General News Wed, 9 Aug 2006

Kufuor's all out war on drugs

WHEN THE President expressly told his key Ministers responsible for law and order that it was imperative they pull no punches in combating the growing menace of drug trafficking, he meant exactly that, drawing all government agencies into the fray.

Messrs Kan Dapaah and Joe Ghartey, Ministers for Interior and Attorney General’s office respectively wasted no time in swinging into action, with Joe Ghartey breasting the tape and launching into a flurry of activity when he personally queried a senior member of the Attorney General’s office, Mr. Francis Amison Agboloso, for rushing to Court and allowing a bail application for a drug suspect.

Next was the establishment of the Georgina Woode Committee, a fact-finding body, to investigate issues surrounding the disturbing cocaine menace.

In the last few days, it emerged from the cocaine tapes (read & listen) that a man who was referred to by his physical deformity (a cripple) was in actual fact known as ‘Sheriff’.

Alhaji Abass, the talkative bosom friend of the Inspector General of Police and who was most prominent on the cocaine meeting tape recording, mentioned him and noted that he had run away.

But over the weekend, the Police showed no mercy for his physical state and arrested him, putting the many names that have appeared on the tape on notice, particularly ‘the Nigerian’ who was mentioned as being the one who arranged the business in the first place.

Yesterday, The Chronicle gathered that the President’s desire to get to the bottom of the matter has dragged in all official and unofficial sources directly or indirectly connected with the cocaine affair to assist in unraveling the matter.

Mr. Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko, Presiding Member for the Manya Krobo District Assembly, Chief Executive of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) and Member of the Governing Council of the Narcotics Control Board (NCB), would soon make a full submission before the Georgina Woode Committee and tell all.

He showed great reluctance in speaking to The Chronicle to confirm or elaborate on the intricacies of the widening drug affair, which is eating away the reputation of the Republic in the face of widespread concerns about the integrity of Mr. P. K. Acheampong, Head of the Ghana Police Service.

Mr. Agyarko, the latest to be infested with what appears to be an endemic cocaine scandal, told The Chronicle in his office yesterday that he had come under severe pressure from the media to disclose what he knew about the drug scandal and had therefore advised himself to rather seek audience with the Committee investigating the drug issue to relate what he knew about the matter.

Though the FDB boss, who is also a former Deputy Executive Secretary of the NCB, did not budge at the incessant and probing questions from the paper to elicit information on the drug scare from him, his responses confirmed that he had indeed received a copy of the infamous cocaine tape recording from a source he did not disclose during the interview, but which he had earlier been reported to have identified as the former Deputy Director of the NCB, Mr. Ben Ndego.

When questioned on how he felt when he first listened to the tape, his response was, “I felt how any Ghanaian would feel,” and asked The Chronicle reporters how they felt when they listened to the tape.

When one of the reporters answered, “I was amazed”, he said, “Yes I was also amazed.”
Source: The Chronicle
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