Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
The three South African ex-police officers who made the headlines last week following their arrest by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) were deported to their home country yesterday in a manner that is seen as contemptuous of the court of law.
The three—Major Ahmed Shaik HAZIS (rtd), known as Chris, aged 55 years, W. O. Denver Dwayne NAIDU (rtd), aged 39 years, and Cpt Mlungiseleli JOKANI (rtd), aged 45 years—were still kept by the BNI for more than one week after their arrest, in spite of a court order to release them, before they were eventually bundled unto a South African Airways flight SA 210 for Johannesburg at about 09:30 hours.
Even though the security agencies had purportedly leaked a report to pro-government media houses indicating that they (ex-security capos) were in the country to engage in mercenary activities, the same agencies ended up charging the foreigners with conspiracy to commit crime, unlawful training and false declaration.
They were arrested for training the security detail of the flagbearer and the vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Captain Edmund Koda (rtd), head of the security detail of the NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and Captain Kwesi Acquah (rtd), the owner of El-Capitano Hotel at Agona Duakwa in the Central Region where the three ex-police officers lodged, were also arrested and detained by the BNI but were released on Monday.
Additionally, on the eve of Good Friday, operatives of the BNI allegedly raided the offices of the Danquah Institute (DI), a think-tank aligned to the NPP.
An online report claimed the security outfit had denied being involved in the raid which also targeted the office of a deputy director of communication of the NPP, Perry Kwabla Okudzeto, as well as the residence of Capt Koda (rtd) at Weija, Accra.
STL & Election Results
Interior Minister Prosper D.K. Bani, in a statement following the arrest, had said that one of the South Africans called Hazis had in his possession “a comprehensive report on the operations of Superlock Technologies Limited (STL) and an assessment of some key staff’s vulnerability for possible compromise was retrieved from Hazis’ room.” He also added that “STL is the company contracted by the Electoral Commission (EC) to transmit tallied election results.”
Mr Bani had said further that “Hazis denied authoring the document but indicated that it was given to him by Dani Isaaca, an Israeli based in South Africa. Hazis claimed he had not read the document which had been in his possession for about three (3) weeks. During interrogation it was evident that he was conversant with the content of the document.”
Curiously, when this issue about election results transmission emerged in the heat of the disputed 2012 presidential election, both the EC and the NDC government denied categorically that it was STL that did the transmission on behalf of the commission.
Atta Akyea Incensed
Atta Akyea, NPP MP for Abuakwa South, who was part of the legal team that represented the South Africans in court, confirmed the news about the deportation and said the government revoked their visas eventually.
He hit hard at the Ministry of the Interior for ignoring the lawlessness of the BNI after it had detained the three South African nationals, despite the fact that a court had granted them bail.
He described the statement from the minister that also tried to run down Captain Koda as "very shameful" because it also failed to touch on the action of the BNI. That he considered disrespectful to the courts and again described the explanation for the continuous detention of the three men as a “dubious and devious explanation.”
“If a man is on bail, he can always report to the authority,” the incensed MP told Joy FM, adding, “If a man is on bail and you arrest him, it amounts to lawlessness.”
According to him, the government had demonstrated through the recent behaviour of its officials that it was impossible to have “a clear understanding of the law with the executive power.”
Stealing Manifesto Ideas
One staunch NPP supporter cynically remarked to DAILY GUIDE that the NDC government was behind the alleged BNI raid in order to get manifesto tips from the opposition party since he claimed the ruling party had a penchant for ‘stealing’ manifesto ideas from the opposition.
“Dou you remember how President Mahama and his team shamelessly stole our free SHS idea after bastardising it?” he asked and added, “Look at how they have taken our ‘transforming lives, transforming Ghana’ slogan we used in 2012 without shame. Even on this one, the NDC mocked us in 2012.
“They have hit the end of the road. They don’t have ideas to run this country and so all they want to do is to intimidate the NPP but we shall never be suppressed. We shall continue to let the public know that the NPP can lead this country into prosperity. Everybody knows change is coming.”
The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) later confirmed the deportation of the South Africans in a statement and said they concealed the purpose for which they entered Ghana to the authorities.
Signed by Felix Yaw Sarpong, Director of GIS, the statement said the service found out that the three South Africans had admitted at the BNI that “they were engaged by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to come to the country and conduct training for fifteen (15) bodyguards from the party in VIP security drills.”
Arrival Of The Three
“Hazis Shaik was first to arrive in Ghana. He came on board a South African Airlines plane [Flt No. SA 52] at about 9:40 pm on 5/03/16 on a Republic of South Africa passport number M00052092. He indicated on his disembarkation card that Movenpick Hotel, Accra, was his contact address in Ghana,” the statement said.
“The two other individuals invited by McDan Shipping Ltd arrived in Ghana around 10:15 pm on 14/03/16 on South African Airlines (Flt No. SA 209) and were both travelling on Republic of South Africa passport numbers M00096231 and A05213410 respectively. They both indicated on their disembarkation cards that Alisa Hotel, Accra, was their contact address in Ghana.”
According to the GIS, Hazis was identified by the other two as their leader and had indicated in his statement that he was engaged to provide VIP protection training to the security officers of the leader of the opposition party in Ghana, the NPP, but the service said, “This statement does not conform with the purpose of their invitation.”
The GIS said it was established that it was McDan Shipping Ltd and the Danquah Institute that had invited them but the invitees were not security companies, adding, “On the face of the documentation examined, it was clear that the three individuals were not sure of who actually invited them,” and “the NPP as a legal entity did not invite the three South Africans to Ghana and there is no documentation to contradict this fact.”
“It is the view of the GIS that the training exercise conducted by the three at the El-Capitano Hotel in the Central Region to a group that did not invite them is clearly a confirmation of the attempt to conceal the motive for their visit and is therefore a breach of Section 52(1) (e) and (i) of the Immigration Act 2000 (Act 573).”
“Their act is also a breach of the conditions precedent for the issuance of visas as contained in the instructions on Form B (Reg.3 (4) of the Immigration Regulation 2001 (LI 1691).”
Deportee Sister Mad
A sister of one of the three South African ex-police officers who were detained in Ghana is insisting that her brother, Major Ahmed Shaik Hazis (rtd), is not a criminal. In an exclusive interview with Citi News, Nimala Abboy said she was outraged about the treatment meted out to her brother and his colleagues.
She said, “My brother has his own security company and does security, VIP protection and bodyguarding and that is what he does for a living.”
She added that her family members were outraged by “the way they [his brother and the two others] were treated and we didn’t understand the charges that were brought against them but we just rejoiced that they are on their way home and we are just happy that there was no real case against them.”
She was thankful to the NPP “for standing by them and for the group of attorneys that represented them (in court). We are very grateful and thankful for their support.”