National Security, Ghana’s apex security and intelligence hub has been in the news for the wrong reasons in the past few weeks.
The widely condemned events have been triggered by two headline-grabbing incidents which have not only exposed the sham in government’s claim of disbanding its party’s vigilante group but also the growing act of impunity among some national security personnel.
The first was the arrest of Caleb Kudah, a journalist with an Accra-based media house, the gestapo-style invasion of the station’s premises by security officials and the subsequent revelations of brutality meted out to the journalist while in custody.
The second was the alleged storming by a pro-NPP vigilante group, Delta Force, of the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinating office to force out the regional coordinator causing his arrest in the process.
These two incidents have led to calls for the scrapping of the operational arm of the National Security.
As the discussions continue on the growing sense of insecurity in the country as said by NDC’s Otokunor, GhanaWeb highlights the major issues from when the embattled intelligence capo was appointed till his removal.
DCOP Opare appointed in 2018
DCOP Opare Addo was appointed as National Security Coordinator on a two-year contract in 2018.
Contract extended in December 2020
According to Paul Adom-Otchere, the host of Good Evening Ghana, his checks at the National Security Ministry indicates that in December 2020, following the expiration of his first contract, DCOP Opare Addo Ayensu was handed a two-year contract extension.
President Akufo-Addo appoints new National Security Coordinator On February 9, 2021, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appointed Major General Francis Adu Amanfo (rtd) as the New National Security Coordinator.
The appointment was on the back of the recent demise of Joshua Kyeremeh, who held the position in Akufo-Addo’s first term of office.
DCOP Opare Addo’s contract is terminated on February 19
Barely two weeks after Major General Adu Amanfo (rtd) assumed office, a letter of termination was sent DCOP Opare Addo asking him to leave office.
This revelation too was made by Paul Adom-Otchere on his Good Evening Ghana show.
Colonel Dafo Arthur is appointed on May 1
On May 1, a new Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator in the person of Colonel Francis Dofa Arthur (retired) was appointed as a replacement for the sacked Opare Addo.
Dofa Arthur’s appointment was however held up by DCOP Opare Addo’s failure to recognize the termination letter from the National Security Coordinator.
National Security operatives invade DCOP Opare Addo’s office on May 11,2021
Per his own narrative, on May 11 2021, some persons whom he knew as members of Delta Force besieged his office with pistols and handcuffs to arrest him.
Narrating his ordeal, DCOP Opare Addo said he was humiliated and assaulted by the group.
“They came and assaulted me, pointing AK 47 at me and the like, hitting me, even when I was going to urinate one of the boys followed me and said he was following me to the toilet, I said what do you mean?
“He said but you’re a man, I am also a man, I can look at it because you can also look at mine. I said why! Am I a baby? So I am not going to look at this without taking any action,” he said.
Police investigate issue on May 13, 2021
On May 13, 2021, the Ashanti Regional Police Command announced that it was investigating the circumstance that led to the attempted abduction of DCOP Asare.
Head of the Regional Security Council, Simon Osei Mensah, whose intervention ‘thwarted’ the attempted abduction, said the identity of the attackers were yet to be confirmed.
Opare Addo reveals why he rejected letter of termination May 17
DCOP Opare Addo has since disclosed the reason for which he failed to obey the instructions contained in his letter of termination.
He also threatened to take action against the seven security operatives who invaded his office.
“I had been informed that my appointment had been terminated on the 9th of April. I was waiting for the person coming to take over so I hand over to him so I never left the office. I was packing my things in the office when 7 guys forcefully entered my office and said they had been asked to bring me to Accra. I told them I will not go and immediately they handcuffed me. Eventually, the Ashanti regional security commander came in and I was freed so I reported the matter to the police.
“I don’t know what action they’re going to take against them but I’ve reported the case to the police I was surprised that the guys came to my office and even handcuffed me but they were left to go without any arrest,” he fumed.
“These Delta Force guys, they have been wanting to do galamsey and I have always resisted it so they have never liked me but I’m not intimidated at all,” he said.
National Security Coordinator confirms order of arrest on May 18
During a press interaction on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, Major General Francis Adu Amanfo (rtd) disclosed that he ordered the seven operatives to storm the office of DCOP Opare Addo and oust him.
According to him, his contract had expired and had no business occupying the office.
“He had no locus to be in the office because a new officer had been appointed and he should have handed over to the officer and he says he won’t hand over. So that is why a team was sent from Accra to go and mitigate and facilitate the handing and taking over process,” he added.
“The bottom line of all of this is that Opare Addo had a contract with National Security and for four years he was the regional liaison for the National Security. His term of the contract has expired. It was not renewed because of non-performance and his own criminal activities”.
DCOP Opare Addo calls his bluff
DCOP Opare Addo parried the allegations insisting that he did no wrong as Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator.
“He [National Security Boss] is making those propositions, so he should come out with his findings. My allegations are not vicious. Forget about him, and I am not worried about him.
“I know the guys who came to my office. They are Delta Force members that I know by face and names. I have been in office for years, so clearly, he doesn’t know what he is saying,” he said on Citi FM.
Kweku Baako names Delta Force members in National Security on May 22
On May,22 2021, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, the editor-in-chief of the new Crusading Guide newspaper corroborated claims by DCOP Opare Addo that some members of the supposedly defunct Delta Force vigilante group have been co-opted into the National Security.
“The boys who went there are actually National Security personnel: four from Accra, and when they got to Kumasi, they invited three of their boys who are stationed at Kumasi to join them. I’ve heard him say he’ll sue and he’s going to sue but if he’s going to do so, he can’t sue Delta Forces – he cannot. He has to sue National Security and the operatives who came there.
“I have to be very honest with you. I’ve checked the list of the seven: there are two that I think indeed were associated with Delta Force. In his statement to the police on the day of the event, he never mentioned Delta Force. There’s not a word of Delta Force in his statement so the Delta Force might have come in, he mentions three names: Mohammed Seidu – it think it rings a bell if you go to Delta Force background.
“Then some Mustapha Mohammed, known as staff. I suspect he too had Delta Force connection. So, you see, there’s no doubt that Delta Force elements had been recruited. They are the people you call table-top operatives. These table-top operatives is a culture; all the administrations that have come in the Fourth Republic have recruited such persons. Their names are not captured even on the payroll of National Security, that’s why they call them table-top (they go and take their money month-ending and they go). And most of them are party fanatics, party foot soldiers,” he explained.