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General News of Thursday, 6 September 2012

Source: myjoyonline.com

Investigations into ‘Boateng Gyan Tape’ scandal must go beyond Gbevlo Lartey

Investigations into the explosive comments made by the National Organiser of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) must go beyond the government-appointed National Security Co-coordinator, Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey, governance experts have said.

They contend that given the fact that Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan’s revelations suggest that national security had been infiltrated in the past by the NDC, Ghanaians could not be assured of credible, transparent, investigations if they were left in the hands of the national Security Coordinator, who is himself an appointee of the government.

Mr Gbevlo Lartey has stated that all persons involved in the conversation captured by leaked tape will be investigated but denied national security has ever issued ID Cards to any unauthorized persons.

But human rights advocate, Prof. Ken Agyemang Attafuah and a research officer at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Mr. Kojo Asante appear unconvinced.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, Prof. Ken Attafuah said “I think it is imperative that state security agencies do their job and do them manifestly transparently…this is not one of those instances where some covet facilitation or some other very secretive, measured or approaches…to investigation is warranted.”

He said the police must investigate the comments made by Mr Boateng Gyan and make their report public.

Or better still, President John Mahama, he said, should set up a multi-partisan Commission with representatives from the security agencies to probe the development “so that it is clear on the face of it that nothing has been hidden and that we have a clear verdict and assurance.”

The legal luminary and Criminologist, said the Ghanaian people need “assurance that their vote will count; that the integrity of every single individual vote will not be compromised through acts of impropriety.”

He said the NDC Organiser’s comments were not conducive to democratic practice, neither do “they...conduce to the advancement of the best interest of the nation.”

Supporting Prof. Attafuah’s argument, Mr Kojo Asante of the CDD, said there was the need for a high level investigation because the “National Security Coordinator himself is a subject of this collusion that has been revealed from listening to the tapes.”

Regarding the issuing of these ID cards to the individuals in question, he said, “of course we don’t know whether it is true that the National Security Coordinator is the one that is issuing these cards to them, we need the National Security Council…which is chaired by the president to institute an investigation so that it can go above the National Security Coordinator.”

Stressing the seriousness of Mr Gyan’s claims, Mr Asante asked, “What happens in elections, if based on these revelations, there is suspicion that people who are identifying themselves as national security operators may actually be party people”?

“That kind of suspicion is dangerous for the security itself because it puts their operatives and their officers at risk, so this is not a small matter; it is going to raise unnecessary tension, it creates suspicion of the security services and because they are so important to refereeing the process of elections and enforcing the law…, it is important that this investigation is done quickly and if sanctions have to be applied, they are applied immediately,” he submitted.

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