First Bugri Naabu leaked tape doctored - Parliamentary Committee
The special committee of Parliament investigating the purported plot to oust the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has confirmed that it now has in its possession “a very long discussion and full complement” of the taped conversation among the protagonists.
It said the first tape, about a 45-minute recording, appeared “truncated”, “edited” or “doctored.”
It said it received the second tape containing the voices of former New Patriotic Party Northern Regional Chairman, Bugri Naabu; Commissioner of Police (COP) George Alex Mensah, and Superintendent George Asare also from Mr Naabu, who had made the first tape available to the committee.
The Chairman of the committee, Samuel Atta Akyea, made this known when he briefed the press on the in-camera meeting the committee had with three of the witnesses — Mr Naabu, COP Mensah and Supt Asare — in Parliament on Wednesday [Sept 13, 2023].
The committee also engaged the Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, and his lawyer.
It was only the IGP, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, who could not show up, with the excuse that he was engaged in a national assignment.
Full complement tape
COP Mensah and Supt Asare had challenged the first tape on grounds that it had been “truncated”, “edited” or “doctored”.
With the witnesses urging the committee to obtain the original tape, Mr Atta Akyea said the committee received the second tape which contained the full complement of the conversation that Mr Naabu had with the two witnesses in his office at Osu in Accra.
Mr Atta Akyea said the committee considered the first tape upon the submissions by some witnesses that it did not represent the full conversation they had with Mr Naabu.
“As a matter of fact, we have given the second tape to them (the witnesses) in advance, but they complained that they needed the transcription as well, and we gave them the transcription,” he said.
The committee Chairman said Mr Kan-Dapaah, first to appear before the committee yesterday, was called because Supt Asare had confessed he appeared before the National Investigation Bureau (NIB) on the subject.
“So, we will not do a shoddy work by not calling the minister who superintends over that bureau,” he said.
Mr Atta Akyea said Mr Kan-Dapaah confirmed that the NIB called Supt Asare and others in relation to the same leaked tape.
He said the minister told the committee that although the NIB did a thorough work on the case and prepared an interim report, he would not share the report with the committee.
“This is because it is a national security document which is not declassified in terms of law and Constitution, and there is no way he would share it with us, and the committee agreed with him,” he said.
He said all the witnesses agreed with the position of the minister, who tendered his written statement on what he said to the committee.
The committee, however, adjourned hearing to October 2 to 5, 2023, upon an appeal by the lead counsel of the IGP, Kwame Gyan, to the committee to allow them to study the materials given to them.
Mr Atta Akyea expressed optimism that soon after October 5, the committee would be able to conclude proceedings and submit its report to the plenary of parliament.
He, however, indicated that when sitting resumed, it would be an in-camera hearing for all witnesses to congregate with their lawyers.
“They are supposed to give us evidential support in relation to what they said openly and publicly,” he said.
He urged the public to bear with the committee on grounds that it was not trying to shut out the press.
“There are national security implications in relation to the interrogations, and we need to exercise that discretion.
“As to what is good for the public consumption and what is not, eventually a report will be placed before Parliament, which will be a matter of public knowledge, and Parliament will debate it and a resolution will be made on the basis of the report,” he added.
No video before committee
Asked if the committee had received a tape in which Mr Naabu was supposedly captured boasting about receiving GH¢10,000 from the IGP every month, Mr Atta Akyea said the committee had not received such a footage, and that it had not been brought to its attention.
He, however, gave an assurance that the committee would scrutinise every evidence that would be made available to it.
“It is not a fetish of our inquiry, but it is an open inquiry and the public who are interested in the sanity of the Ghana Police Service can always come in with whatever evidence which has direct relation to our remit, and we will look at it,” the committee chairman said.