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03.06.2009 Politics

Government: Former Chief of Staff is not under arrest

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Accra, June 3, GNA – The Government on Wednesday stated that the former Chief of Staff, Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, was never arrested or detained by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and tagged the allegation as “orchestrated propaganda to create panic in the country”.

“Mr Mpiani was never detained; he was not arrested. He left freely after the questioning,” Mr James Agyenim-Boateng, Deputy Minister of Information, stated at a press briefing on the questioning of the former Chief of Staff by the BNI.

The BNI on Tuesday questioned the former Chief of Staff on “wide range of issues,” including transactions, procurements and contracts relating to Ghana International Airlines, [email protected] celebrations, the Construction of the Presidential Complex and the other deals entered into by the former Government. He is due back at the BNI on Wednesday.

He said the former Chief of Staff went to the premises of the BNI on June 2, based on an invitation extended to him, instead of the proposed date of Monday, June 1.

Speaking on the rationale for Mr Mpiani's questioning, Mr Agyenim-Boateng, said the BNI followed due process, treated the former Chief of Staff with considerable respect, and at all material times during the investigation was in the company of his lawyers – Mr Yoni Kulendi, Mr Egbert Faibille Junior and Ms Hamida Nuhu.

The Deputy Minister debunked the speculation that Mr Mpiani was taken to a secret location where he was tortured, injected with special drugs and molested.

He said: “Mr Mpiani was not taken to any secret location that his legal team was unaware of or was not present at. The only time he was outside the BNI facilities was when the questioning ended sometime after 2200 hours on Tuesday.”

Mr Agyenim-Boateng, who had Mr Samuel Okudzto Ablakwa, also a Deputy Minister of Information, at his side, explained that under the Security and Intelligence Act, Act 526 of 1996, section 40, the BNI had every right to invite people for interrogation on any matter as and when necessary.

“Nobody can therefore question the authority of the BNI to invite persons to provide answers to questions on any matter under investigation,” Mr Agyenim-Boateng stated.

He said the security and investigation agencies would continue to invite and, where appropriate, arrest persons who must answer questions or clarify issues relating to their investigations.

Several former ministers under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government and dozens of party faithful on Tuesday marched to the BNI to demand the whereabouts of Mr Mpiani, who was being questioned by the security agency.

The NPP ministers had said Mr Mpiani had been at the BNI from 1100 hours and they had not heard from him by 1900 when they went there.

Former Information Minister, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng had said the former Chief of Staff had been taken to an unknown destination.

Mr Frank Agyekum, former Deputy Information Minister, said the ministers, who normally met on Tuesdays under the chairmanship of Mr Mpiani, were showing solidarity with their leader.


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