Dampare to be invited by Committee probing “plot” to remove him as IGP
The parliamentary committee probing the purported plot to oust the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, from office has hinted that it could invite Dr Dampare to respond to certain questions and concerns raised by the witnesses.
Speaking to the press after last Friday’s hearing, the Chairman of the committee, Samuel Atta Akyea, said that was informed by the way evidence was evolving and unfolding.
"This is because of the fact that what we should place before the plenary should not be shoddy and one-sided.
"If the presence of the individual will give the relevance to the fact-finding exercise, we will do that," he said.
He, however, stopped short of disclosing the specific day the committee would invite the IGP.
Asked if the committee would opt for an in-camera hearing to obtain security-sensitive information from one of the key witnesses, Commissioner of Police (COP) George Alex Mensah, Mr Atta Akyea did not rule out that option.
"If it becomes imperative that we should do it, we will because the man has a lot to say, but it would be improper to say so on air," he said.
During last Friday’s hearing, the Director-General, Technical, Ghana Police Service, COP Mensah, accused the IGP of being behind the recording of a tape containing a discussion about a plot to remove the latter.
Appearing before the parliamentary committee investigating the audio containing the purported discussion on the removal of the IGP, COP Mensah said his intelligence suggested that what was used to tape his conversation with Bugri Naabu, a former Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was done by Dr Dampare.
“He sent some people to do it, and after which he went for the tape. So, the tape, from my intelligence, is with the IGP and he caused it to be leaked,” he said.
Appearing before the committee for a second time to respond to questions relating to the secret tape in Parliament last Friday, COP Mensah said: “If this committee wants the tape, the right person to call before this committee is the Inspector General of Police”.
He made the revelation after the Chairman of the committee, asked him if he had the complete tape on grounds that he had persistently told the committee that the tape in its possession was incomplete.
Mr Atta Akyea also asked the witness if he had the proof to back what his intelligence told him or it was all hearsay.
Responding, COP Mensah, a former Director of Operations of the police service, said: “This is not just something I believe it to be true, but Mr Chairman, I would not want to say it here, but I can tell the committee in camera but not here”.
COP Mensah, in the company of his counsel, Kojo Owusu Agyeman, spent close to five hours being grilled over what some committee members said were inconsistent utterances made before the committee.
The committee at a point had to take a one-and-a-half break to allow COP Mensah and his counsel to peruse the documents to identify portions of the transcript attributable or otherwise.
Mr Naabu had earlier, last Tuesday, admitted to the committee that he masterminded the recording of the conversation with COP Mensah.
I was surprised
Asked by the Chairman of the committee what he sought to achieve by engaging Mr Naabu in a private conversation, COP Mensah said the conversation was at the invitation of Mr Naabu.
He explained that his visit was informed by a rumour that there was a high probability of the government changing the current IGP, adding that “they were looking for people who can do the job and do it well”.
“The purpose of Bugri Naabu inviting me was that one of my boys, Supt George Asare, has gone to tell him that if they are looking for a new IGP then he thinks the person that can do the job well is COP Alex Mensah,” he said.
COP Mensah said Mr Naabu asked Supt Asare to bring him (COP Mensah) to meet him at his office, a reason “I ended up at Bugri Naabu’s office”.
When the Chairman of the committee asked him if he got the impression that Mr Naabu was scouting for a new IGP, COP Mensah said: “My impression was that, yes, he was scouting for a new IGP”.
“That is why I was even surprised that the audio was edited because Bugri Naabu said so many things about this current IGP that he has done, what he is not doing and the promise he gave him that he has not satisfied.
“Bugri Naabu said the likelihood of the IGP being changed is 100 per cent and they (NPP) are scouting for one person who can do the work well,” he said.
Superintendent Asare recommended me
When he was questioned about who recommended him to Mr Naabu, COP Mensah named Supt George Asare as the one.
Quizzed if he believed Mr Naabu had the influence to help him to become an IGP, COP Mensah answered in the affirmative.
“I had faith because I knew or heard his name (Bugri Naabu) when it comes to NPP party circles that he was a former chairman and a friend of the President.
“So, once my boy (Supt Asare) told me that Bugri Naabu said he is ready to recommend me but wants to see me; if somebody wants to see you not for a bad thing but a good thing, I would go,” he said.
Asked by the Vice-Chairman of the committee if he found out from Mr Naabu why “they” were looking for a new IGP, COP Mensah said Mr Naabu told him that the NPP wanted to change the IGP “because they do not like the kind of job that he is doing”.