U-turn: Police suspend interdiction of 3 officers over Bugri Naabu leaked tape
On Thursday morning, the Ghana Police Service in a press statement announced the interdiction of three senior officers due to their involvement in a contentious audio recording, now under parliamentary scrutiny.
Related article: Police interdict 3 high-ranking officers amidst Parliamentary investigation into Bugri Naabu leaked tape that contains a discussion on why and how the Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare should be removed from office.
However, in a new twist same day with another press statement dated September 7, 2023, the police administration has announced the suspension of the interdiction.
"In order not to prejudice the ongoing probe [by Parliament], the Police administration has suspended their interdiction", the press statement signed and issued by the Director of Police Public Affairs, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Grace Ansah-Akrofi explained.
In the earlier press statement, the police administration said it has interdicted the three officers, namely Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr. George Alex Mensah, Superintendent Mr. Emmanuel Eric Gyebi, and Superintendent Mr. George Lysander Asare while further disciplinary procedures were being pursued in compliance with Police Service regulations.
Prior to the reversal of the interdiction, some public discussions had suggested that the interdiction was premature.
All the two press statements dated same day, September 7, 2023 were signed by the Director of Police Public Affairs [See copies of press statements attached below].
The audio at the centre of the parliamentary probe and the police statements on the interdiction and subsequent suspension of the action contains a discussion about why the Inspector General of Police. Dr George Akuffo Dampare should be removed from office.
Explaining the suspension of the interdiction in the press statement, ACP Grace Ansah-Akrofi said the suspension of interdiction was aimed at safeguarding the ongoing parliamentary inquiry, ensuring that it proceeds without any potential biases.
The statement goes on to clarify that disciplinary proceedings against these officers, namely COP George Alex Mensah, Superintendent Emmanuel Eric Gyebi, and Superintendent George Lysander Asare, will commence upon the conclusion of the parliamentary investigation.
During his appearance before the parliamentary committee, COP George Mensah accused IGP Dr. George Akuffo Dampare of mismanaging the Police Service and cited a decline in the morale of police officers under his leadership.
However, COP Mensah vehemently contested the authenticity of the tape, asserting that it had been tampered with and did not accurately represent his original conversation with Daniel Bugri Naabu.
Similarly, Supt. George Asare contended that portions of the audio recording were doctored and accused the IGP of orchestrating the recording.
In a significant turn of events, a new audio recording emerged on Monday, casting doubt on the authenticity of the first audio that was leaked.
This revelation surfaced after COP George Mensah and Supt. George Asare testified to the Parliamentary probing committee that segments of the original tape in evidence had been manipulated.
In another development, another secret video recording showing Bugri Naabu in a discussion with some other people in an office has also been released into the public domain.
In this video and audio, Bugri Naabu is heard talking about GH¢10,000 payment from the police and a contract offered him by the police through an agent - Michael.
Samuel Atta Akyea, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee overseeing the investigation has disclosed that the committee has received another audio apart from what was already in evidence.
He disclosed this to the media after last Monday's proceedings.
He indicated that the committee would decide whether to hold an in-camera hearing based on the evidence presented.
He clarified that the committee would listen to the new tape and review its transcript to determine the next steps.
Additionally, stakeholders may be summoned with their legal representatives for cross-examination and discussion.
Nevertheless, he said the committee will exercise caution concerning national security implications and may conduct certain aspects of the inquiry in a closed-door session.
The current sitting of the committee has been adjourned indefinitely as members deliberate on the best course of action.
The emergence of this new audio recording has introduced a fascinating twist to the ongoing investigation.
Attached below are copies of the police statements announcing the interdiction and the suspension of the interdiction