IGP makes U-turn; suspends interdiction of 3 officers over leaked tape scandal

Story: Yaw Takyi

The Ghana Police Service has suspended the interdiction of three officers, who were captured in a leaked tape allegedly plotting the removal of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), which is now a subject of Parliamentary probe.

In a statement dated September 7, the police indicated that the decision to suspend the interdiction, which was to make way for disciplinary proceedings in line with Police Service regulations, was to ensure it does not affect the ongoing probe by parliament.

As such, the Service noted that it would commence disciplinary proceedings into the officers’ conduct upon the completion of the parliamentary probe.

“Following the interdiction of COP/Mr George Alex Mensah, Supt/Mr Emmanuel Eric Gyebi and Supt/Mr George Lysander Asare in connection with the leaked audio tape, the Police Administration would commence disciplinary proceedings into their conduct upon completion of the ongoing probe by Parliament.”

“In order not to prejudice the ongoing probe, the Police administration has suspended their interdiction,” the statement signed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Frace Ansah-Akrofi read.

The three police officers were interdicted on Thursday, September 6, after a leaked tape emerged with the content suggesting a plot to oust the IGP, according to a former NPP Northern Regional Chairman, Bugri Naabu, who claims he recorded the conversation secretly.

The officers are Director General Technical of the Ghana Police Service, Commissioner of Police (COP) Alex George Mensah, Supt. George Lysander Asare and Emmanuel Gyebi.

On Thursday, a Security analyst, Adib Saani had said the interdiction of the police officers was ill-timed.

On July 25, the Speaker of Parliament named Abuakwa South MP, Samuel Atta-Akyea as the chairperson of a seven-member ad-hoc committee to probe leaked controversial audio in which voices are heard clandestinely plotting to oust the IGP.

The viral audio, which revealed a supposed conspiracy by a senior police officer and a leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to remove Dr Affo Dampare from office, resulted in a debate on the floor of Parliament, with the Minority calling for a forensic audit.

COP Alex Mensah’s voice was heard on a secret recording telling Bugri Naabu about how IGP Dampare’s actions might lead to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) losing the 2024 election.

Subsequently, the Speaker proposed the setting up of the Special Committee and directed the committee to submit its report by September 10, 2023.

On August 28, Bugri Naabu disclosed to the committee that he recorded the conversation so that he could play it for President Akufo-Addo to decide, adding that his only interest was protecting the party.

However, COP Alex Mensah said he went to see Mr Naabu because he learned he was looking for a replacement for the IGP.

“The purpose of Mr Bugri Naabu inviting me was that one of my boys, the police officers, had gone to tell him that if they are looking for a new Inspector General of Police, then the man that he thinks can do the job and do it well is Commissioner George Alex Mensah.

“And Bugri Naabu said ‘Oh is that so, then bring him and let me see him’, That was why I ended up at Bugri Naabu’s office.”

The officer further expressed the source of his belief that Bugri Naabu could aid his efforts to lead the police service.

On his part, Supt. George Asare corroborated some statements made by COP Mensah concerning the IGP and how he is running the Service.

When pushed further, he said he would rather disclose them in camera.

He backed earlier testimonies that the leaked tape, which is central to the case had been doctored.

Supt Asare said the tape that has been leaked to the public is incomplete and has been edited by the persons behind it.

According to him, there are a lot of things that were said in the tape that have been cut out for purposes only known to the masterminds.

Meanwhile, COP Alex Mensah claimed that it was the IGP who masterminded the recording of the conversations and the subsequent leakage.

The Committee had hinted a few days ago that it may invite the IGP to appear before the committee.

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