By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Lawyer for Captain Edmund Kojo Koda (rtd), head of the security detail of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has lambasted the Minister of the Interior, Prosper D.K. Bani, for making false statements about his client.
Nana Asante Bediatuo, lawyer for Captain Koda, said in a statement yesterday, “This is not the kind of conduct expected from a minister of the interior. We are surprised that a high ranking member of government would lend himself to being used for this kind of propaganda.”
According to the lawyer, Mr. Bani in a statement he signed following the arrests of the three South Africans who were deported yesterday, had made false declarations about Captain Koda who was also detained by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) during the investigations into the training of security details of the NPP leaders.
Mr. Bani has claimed that Captain Koda was once jailed in the heat of the 1979 ‘revolution’ by the AFRC for embezzlement of funds and was also involved in the activities of Serbian nationals who were brought into the country to train selected people drawn from across the country in the art of civil insurrection in 2014.
However, Nana Asante Bediatuo described the statements as false and said, “In the era when the Mahama Government continues to justify the unjustifiable, and our security agencies blatantly flout an order of the court, we are not surprised that a minister, who is mandated to ensure internal security, as well as the maintenance of law and order in the country, would also join the fray and spew palpable falsehoods in the bid to link the NPP and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to violence.”
According to the lawyer, Captain Koda was never jailed for embezzlement as claimed by Mr. Bani.
“Yes, Captain Edmund Koda was involved in the uprising of June 4, 1979, which brought the AFRC regime into power. He was a member of the pre-trial investigation team. He and other members of the team were accused of having embezzled funds and were tried twice on the same charges by the ‘People’s Court’.
On both occasions, Captain Koda was acquitted and discharged. He was, however, imprisoned in the Ussher Fort Prison. Indeed, the chairman of the AFRC, Flt. Lt. J.J. Rawlings, demanded their release in November 1979, a request which was refused by the Liman government. Captain Koda and his other colleagues, eventually broke jail and sought political asylum in the United Kingdom.”
He added that “The Francois Commission, headed by Appeal Court Judge, Justice Francois, was set up to investigate the jail break. At the hearings of the Commission, Squadron Leader Dagbe, the President of the People’s Court, admitted that Captain Koda had been acquitted and discharged at the trial on the charges of “embezzlement”. Captain Koda has never been convicted of corruption as is being claimed by the Minister of Interior. Refer to Francois Commission report which is available at the Supreme Court Library. Perhaps, it is equally unsurprising that a simple check of official records to confirm basic facts is also fraught with incompetence.”
On the 2014 alleged insurrection, Nana Asante Bediatuo said, “This is the most ludicrous of all the statements made by the Interior Minister. For the avoidance of doubt, Captain Koda did not meet any Serbian in 2014 or any other time, let alone engage the services of Serbian nationals, or any other persons, to train Ghanaians in the art of ‘civil insurrection,’ which is a treasonable offence.
“The only Serbian Captain Koda knows is the former coach of the Black Stars. Is it not curious that Captain Koda, since 2014, has been walking a free man and has not been invited for questioning by National Security or the BNI on this serious charge? Is the minister saying that our country’s security would allow a man who has attempted to destabilize the country walk free? Indeed, Captain Koda was in the custody of the BNI. Why was he not charged or questioned on this Serbian issue? Why did he only learn of this matter from the minister’s statement?”
NDC Gov’t Obsession
“Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. The Mahama government is obsessed with trying to tag the NPP, and, indeed, Nana Akufo-Addo, with violence, with no shred of evidence. Indeed, the terrorists and mercenaries who this government claimed had been imported by the NPP, have been deported during the pendency of the case and without being subjected to trial,” the legal gem noted.