Nana Akufo-Addo The Toyota Land Cruiser belonging to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, former Foreign Affairs Minister and New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate in the last general election, which was seized last Monday by national security agents, has been returned.
However, Nana may have nothing to do with the car, as the driver was told in a plain language not to take the vehicle to the NPP presidential candidate's house.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that Joe Addo, the driver who picked the car up by mid-morning was instructed not to take the car home on suspicion that it had been tampered with.
The car was handed over to the driver barely 20 hours after it was impounded in the central business district of Accra.
The attack on Nana's car was instigated by a certain Arnold, a member of President Mills' security team, who hangs out at the Opera area.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that the said Arnold who once pounced on a fellow party activist, Carlos, called for reinforcement from Castle before the Land Cruiser cross country was taken there.
A few hours after it was handed over, Mills' spokesperson, Mahama Ayariga rendered an apology on behalf of government to the NPP candidate, over the previous day's embarrassing car seizure.
NPP activists nearly took to the streets in protest against what they described as humiliation of their leaders by the NDC government and therefore wanted to show their support for party gurus.
It took the intervention of some opinion leaders for the irate members to calm down.
But information reaching DAILY GUIDE strongly suggests that there could be more to the car-snatching agenda of the President Evans Atta Mills administration than merely attempting to retrieve stolen government vehicles from members of the former government.
Speaking to the paper in a post-seizure interview, security experts are of the view that the main objective of Monday's incident was to plant listening and tracking devises on the car so that it could be monitored and all conversations recorded.
The experts further said the security guys could also compromise the mechanical functionality of the car in order to make possible a fatal accident in future, especially when it goes beyond a certain speed.
“Oh it's a simple thing to do. We have these GPRS equipments which are used for such purposes. Let me tell you, some political parties used similar equipments during the elections to record their opponents' conversations. They fixed the sensors in a car while the recording devices are fitted to spectacles”, one of them revealed.
In a related development, birds at the Castle whispered to DAILY GUIDE that the black Toyota Land Cruiser V8 Series with registration number GE 4416 Z that was kept overnight at the seat of government was actually tampered with.
The unconfirmed information indicated that the top roof of the car and the electronic system including the radio were tampered with.
As at midday yesterday, the car was reportedly sent to a particular washing bay in Accra for washing.
It is recalled that the car-snatching spree embarked upon by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration was shifted to another gear, when Mills pounced on Nana Addo's car.
This was after the cars of bank managers and other former ministers were seized in an equally humiliating manner.
The four-man security team, which seized the car upon direction from the Osu Castle, said it looked like a government vehicle.
According to Joe, the driver, who spoke to DAILY GUIDE minutes after the car was seized, he parked it at a spot near the Opera Square to buy a few items, when some security agents came for it.
The seizure attracted a lot of condemnation from a number of well-meaning Ghanaians.
While Boakye Agyarko, founding member of the NPP, said the incident smacked of Soviet-Communist style of rulership and stressed that even those who believed in communism had long changed their perception and approach to private property ownership, Hon. Joe Baidoe-Ansah, MP for Effia Kwesimintsim, described the incident as the height of impunity and promised to raise the matter on the floor of Parliament.
Indeed the embarrassing development generated a heated debate in Parliament yesterday.
The Member for Atwima-Mponua, Isaac Kwame Asiamah opened the debate on the floor of the House by stating that there is a car-snatching syndicate at the Castle which is illegally seizing vehicles of innocent Ghanaians.
Citing the snatching of Nana Akufo-Addo's black Toyota Land Cruiser by Castle goons, Hon. Asiamah noted that the action of the syndicate was repugnant and condemnable.
This submission did not however sit well with Deputy Majority Leader and MP for Talensi, John Akologu Tia who demanded the withdrawal of the tag “there is a car snatching syndicate at the Castle”, sparking a heated debate between the Majority and the Minority sides.
According to the Deputy Majority Leader, there is no such thing as a car-snatching syndicate at the Castle, adding that the assertion by the NPP MP for Atwima-Mponua was defamatory and injurious to the reputation of the Presidency.
Hon. Tia's claim and demand for the withdrawal of the statement immediately prompted most members of the Minority side to stand up shouting, “He will not withdraw the statement, it is true”, while the majority shouted, “He should withdraw”.
After carefully listening to the statement by Hon. Asiamah, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Justice Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo, ruled that the comment made by the MP for Atwima-Mponua did not defame the President in any way and that there was no need for its withdrawal.
The ruling temporarily left the Deputy Majority Leader stranded.
By Bennett Akuaku & Awudu Mahama