Lawyers for three South Africans being held by Ghana’s Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for security offences are to file contempt charges against the state security body for flouting a bail directive given by the court.
The BNI whisked the three South African ex-police officers away despite the court granting them bail.
The three: Chris Hazis, 54, also known as Major Ahmed Shaik (rtd); WO/Denver Dwayhe Naidu (rtd), 39; and Captain Mlungiseleli Jokani (rtd), 45, were picked up at the El Capitano Hotel at Agona Duakwa in the Central region.
They were said to be training 15 members of Ghana’s biggest opposition party, NPP, in various security drills, including unarmed combat, weapon handling, VIP protection techniques, and rapid response manoeuvres. They have been charged with false declaration and unlawful training. They were put before court on Thursday March 24. They pleaded not guilty and were each granted a GHS 20,000 bail with sureties. The BNI is still holding them despite the bail, a situation that has angered their lawyers.
“We’ve asked their lawyers to first of all file habeas corpus and also to press contempt charges against the BNI…” NPP’s Youth Organiser Sammy Awuku told Naa Dedei Tettey of Class News in an interview on Easter Monday following the release of the party’s flagbearer’s security head Captain Edmund Koda (rtd), who was re-arrested on Thursday and detained by the BNI beyond the constitutionally allowed 48-hour limit despite charges having been dropped against him as far as investigations regarding the three South Africans were concerned.
“The court of law said that you grant them bail, but you can withhold their passports. The BNI disregarded the orders of the court…this thing has the tendency of heightening diplomatic tensions between Ghana and South Africa,” Mr Awuku warned.
The NPP has insisted the three were neither "mercenaries" nor "terrorists" as being alleged by some officials of the NDC, but were experts who were only training bodyguards to control crowds around the NPP flagbearer and his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, during campaigning, ahead of the November polls.