2 Senior police officers referred to Privileges Committee

The special committee of inquiry set up to probe the conspiracy to remove the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) from office has referred two of the high-ranking police officers involved in the matter to the Privileges Committee of Parliament for appropriate action.

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The committee said the two officers acted in contempt of Parliament, an act that sought to undermine the authority of the House when they appeared before it and lied under oath.

The two officers are Superintendent George Lysander Asare and Superintendent Eric Emmanuel Gyebi. Together with the Commissioner of Police (COP) George Alex Mensah, they were allegedly captured in an audio recording plotting to remove the IGP, Dr George Akuffo-Dampare, from office.

The referral was one of the key recommendations contained in the report of the committee.

Contempt

In the view of the committee which was chaired by the NPP MP for Akyem Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, the three officers engaged in acts that sought to undermine the authority of Parliament.

It said Supt Gyebi, during his testimony under oath on August 31, 2023, denied ever speaking to Chief Bugri Naabu directly on his phone or on the phone of Supt Asare. However, when he appeared before the committee again on October 10, 2023, he changed his earlier testimony and affirmed that he indeed spoke to Chief Bugri Naabu on phone.

Supt Asare, the report said, while answering a question under oath posed by a member of the committee, Peter Lanchene Toobu, on September 4, 2023, on whether he was present when Chief Bugri Naabu spoke to Supt Eric Emmanuel Gyebi on phone, also responded in the negative.

However, he changed his initial response to this question to the affirmative when he appeared before the committee on October 10, 2023. In this instance, he said: “Hon Chairman, I want to change my answer to ‘I was there when they spoke’ because that time the question was not all that straight forward."

“The committee is of the view that Supt Asare and Supt Gyebi appeared to have acted in contempt of Parliament pursuant to Order 30 of the Standing Orders of Parliament (2000) as revised by Order 31 (f} of the Standing Order of Parliament (2024).

Order 30 states that “Any of the following acts or conduct constitutes contempt of Parliament or breach of parliamentary privilege: submission of false, perverted, misleading, distorted, fabricated or scandalous statements in Parliament or before a Committee of Parliament”.

During the probe, the committee received as evidence two audio recordings that contained the conversation among Bugri Naabu and the three police officers. Per the report, the first audio recording before the committee which gained widespread public attention after going viral was not the full rendition of the conversations that took place among Chief Bugri Naabu, CoP Mensah, Supt Asare and Supt Gyebi.

There was a second audio recording/tape which was a continuation of the first audio recording/tape which together with the first audio contained the full conversations that transpired among Chief Bugri Naabu and the officers.

2nd audio

The second audio recording was provided to the committee by Bugri Naabu on a flash drive.  The testimonies of Bugri Naabu, CoP Mensah and Supt Asare authenticated the audio recordings/tapes, the report said.

“There was an attempt by CoP Mensah, Supt Asare and Supt Gyebi to conspire and cause the removal of the IGP for which they, CoP Mensah and Supt Asare, solicited the assistance of Chief Bugri Naabu to have the President act in that regard,” it said.

It said the conspiracy by Bugri Naabu, CoP Mensah, Supt Asare and Supt Gyebi to remove the IGP, based purely on partisan considerations, could undermine free, fair and transparent elections and, ultimately, the sanctity of Ghana’s democracy.

“The act of conspiring to replace the IGP by CoP Mensah, Supt Asare and Supt Gyebi was political, unprofessional and an act of indiscretion as serving officers.

Undermining of Parliament

In the view of the committee, the following actions sought to undermine the authority of Parliament. “The committee is of the view that Supt Asare and Supt Gyebi appeared to have acted in contempt of Parliament pursuant to Order 30 of the Standing Orders of Parliament (2000) as revised by Order 31 (f} of the Standing Order of Parliament (2024) which states that “Any of the following acts or conduct constitute contempt of Parliament or breach of parliamentary privilege: submission of false, perverted, misleading, distorted, fabricated or scandalous statements in Parliament or before a Committee of Parliament”.

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