797)