Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, has admitted installing the secret audiovisual recording gadgets which were found in the office of the current Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu.
His admission has got his successor, Nii Osah Mills - during President Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration - fuming with rage because he said he had realized that for two-and-a-half years, he was ‘naked.’
The discovery of the devices by the National Security a couple of days ago, set tongues wagging and fingers were being pointed at those operating in the illegal mining sector because Mr. Amewu, backed by President Akufo-Addo’s government, is waging a relentless war on the illegal and irresponsible mining activities popularly called galamsey.
Just as the government was directing the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to investigate the incident, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini popped up, claiming ownership of the gadgets. He said he hid them there in 2013 for his personal protection because he was then leading a clampdown on galamsey.
“It is true that I was installing it in 2013; but we never got around to completing the installation and so that is why the National Security did the swoop in the office but didn’t pick any signal because it’s not working,” he said yesterday.
“As a minister, I had started the fight against galamsey. That was an investment in my own security. Kumbour had been shot during the time we came into office and I had been advised by National Security to leave my private residence at Ridge and move into government residence in town. So I was doing that to ensure that I monitor people who were coming into my office in my presence and in my absence,” Inusah Fuseini explained.
He claimed that the device never worked because “somebody was doing it (for me) but I didn’t have time,” adding, “While doing it he needed me in the office but I didn’t have time so he couldn’t complete it.”
According to the former lands minister, the device was given to him as a gift by a certain Haruna soon after he assumed office as minister of lands and natural resources, which he fixed to monitor the happenings in his office.
But a security expert with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC), Kwasi Aning, has called on the security agencies to invite and interrogate Alhaji Fuseini over the spying equipment.
Dr. Aning, who earlier said the ‘bugs’ found in the lands minister’s office are the tip of the iceberg, noted that the words of Inusah Fuseini are a security threat and that the issue is so sensitive that it must be clarified immediately.
He stated categorically, “I think a nice invitation by the respective security agencies will be fine. So the agencies involved in the issue must invite him through the right channel since he is a Member of Parliament, so we can clarify this as quickly as possible.”
Dr Aning also chided the former minister for planting the surveillance equipment inside the Coat of Arms – a national emblem - which was installed in his office. “You don’t defame the symbol of national identity. It is disrespectful to the nation and the people you seek to serve for you to hide such a thing in the Coat of Arms. The claim that it was not working must be investigated. What was the purpose of hiding such equipment and why wasn’t it revealed in the handing over notes to the incoming minister?” he wondered.
Inusah’s successor, Nii Osah Mills, was shell-shocked at his colleague’s admission when the media contacted him for his reaction, saying he was unknowingly under secret surveillance while in office.
“It came as a surprise to me to hear in the news that such a device has been found in the room I used to occupy. I think and I do feel that I was being monitored,” he said.
“Any ordinary human being will equally feel bad because it is something that you least expected. One feels that in a sense, one was naked at work each day because I think one was creeping around and looking at everything that you did. It’s a very bad feeling,” he lamented.
The current minister has also said he was not ‘too surprised’ that such a device was found in his office.
“It is quite shocking. It is a caution for us to be careful in the environment we are working in. I am not too surprised; but it is an interesting thing that has been uncovered,” Mr. Amewu said.
On Monday, news broke that operatives of the National Security had found a device secretly planted in a plaque bearing the Coat of Arms of Ghana which had been hanged at a corner in the office of the minister.
The device is said to be very powerful, with an inbuilt camera, storage unit and another device believed to be a transmitter.
According to sources, the ‘highly’ sensitive device can pick a whisper about 35 feet away, had been neatly put in a black metal box and uses batteries.
The supposed secret recording gadget had been reportedly discovered during a screening exercise known in security parlance as ‘sweeping of the office.’
This paper learned that National Security operatives suspected the ‘bug’ when they embarked on a routine screening exercise at the ministry late last month.