Leaked tape on IGP’s removal: Tape is authentic, contains my voice - Bugri Naabu reveals
The former Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Daniel Bugri Naabu, has authenticated the leaked tape containing a discussion on plans to remove the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, from office.
He said he deliberately recorded the conversation so he could submit it to the President after he became alarmed by issues concerning the loyalty of the IGP to the government.
He made the revelation when he appeared before the seven-member committee of Parliament tasked to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the tape.
The Chairman of the committee, Samuel Atta Akyea, asked Mr Naabu if he was connected with the tape, and he responded, “yes, my voice is there”.
The committee, which is also charged to investigate a conspiracy to remove the IGP, had played the entire tape for Mr Naabu, who is also the Paramount Chief of Namong Traditional Area in the North East Region and a council member of the NPP, and his counsel, Raymond Donyo, to either authenticate or deny the voices captured on the tape.
Senior police officers
The Chairman of the committee asked Mr Naabu to also identify the other persons he engaged in the conversation which supposedly took place in his office located directly opposite the Osu Police Station in Accra.
Mr Naabu named the people as Commander Asare and Commissioner of Police (COP) Mensah, two senior police officers who were based at the Police Headquarters.
He said COP Mensah was currently on leave prior to retirement from the Ghana Police Service.
Asked if he had met the two officers prior to the conversation, Mr Naabu said he did not know them.
He, however, told the committee that prior to the Assin North by-election on June 27, 2023, one of his sons told him that one police officer wanted to meet him (Mr Naabu) at his office for reasons he did not know.
He said later on, Commander Asare went to Mr Naabu’s house to introduce himself as a police commander, and wanted him (Mr Naabu) to talk to the President over concerns about the IGP.
“Commander Asare said the IGP is not with the government or the NPP, and if we want to use the IGP for 2024 elections, we cannot ‘break the eight’ because this IGP will let us lose the election because he is an NDC (sympathiser).
“This is because the IGP was promoted so many times during the NDC era, still goes for NDC meetings and former President John Mahama has promised to maintain him if he (Mahama) wins the 2024 elections,” he said.
He said Commander Asare told him that although they had sent many people to the President to change the IGP, the President was not interested in doing so.
Consequently, he said, Commander Asare wanted he (Mr Naabu) to use his influence to convince the President about the IGP, who had been regarded as a former aide-de-camp to former President John Evans Atta Mills.
Mr Naabu told the committee that Commander Asare informed him that if the NPP allowed the IGP, who had deployed commissioners of police who were affiliated with the NDC to Assin North to go and supervise security for the by-election, the NPP would lose the election.
Based on the fear Commander Asare expressed to him, Mr Naabu said he became so scared of NPP losing the by-election with the presence of the IGP in Assin North.
He, however, assured Commander Asare that he would go and put the concerns before the President, and rescheduled the meeting between them.
At the next meeting, he said, Commander Asare told him that he had another senior police officer who was more qualified and a true member of the NPP who could take over from the IGP, to meet him (Mr Naabu).
Later on, he said, Commander Asare introduced COP Mensah, whom he had known before, to him.
Motive for recording conversation
Mr Naabu said being scared of the government and NPP having an IGP who could hold meetings with the flag bearer of the NDC, he rescheduled to meet the two police officers another time while he consulted other persons on how best he could pass on the information to the President.
He said it was then that COP Mensah told him that he could also introduce to him another senior police – known to him only as J.B. – who could confirm all the negative information about the IGP.
In a bid to gather more information, Mr Naabu said he called J.B. and arranged to go with him to the Jubilee House at 3 p.m. on a Sunday.
Unfortunately, he said, J.B. failed to meet him at Afrikiko Restaurant in Accra on grounds that he had travelled for a programme in the Eastern Region.
“I was so disappointed and so I decided that I need to get the information properly, and the proper way was to look for a tape recorder to tape all that we have been discussing so that when I send it to the President or anybody, they cannot deny it or that somebody will think that I am concocting this.
“We, chiefs, do not like lies because if I tell a lie, I will die.
So, the truth of this is that the tape is correct,” he said.
He said after recording the two men, he confidentially handed over the tape to only the President.
Quizzed on why he decided to record a private conversation with the police officers, he said he was worried about fears the two police officers expressed, particularly with regard to the NPP potentially losing the Assin North by-election.
A member of the committee, Ophelia Mensah, asked Mr Naabu if he did the recording himself but he answered in the negative.
He told the committee that he requested someone who knew how to record to come over to his house and record the conversation for him.
He said the two gadgets he used for the recording were purchased at one of the shopping malls.
He explained that his main interest in recording the conversation was to protect the NPP party.
I didn’t leak tape
Questioned if he leaked the tape, Mr Naabu said he never gave out the tape to anyone except the President.
He, therefore, expressed surprise to hear the content of the tape which had been leaked to the press, saying “I did not leak out the tape”.
Curious to know who might be behind the leak, he said, he called Commander Asare several times but he refused to answer his calls.
He, however, said Commander Asare later sent a text message through “my son that he would deal with me”.