As former United States of America (USA) President George W. Bush was constantly massaging the ego of former President J. A. Kufuor as the best to have ever happened to Ghana, his Ambassador to Ghana was busy sending cables to the US State Department on how rotten Mr. Kufuor's empire was, as far as illicit drug trade was concerned.
Pamela E. Bridgewater, US Ambassador to Ghana under the Bush administration, on Tuesday October 9, 2007, sent a damning cable under the subject Government of Ghana not doing enough to combat narcotics.
The cable, indeed, confirmed the lack of political will on the part of the Kufuor government to fight the narcotic drug trade in Ghana.
In the said cable, which was to be declassified on 10 April, 2017, she stated that narcotic drug barons are generally large supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Ambassador Bridgewater said in the cable that she was told by an official of the Narcotic Control Board that the NPP had no plan of pursuing some eight drug barons, even though many of their identities were known.
Interestingly, Raymond Amankwah, who happens to be the brother-in-law of Nana Akufo-Addo, the flag bearer of the NPP, had his assets that were confiscated returned to him when Nana Addo was the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
In the said cable, the US Ambassador said that the NACOB official who spoke with her even suggested that drug barons had penetrated the NACOB by recruiting officers of that outfit to keep them informed.
Eric Amoateng & NACOB
Ambassador Bridgewater said in the cable that NACOB, according to one of its higher ranking officials, is motionless.
She said in the cable that the NACOB official said the government of Ghana had effectively neutered NACOB since the embarrassing arrest in the US of the NPP Member of Parliament in 2005.
“All of the high ranking officials during that time have been removed. He said that the government of Ghana was upset with NACOB since it cooperated closely with the US government on the case, which resulted in Amoateng's guilty plea and subsequent imprisonment in the US.
The NPP administration continued to pay Amoateng for 18 months after his arrest in the US.
Ambassador Bridgewater revealed in the cable that the NACOB official said no one at NACOB was ready to rock the boat, including the new Director Ben Botwe, who lacked experience with narcotics enforcement.
Ben Botwe was appointed to head the NACOB after Mr. Kufuor fired all the top men after the arrest and imprisonment of Amoateng. Before his appointment, he was working with the Food and Drugs Board.
She went further in the cable to state that the Deputy Director of NACOB, Mark Ewuntomaah, was also a problem, and that Gary Nicholls even told her that the Secretary to President Kufuor at the time commented that Ewuntomaah should have stayed as a retired police officer rather than being recalled to NACOB.
According to her, the US Embassy also had cause to worry about Ewuntomaah's apparent unresponsiveness and general incompetence, adding “Despite repeated promises, Ewuntomaah was unable to even organize a tour to the airport for poloff.”
Ursula Owusu & NACOB
Surprisingly, all that was contained in the cable took place under the nose of one of the loud-mouthed NPP members, Madam Ursula Owusu, popularly known as Vuvursla, who was a Board Member of the NACOB.
Madam Owusu last week went berserk on various radio stations attacking the current administration for not doing enough to fight the illicit drug trade.
She even went on to ask the President to come out with names of members of his government, whom he said he was aware were dealing in drugs.
Observers say that it would be very crucial for Madam Owusu to tell Ghanaians of what she knew was going on at NACOB before asking President Mills for such names.
Under the NPP administration led by Mr Kufuor, three women who were residing at Dzorwulu, a suburb of Accra, were arrested at the Kotoka International Airport with large quantities of cocaine but they were not prosecuted.
It is instructive to know that their dockets got missing at the Attorney General's Department at the time Nana Addo was the A-G and Minister of Justice.
Again, 77 parcels of cocaine mysteriously got missing under the watch of the NPP.
Apart from that, the NPP government sent sniffer dogs that had been brought into the country by the British Government to help fight drugs at the Kotoka airport back with the excuse that the dogs were eating too much.
It was under the NPP that the confiscated assets of Raymond Amankwah, a well known drug baron, who is the brother in law of Nana Addo, were given back to him.
Amankwah got his assets back when Nana Addo was the A-G.
Under the NPP, a quantity of cocaine got missing at Tema port and the police headquarters.
CREDIT: THE ENQUIRER