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02.10.2006 General News

So, where is the cocaine?-Asks Haruna Iddrisu

So, where is the cocaine?-Asks Haruna Iddrisu
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Opposition National Democratic Congress MP's are asking government and the Interior ministry where the missing cocaine that the Justice Georgina Woode Committee was tasked to find is.

Minority Spokesman Haruna Iddrisu who is also a private legal practitioner told the dailyEXPRESS that the committee's report and the Interior minister's statements have only concluded that “ultimately, the whole investigation was a huge failure because the major term of reference was to determine the whereabouts of the missing cocaine.”

The Georgina Woode fact finding committee in its report stated that it was unable to determine the whereabouts of what it says were 76 sacks of cocaine removed from the MV Benjamin.

It went further to indict one D/Sgt Samuel Amoah whose corrupt and unpatriotic actions led to Asem Darkei Sheriff absconding and the non retrieval of the cocaine.

That explanation is however not enough for the NDC because according to Mr. Iddrisu, “we do not know the whereabouts of the 76 parcels… it means that the mystery of the missing cocaine has not been unraveled, its whereabouts has not been determined and I think that it only calls for a re-opening of investigations into the same matter.”

Haruna Iddrisu is also raising questions relating to the powers of the Committee and the recommendations it made.

“The committee certainly is a ministerial fact-finding committee and had no powers and no mandate whatsoever to determine issues of law; so it should restrict itself. The same committee that we are told publicly by the chairperson and also by the Attorney General as lacking a power of subpoena, has no power of arrest... so one will wonder where it has gotten powers to recommend people for prosecution.”

Interior minister Albert Kan Dapaah supported by Attorney General Joe Ghartey told the press last Friday that some of the Woode committee's recommendations have been accepted, including the prosecution of police operations chief ACP Kofi Boakye and some others.

The ministry however thought it wise to refer other recommendations relating to the Inspector General of Police and others to 'government.'

According to Mr. Iddrisu who is also the National Youth Organizer some of the recommendations are quite intriguing, making it difficult to “decipher what was the minister's wishes and opinions and that of government because on two occasions he said he was referring certain matters to government. So that raises doubts as to the capacity in which he was speaking and for whom he was speaking.”

The NDC also says, it appears government or the ministry itself doubted the committee's work, because in the specific case of Grace Asibi, Rojo Mettle Nunoo and Rosita Dosoo, the ministry is taking a different position and action contrary to the position of the committee.

“You remember that even in the case of Rojo, Grace Asibi, and the secretary to the Vasquez, Hon. Dapaah may be going as well with the wishes of the president with his reckless remarks which already we thought would prejudice the work of the committee. The committee didn't allow itself to be prejudiced or influenced but yet his minister is still deeming it necessary and fit that the wishes of the president or his thinking must be observed. Because quite clearly the committee did not indict them so why would you go ahead and indict them?”

Question: With reference to the IGP and the former officials of the Narcotics Control Board, don't you think he was speaking as an appointee who has no power whatsoever to determine the status of another appointee; and so it would be appropriate to refer them to their appointing authority who is the president?
But he too was speaking on behalf of his appointer; so what are you talking about? You don't tell us I am referring certain matters to government, no. He was speaking on behalf of government as a minister of the government. And then also we are told that, and this is also very important; we are told that the famous “Kofi Boakye Tape” is credible, therefore several other names were mentioned and several other information was given. That should give us very good clue and very good links. So we cannot see why they would narrow themselves only to some aspects and leave out other aspects. And even many of those other people did not appear before the committee, did not give testimonies, but they themselves are relying on its credibility and we think that they must be encouraged to do more. That is why we are saying that government must re-open an investigation; a bi-partisan parliamentary investigations into the narcotic drugs scandal. We need to establish once and for all the source of the 77 missing parcels. We are not necessarily interested in who you prosecute but where is the cocaine? That is the fundamental question. Where is the missing cocaine?

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