The controversial tape which has engulfed the girlfriend of a cocaine fugitive, Ms Grace Asibi, and the Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Police Service, Mr Patrick Ampewuah, in a contest of credibility, was yesterday played with some clarity at the serene studios of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).
But the controversy prevailed, with Mr Ampewuah's firm denial of Ms Asibi's claim that the voice at the other end was his.
In the deepening dispute, the Justice Georgina Wood Committee said it would seek foreign assistance, if need be, for a voice recognition analyzer to determine whether the voice, recorded on a tape recorder, was that of the Deputy Director-General of the CID.
Those present at the GBC studios included all the members of the committee, Mr Ampewuah and his counsel, Mr Owusu Fordjour, Ms Asibi and her counsel, Mr James Abiaduka, Police Superintendent Edward Tabiri and the press.
The conversation on the cassette started with the normal “Hello” of male and female voices in this manner:
F: Hello! Hello!
M: Hello! Grace, where are you?
F: Who is speaking?
M: Do you want me to tell my name? When you were bringing the money didn't we tell you not to tell anybody, Eh?
F: You told me not to tell anybody but you people went ahead to publish me in the Daily Guide that I am the informant and because of that I can't even stay in the house and I am roaming in the street.
M: You are one of them.
F: If I am one of them, why did you leave me?
M: You are one of them.
F: If I am one of them, why did you not arrest me when I came to the house?
Then there was break in the recording.
Asibi explained that she cut the deputy CID boss in order to reach out to the Daily Guide Editor, Mrs Gina Blay, to protest why she revealed her source to the police.
She said the CID boss made a second call and asked, “Have you heard what I am telling you?”
F: What do you want me to do?
M: You told the Daily Guide that the money was $200,000, $400,000?
F: Yes, that was the same amount I gave you?
M: You want to put the man in trouble?
F: So you know the man? You are all cocaine dealers.
M: You also is a cocaine dealer?
F: Why didn't you arrest me?
M: What do you say? Who left you? Shame on you.
F: You took money and you publish me. Are you to work or collect cocaine money?
M: You are Ashawo paa!
F: No problem, we are all ashawo.
M: We always tell you. We are coming on you. We give you 12 hours.
F: I am not afraid. Twelve hours is too long.
M: We won't sit down for you to disgrace us.
F: You said you have not collected anything and you have published that in the Daily Guide.
That ended the second conversation.
Immediately after the cassette was played, the Chairperson of the committee asked Mr Ampewuah for his comments by way of cross-examining Ms Asibi but the CID boss replied that his counsel had just left and so he did not want to commit himself.
He, however insisted, that the voice on the cassette was not his.
He then proceeded to blame the press and alleged that some media practitioners were being manipulated by the drug barons.
Mrs Justice Georgina Wood appealed to the media not to abuse the privilege given to them to report on the proceedings of the committee to attack witnesses, since the committee was a fact-finding one.
She explained that the privilege given to the media to report on the proceedings was to ensure transparency, fairness and openness which would help to clear Ghana's name and restore it as a country which frowned on narcotics.
She, therefore, urged the media to exercise restraint in their reportage and not to use pictures of witnesses, committee members and the security agencies who appeared before the committee for security reasons.
Police Superintendent Tabiri said he had received more than 46 death threats on telephone since he appeared before the committee yesterday.