Minority Caucus in Parliament has called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to immediately consider setting up an independent Committee of inquiry to investigate circumstances under which 100.10 grams of cocaine impounded by the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) and entrusted in the custody of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) disappeared.
The disappearance of the whitish substance came to light when the Director General of NACOC, Mr. Francis Torkornoo publicly lamented that the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority failed to account for the substance after his outfit had seized and handed over the substance plus an amount of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD200,000) to them.
Details of Mr. Torkornoo’s account of events following the impounding of the vehicle which had the substance concealed in a false compartment under its fuel tanker on Friday, June 5, 2020 revealed that, whereas a decision was taken to send the vehicle and the packages seized to Accra for the commencement of investigations, the Custom officers in and around the same duty post declined to allow officers of NACOC to proceed to Accra with the seized items.
However, when a further inventory was taken of the packages recovered from the impounded vehicle two days later, the 100.10 grams of the whitish substance suspected to be cocaine could not be accounted for.
Addressing the media in Parliament on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 on the issue, the Minority Spokesperson on Defence and Interior, James Agalga, blamed the confusion among the two government agencies involved in the controversy on the failure of leadership of President Nana Addo-Dankwa-Akufo-Addo.
“The Minority in Parliament is of the considered view that the lack of synergy amongst the country’s security agencies at our borders mirrors the failure of the leadership of President Akufo-Addo as Chairman of the National Security Council. Such failure portends grave danger to our national security as a whole,” he said.
The Minority raised a number of questions not only to drive home its point, but also considered as major concerns which must engage the attention of the President as the Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces against any for reign aggression on the people.
It demanded to know how the impounded vehicle managed to cross the Aflao border into Ghana at a time the country’s borders remain closed as part of measures rolled out by the President to stem the spread of COVID-19.
It also asked whether the security agencies including: NACOC; Customs; Immigration; police and the Bureau of National Investigation are not required to collaborate in their quest to protect the country against the commission of cross-border crimes such as drug trafficking, smuggling, child trafficking and even terrorism.
The Minority further asked if it was not the case that at the level of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), there exist the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) which coordinates the operations of all the security and intelligence agencies with the view to promote efficiency, information sharing, and also to root out unnecessary turf wars.
The Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Interior and Member of Parliament for Builsa North, James Agalga, therefore called on the Government of President Akufo-Addo to follow precedent by allowing an independent body to thoroughly investigate the Aflao cocaine saga.
President Kufuor set up the Georgina Wood Committee of Inquiry to investigate the disappearance of 77 parcels of cocaine from the MV Benjamin missing cocaine issue in 2006. Similarly, in January, 2008, the then Minister for Interior, Kwamena Bartels, set up the Kojo Armah Committee of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances that led to the substitution of cocaine with flour at the police exhibits room at the CID headquarters in Accra.
Source: Clement Akoloh || parliamentnews360.com