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03.05.2019 Feature Article

Was BNI BOSS Not Good Enough?

Mr. Rasheed Seidu Inusah, Director, Bureau of  National Intelligence (BNI)
Mr. Rasheed Seidu Inusah, Director, Bureau of  National Intelligence (BNI)

Ghana's secret service director has been sacked. If someone had told him, he wouldn't last for two years in that barb-wired concrete-walled building in the capital, he would have disputed it.

Mr. Rasheed Seidu Inusah, Director, Bureau of National Intelligence (BNI) was given the marching orders on Tuesday 30 April, amid controversy surrounding the dismissal.

The move comes a little over a year (March 2018) that he replaced his predecessor Mr. William Kwasi Appiah.

And like musical chairs his deputy Mr. Dumfeh is now in the helm of affairs. The political storm that shook the foundations of the Intel building was too strong and the brightest bulb couldn't stand the test of time.

But what went wrong?
What could have necessitated this lay off?
You know the act of ordering someone to leave or vacate his or her position isn't a novelty exercise by chief executives in either big or small corporations. It's also prevalent in established institutions such as schools and colleges by authorities.

But one that often sparks controversy is when governments are pressing the sacking button. Presidents all over the world have the prerogative right to appoint or hire whomever they choose and they can conversely fire at their own choosing.

And a key factor that could trigger this situation is, non-performance or to use the buzzword 'incompetence'.

Another, could be whether the dismissed individual was involved in any criminal wrong doings.

Was Inusah not good enough?
Indeed the circumstance under which the dismissal happened raises concern and I think it doesn't bode well for national security operations.

Local media said the security czar's dismissal could have been triggered by recent security lapses in the country and lack of coordination between the police and the BNI.

Was that really the reason behind his termination? Or there's something more to that?

Whatever the case is I believe the Criminal Investigation Department CID which is under the Ghana Police Service is one department that government needs to put its searchlight on too.

Agents in this department act or perform their duties at the behest of the CID Boss.

So why should the BNI Director bear the brunt alone if that was the case?

In my view, the CID Boss has embarrassed herself and the institution more than anyone that I can think of in that service.

Her faux pax press conference that was held in April, last month sought to raise hopes assuring Ghanaians that the police knew the location of the three Takoradi kidnapped girls.

And what happened?
They've been pussyfooting over that so-called rescue mission since.

Remember Suale's Murder case?
The CID Boss told the whole world that a police patrol team that were detailed to assist the arrest of a suspect in Suale's murder at Wembley pub in Kotobabi, Accra arrived late. That turned out to be untrue.Not only that but also her claim that the two police officers that were led by an informant to arrest the said suspect were not armed turned out to be untrue. Indeed the officers were armed, according to the informant.

Are the security agencies at war?
It looks like and it sounds like it. There have been such speculations in recent times following the Daily Guide (a pro-government newspaper) publication that the Takoradi girls had been found.

A senior journalist in Ghana made this remark on Whatsapp-- a social media :

"It’s a whole botched affair. The bungling by the security agencies have reflected badly on the government, which is needless."

He suspects the police are trying to cover up or control the release of information regarding the trio.

"I suspect they’re trying to control the release of the information to the public and if the BNI boss was the source of the Daily Guide publication (I repeat IF), which might also explain the confidence of the paper in putting the info out, then something ain’t right in the corridors of the security apparatus."

Dr Kwesi Aning , Director Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Centre (KAIPC) says the manner in which Mr Inusah was sacked could send wrong signals to his subordinates.

He believes government did not handle the removal of the BNI Director well.

Dr. Aning in an interview with an Accra-based FM station said the manner in which Mr Seidu Inusah was relieved of his position could send wrong signals to his subordinates.

“The BNI is a unique institution which in the last couple of months has been transformed under Ambassador Inusah’s leadership on terms of making meritocracy and institutional reform the fulcrum around which his leadership revolved," he said.

This is a very senior official and if you look at the manner in which his predecessor was also told to leave and now Mr Inusah it raises broader concerns about what we want to do with our intelligence services, how we expect them to perform, how we expect inter-agency partnerships and collaborations to turn out and even more importantly how we tell senior officers who have served this country properly without any blemish on their reputation will send a signal to junior officers how they will be treated were they in the same position.”

Dr Aning added: “Intelligence and security operatives need to be assured and reassured that their services are respected and that when it’s time for them to leave they will leave nicely.”

Gordon Offin-Amaniampong
Gordon Offin-Amaniampong, © 2019

This author has authored 274 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: GordonOffinAmaniampong

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