The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has hit back at the opposition New Patriotic Party accusing them of culpability in the Rubygate Nayele Amtefeh Cocaine scandal.
The NPP were the first to accuse the Mahama-led administration of being complicit in the scandal after shocking revelations emerged at the trial. They accuse the NDC of facilitating Nayele's access through the VVIP lounge at the Kotoka International Airport.
They also cited the 'hasty' visit by Ghana's High Commissioner to the UK, Victor Smith, of the then suspect Nayele Ametefe and raised other questions for the ruling NDC to answer.
In a press conference held on Wednesday, General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah denied that government had a hand in the Nayele cocaine saga.
According to him, investigations need to be conducted to prove whether the convicted drug courier's “trip to the UK was purely coincidental to the movement of the top gurus in the NPP for a fund raising event in London.”
"Perhaps, the most disingenuous of the fabrications was the one that tried to link the Ghana Mission's staff, which had gone to the Heathrow Airport in London to pick a high powered delegation from Ghana to the scandal," Mr Asiedu-Nketiah said.
But the NPP has debunked the NDC's allegation and has asked the latter to answer the questions they raised on 7th January 2015 instead of trying to lay the blame at their doorsteps.
In an interview on Citi FM, Nana Akomea, Communications Director of the NPP denied all the allegations raised by the NDC scribe describing them as baseless.
“None of the questions we raised during our press conference have been answered and instead baseless allegations have been thrown at the NPP. All the allegations are baseless…the questions we asked still remain…what he (Asiedu Nketiah) did was totally off course. We are expecting a respectable response from government” he said.
Below is a statement from the opposition NPP in response to Asiedu Nketiah
The Nayele Ametefe scandal: NDC IS STILL DAZED The Wednesday 14th January press conference by Asiedu Nketiah, General Secretary of NDC, on the Nayele Ametefe cocaine scandal should be seen by all objective Ghanaians as a desperate attempt to escape the hard questions that government must answer in connection with this scandal.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia makes false claims against the NPP:
That the NPP had posted a picture of a known NDC lady and tagged her as Nayele Ametefe. The NPP did no such thing. We also saw pictures on social media. We have nothing to do with those pictures. Aseidu Nketiah's confusion is shown by his statement that, “Mrs. Ruby Adu Gyamfi of NDC swiftly responded with a press conference…”
We hasten to add that the name Ruby Adu Gyamfi is one of the known aliases of Nayele Ametefi, who at that material time was in custody in Britain and could not have been responding to the NPP with a press conference.
Asiedu Nketiah accuses the NPP of claiming Nayele travelled with a diplomatic passport. This is also false. Nowhere in the NPP's 7th January statement did we make this claim. Indeed we also read the claims from the media including the Austrian newspapers online.
Asiedu Nketiah accuses the NPP of alleging that Nayele traveled through the VVIP at Kotoka International airport. This is also false. Indeed, the Attorney General's charge sheet against some individuals arrested in connection with this matter stated, “VVIP”. Testimony from one Alhaji Dawud who had been arrested also indicated that Nayele travelled through the VVIP.
Asiedu Nketiah accuses the NPP of linking staff of the Ghana High Commission in London to the scandal. This is also false. Nowhere in the NPP statement, was this accusation made. We had asked if it was a mere co-incidence that a diplomatic car was at the tarmac at the airport, to pick someone at the time of Nayele Ametefe's arrest on the aircraft.
Asiedu Nketiah pathetically recites the allegation that three (3) NPP women from Dzorwulu in Accra were arrested with cocaine in 2002. That allegation was made by an NDC newspaper and it has not been proven up till today.
The pathetic allegations continue with the arrest and conviction of former NPP MP for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng. Amoateng's salary was rightly paid until he was convicted. The NDC's General Secretary should know that an accused person on trial is not the same as a convicted person.
The claim that Amoateng passed through VIP at the Kotoka Airport neglects the fact that as a Member of Parliament, Eric Amoateng was entitled to use the VIP. The records also do not show that Amoateng carried cocaine through the Kotoka International airport.
The person who was heard on national radio calling for a warm reception for Amoateng on his return, was the NDC DCE for Nkoranza North.
Asiedu Nketia brazenly accuses the NPP of de-confiscation of properties of convicted drug barons. It would have been helpful to the nation if the NDC General Secretary had mentioned the names of the drug barons whose properties were de-confiscated.
Asiedu Nketia makes references to wiki-leaks allegations. He conveniently forgets wiki-leaks allegations about President Mills' remarks on complicity of members of his own government in using the VVIP for narcotic business.
The NDC's General Secretary's claims that the NPP did not pass any legislation against narcotics. This is another lie. Over three hundred (300) narcotic cases had not been prosecuted before 2001 because the suspects, upon bail, simply run-away from the country. The NPP amended (the law)legislation to make narcotics a non-bailable offence, and that made Ghana an unattractive destination for narcotics.
It will be of interest to Asiedu Nketiah and the NDC that the NPP in collaboration with the British introduced Operation Westbridge, which led to successful arrests of narcotic traffickers at the Kotoka Airport.
Asiedu Nketiah's attempt to link Nayele Ametefe's cocaine smuggling to a supposed NPP fundraising event in London is at best pathetic and desperate.
Despite Asiedu Nketiah's desperation, the following questions still remain;
How was Nayele able to access the VVIP/ Presidential Transit lounge at Kotoka Airport?
How did she carry undetected, 12kg of cocaine in her hand luggage through the VVIP/ Presidential Transit lounge?
What gave her the confidence that she would be able to go through the Heathrow Airport with 12k of Cocaine in her hand luggage? Or did she not plan to go through the airport, but similarly, use the VIP at Heathrow airport as she had done at Kotoka?
Why was she arrested on the air craft and not allowed to disembark? Did the British authorities not believe that she will go through the airport?
Is it coincidence that there was a Ghanaian diplomatic car on the tarmac to pick someone and thus not go through the airport. ?
Why the seeming confusion among organs of government such as NACOB over collaboration, and the Attorney General and Ministry of Communications on whether she used the VVIP or not?
Why has government shown no interest in uncovering the names of Nayele Ametefe's powerful backers in Ghana?
These questions are still crying for answers. …Signed… Nana Akomea (Communications Director)