Supt. George Asare, one of the police officers at the center of an alleged plot to depose the Inspector General of Police (IGP), testified yesterday before the Parliamentary Committee investigating the leaked tape, explaining why he believes the recording was set up against him and COP George Alex Mensah.
According to him, the former Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Daniel Bugri Naabu, conspired with the IGP, Dr. George Akuffo-Dampare, to set them up because the two have excellent business relationship, with the latter awarding the former a contract for 40,000 police boots.
Supt. Asare told the ad hoc committee that he had both audio and video recordings of the former NPP Northern Regional Chairman and the IGP about their collaborations and deals, including contracts.
He stated that once the audio was leaked, he was invited by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), which he accepted.
“So, when I went there, they interrogated me on this same tape as regards who did the recording and who leaked it. I told them my side of the story that I don’t know anything about.
“And there, ASP at the Police Headquarters CID Unit by name ASP Kenneth Asante Antwi, the NIB asked me what is the relationship between the two of us and I told them I was hearing the name for the first time.
“It was later on that I saw the guy and I said oh, was it not this guy that was in the Accra Region’s Audio Room? But I didn’t know him.”
Supt. Asare informed the committee that following his interaction, the NIB invited COP Mensah, stating that Chief Bugri Naabu’s Special Assistant, S.K., was picked up in the morning when the audio was leaked by NIB officials.
“The Secretary [of Bugri Naabu] was also picked up, and eventually, Chief Bugri Naabu was also invited to the place.
“These people, per my reliable information apart from Alhaji Bugri Naabu, who went there and lied as usual. He has lied so many times. I have Bugri Naabu on tape,” he said.
“I have video of him in his office, and information about his relationship with the IGP and contracts. The 40,000 [police] boots contract he gave him,” Supt. Asare said as the Chairman of the Committee, Samuel Atta Akyea, interrupted him and ordered the witness to testify in private.
Meanwhile, sitting of the committee has been adjourned indefinitely, according to the Chairman, this is to allow members decide whether to embark on some in-camera hearings or not, adding that they had been handed over with a new audio by a Good Samaritan for consideration.
“Well, it has come to us. We might not divulge our sources because then you will block people from giving us information, but we have a tape which is supposed to be the comprehensive tape.
“We will look at it. If you told the world that it was Kwasi Mensah who brought the tape, we might not get the next tape or the final tape or whatever or this information or that information,” he told the media after sitting yesterday.
Mr. Atta Akyea said, “We have the benefit of a tape, on the assumption that it’s authentic. Members of the committee will have to internalise that tape, and it is also transcribed and that will give us ideas on what to do.”
“First of all, do we bring all the stakeholders together with their lawyers for cross-examination and cross-firing to take place, while listening attentively and later when they finish we will have our turn?”
“And then are there matters which should not come into the public domain because of national security implications? So we will do a long in-house or in-camera hearing, and then we make some good sense of it.
“This is how we are going to go, we will be guided strongly by the fact that this is not a simple exercise and is not everything that should be fed to the public,” he explained.
According to him, whilst the committee’s sittings were ongoing, petitioners were brought to them by some people, noting, “We have not perused them, but trust us as a committee that there is nothing of consequence that will be brushed aside.”
“It is going to be a comprehensive interrogation. If you people want to aid us to do our fact-finding we will not block them.
“We have also just seen some police officers have taken the IGP to court in relation to their promotion. I have instructed that they should fetch for the writ so we know the content of what is pending in court,” he said.