Lawyer Ace Ankomah, a public interest lawyer, has pooh-poohed the contents of a statement from the Interior Ministry in an effort to justify the arrest and detention of three ex-South African police officials and some members of the NPP over threats to national security.
The interior ministry on Monday said "A comprehensive report on the operations of Superlock Technologies Limited (STL) and an assessment of some key staff’s vulnerability for possible compromise was retrieved from Hazis' room.
STL is the company contracted by the Electoral Commission to transmit tallied election results.
"Hazis denied authoring the document but indicated that it was given to him by Dani Isaaca, an Israeli based in South-Africa. Hazis claimed he had not read the document which had been in his possession for about three (3) weeks. During interrogation, it was evident that he was conversant with the content of the document," the statement further stated.
However, Lawyer Ankomah says the National Security is not an agent or enforcement arm of a private company for which it should be seen to be protecting STL.
In a post on his Facebook page, Mr. Ankomah wrote; "Information concerning STL, a supposedly private, foreign-owned limited liability company, a company on contract with the Electoral Commission (which is independent of government, we are supposed to believe) is found on a person. Is that a national security issue?
"What is STL doing in Ghana? As a Ghana incorporated company does it not file annual returns and other key information with the Companies Registry, and isn't that information available to the world? Even if they have trade secrets and those are found in the hands of other people, is that not an issue between STL and those people, to the extent that there is even a cause of action? When did National Security become an agent or enforcement arm of a private company?”
“When Anas Aremeyaw Anas was spying on the judges and gathering information on them, was that a National Security issue?” he said.
Mr. Ankomah questions the ministry’s investigative findings saying; “And so after a long weekend of supposedly high-level thinking, meetings, and hopefully legal advice, is this the drivel that officialdom can come up with?"
He said information concerning STL, a supposedly private, foreign-owned limited liability company on contract with the Electoral Commission is found on a person and so an individual having access to information about it (STL) was not national security issue.
BELOW IS THE STATEMENT FROM THE INTERIOR MINISTER
MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR
ARREST OF THREE (3) SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONALS
1. Three (3) South-African Nationals namely, Ahmed Shaik HAZIS, Denver Dwayne NAIDU and Mlungiseleli JOKANI were arrested on 20/03/16 at EL CAPITANO Hotel at AGONA DUAKWA in the Central Region by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI). They were arrested while training fifteen (15) men in various security drills.
2. Two (2) of the suspects, JOKANI and NAIDU arrived in the country on 14/03/16 on South-African passport numbers A05213410 and M00096231 respectively. HAZIS arrived on 05/03/16 with Passport Number M00052092. HAZIS has visited Ghana several times between 2012 and 2016. They came into the country on B1 visas (temporary visas) for business.
3. The three (3) trainers revealed that they are retired police officers of the South-African Police Force. Mr. HAZIS is employed by iMvula Quality Protection as Director of Operations. NAIDU and JOKANI are employed by GLAEXEC Protection Services (GPS) (PTY Limited) of South-Africa as Directors.
4. A comprehensive report on the operations of Superlock Technologies Limited (STL) and an assessment of some key staff’s vulnerability for possible compromise was retrieved from HAZIS’S room. STL is the company contracted by the Electoral Commission to transmit tallied election results.
5. HAZIS denied authoring the document but indicated that it was given to him by DANI ISAACA, an Israeli based in South- Africa. HAZIS claimed he had not read the document which had been in his possession for about three (3) weeks. During interrogation it was evident that he was conversant with the content of the document.
6. The suspects denied that they were invited by Captain Kwesi ACQUAH, owner of Delta Force Security. However, all items for the training were shipped in the name of Delta Force Security and his hotel, El Capitano was used for the training. Captain Acquah was released from the Ghana Army in 1980.
7. HAZIS, the leader of the team, revealed that Captain Edmund Kojo KODA, Head of Nana Akufo ADDO’s Personal Security, who was in the Ghana Army at the same time as Captain Acquah, contracted him to train the Flagbearer’s Security detail and he in turn engaged the other two (2). He also disclosed that he was in the country in 2012 and worked closely with Captain KODA during the 2012 elections. As a young officer, Captain Koda had been involved in the AFRC regime. Following accusations of corruption he was convicted together with a colleague and incarcerated in the Ussher Fort Prison. They subsequently escaped during a jail break and went into exile outside Ghana.
8. Captain Koda’s current arrest comes on the heels of a previous security alert in 2014, after his name popped up in a National Security investigation of the activities of some Serbian nationals who were brought into the country to train selected people drawn from across the country in the art of civil insurrection. A training dubbed “Assaulting the pillars of power”.
9. During interrogation, Captain ACQUAH denied the claim that he invited the South Africans but indicated that Captain KODA requested to use his facility (EL CAPITANO Hotel) for the training of his personnel. He also indicated that it was purely a business arrangement with Captain KODA and nothing else. CAPTAIN KODA on his part confirmed that he invited the suspects to train his personnel. Captain KODA conceded that with hindsight he should have sought permission from the authorities before engaging in that exercise.
10. A review of the visa applications submitted by the three (3) South Africans revealed that two (2) of the suspects (JOKANI and NAIDU) were invited by Dr. Daniel MCKORLEY, Chairman, McDan Group of Companies while HAZIS was invited by Nana Attobrah QUAICOE, Director of Danquah Institute (DI). Efforts to reach the two gentlemen for questioning have so far not been successful.
11. Both Captains KODA and ACQUAH have been granted police inquiry bail pending further investigation.
12. On 23/03/16, the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) started an investigation into the immigration status of the three (3) accused persons and requested the BNI to hand them over for further action. They were therefore released on 24/03/16 to the GIS as requested. Meanwhile, in line with regular practice the GIS requested that the BNI provide custody of the suspects.
13. During the course of investigation, the following places were searched:
Captain KODA’s residence, Captain ACQUAH’s residence and Hotel El Capitano.
14. The security agencies of Ghana can assure the citizenry, political stakeholders and all who deem themselves to be high value targets to be assured of the commitment of the security agencies and government to provide the required and utmost security as has been exhibited since the commencement of our current democratic dispensation. Should the need arise for any stakeholder to opt for private security as we have witnessed under this index case, we strongly advise that the mandatory legal processes are followed and exhausted. The peace, security and stability of our dear nation and its people shall always remain paramount to government.
PROSPER D.K. BANI
MINISTER FOR THE INTERIOR