Major Chris Hazis (Rtd), WO Denver Dwayhe Naidu (Rtd) and Captain Mlungiseleli Jokani (Rtd)
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) is overly exaggerating its report on the arrest of the three South African security capos who are providing training for its security details in the country.
The three men, Major Chris Hazis (Rtd), 54, Warrant Officer (WO) Denver Dwayhe Naidu (Rtd), 39 and Captain Mlungiseleli Jokani (Rtd), 45, were picked up at the El Capitano Hotel at Agona Duakwa in the Central Region on Monday.
A statement issued by the NPP and signed by its Director of Communications, Nana Akomea, placed on record that “The presence of the three men in Ghana is not for any act that can be said remotely to threaten the country's security.
“Known security details belonging to the NPP's presidential and vice presidential candidates were being given routine training by these security experts specialised and licensed to offer VIP protection. Indeed, the two personal drivers of the candidates, as well as the official photographer of Nana Akufo-Addo, were part of the 15 persons undergoing training, which took place on the premises of a well-known, licensed Ghanaian security company.”
The BNI had claimed, “The trio, all ex-police officers, were engaged in training fifteen young men in various military drills, including unarmed combat, weapon handling, VIP protection techniques and rapid response manoeuvres to raise security issues, given the heightened security awareness in the country following some terrorist attacks in the sub-region.”
Strangely, there was no weapon found on them, despite the claim that they were training the NPP security detail on weapon handling.
The BNI further claimed that a comprehensive report on the operations of Superlock Technologies Ltd (STL) was found in the possession of Hazis, which contained a detailed profile of all the workers of STL – past and present – and went on to identify key staff members, giving an assessment of their strengths and vulnerabilities “with the view to possibly compromising them so as to get them commit acts that will tend to favour a particular party in the 2016 elections using the STL security infrastructure. Images of all workers of STL were also contained in the document.”
Even though it has indeed been established that they were brought into the country by Delta Security, a private security firm, to train the security details of the NPP flagbearer and his running mate, it has also emerged that no weapon (firearms and ammunitions) were found on them at the time of their arrest or during any of their training sessions.
The three, who are with the Unified Risk Solutions – a private security consultancy firm in South Africa – were said to be training the NPP security members in various crowd control drills ahead of the 2016 general election.
They were arrested at their hotel while the ex-Gitmo detainees who were held for terrorism, Mahmud Umar Muhammad bin Atef and and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby, walk free men in Ghana courtesy President Mahama who claimed he was showing compassion to the former Guantanamo Bay detainees.
But the issue has since been played out by the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the face of recent backlash received by the government over the Gitmo detainees.
The initial claim was that the South Africans were brought into the country by the head of Nana Akufo-Addo's security, Captain Edmund Koda (Rtd). But it has emerged that they were brought in by Delta Security, owned by Captain Acquah who also owns the Capitano Hotel.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Captain Acquah was invited by the BNI yesterday to assist in the investigations.
This is what has compelled the NPP to rubbish the claims of the state security apparatus – BNI.
Acting National Chairman of the party, Freddie Blay, cannot fathom how the presence of three ex-South African police officers in the country to train personal security details of the flagbearer and his running mate could raise security issues or pose a threat to national security.
In an interview with DAILY GUIDE, he said “It's not something that should excite anybody; it's nothing that should raise feathers. Bringing in or inviting people who are experts or those who know and have knowledge about training individuals to be in the position to protect the leadership of our party, particularly the presidential and the vice presidential candidates and indeed the leadership of the party, is important.”
Facts On File
That, he said, is because “The accoutrements they were using in training did not include any guns; no real weapons were used. The trainers had their equipment for the training, including paint guns sent in by air cargo and cleared by Delta Security, and the BNI people are aware of that and the bit about they having detailed profile of staff of STL and all that was made up.”
He told DAILY GUIDE, “It was just to sex up the report to make it seem as if that was what was happening.
“To me, it's not only reckless, but it is pure mischief; that's what I'm saying. It's not good for security authorities to be in bed with the propaganda wing of any government of the day; it doesn't help. It spoils their image. Segments of the society become very apprehensive of whatever they want to do.”
Protection For Executives
It has also emerged that Hazis, who is the leader of the team, was recently in Ghana for two weeks to offer protection to executives of Facebook and Microsoft who were visiting the country.
That was part of reasons Mr Freddie Blay insisted, “They are professionally VIP protectors; they know how to train people for high-profile assignments. In 2012, they were here. They are not from ISIS; they are South African gentlemen who have been in the police.
“For you to say that the NPP has brought in people who will endanger the state security, you are sexing up that report. They are joining hands; they are lending hands, fuelling the propaganda machinery of our opponents and it makes us very nervous dealing with the state security.”
According to the NPP's statement, “The three South Africans arrived in the country on business visas. Training of personnel in VIP protection is part of their business and, therefore, no deception was intended.”
The party was alarmed by the fact that what was still under investigation could be leaked to a state-owned newspaper as well as pro-government newspapers to help the NDC score cheap political points, insisting, “It is our firm conviction that the security agencies, if they are to enjoy the confidence of the people, must always be seen to be non-partisan and professional in the discharge of their constitutional mandates.”
The NPP wondered why a radio host called Mugabe of Montie FM, a pro-government radio station, would state that the party's standard bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, would die before June this year but the security agencies and authorities had not thought it wise to arrest him, even though it threatens the nation's security.
The party has therefore emphasised, “We in the NPP will not take any chances, whatsoever, with the security of our leaders.”
By Charles Takyi-Boadu