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General News of Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Source: Graphic

Cocaine Dispute - Senior Police Officer Indicted By Car Dealer

The man who was accused of selling the missing cocaine from the Police Exhibits Store at the CID Headquarters, Mr Kwame Frempong, who is a car dealer, has indicted a senior police officer for asking him to “confess” to receiving the drugs from DSP Patrick Akagbo to sell on his behalf.

He said Chief Superintendent Alphonse Adu-Amankwah, the former Head of the erstwhile Organised Crime Unit, had warned him that he would be detained and later prosecuted if he failed to “confess” because the police had the facts to implicate him and DSP Akagbo.

Mr Frempong, who was released from detention on April 4, 2008, told the Daily Graphic that Chief Supt Adu-Amankwah had indicated that the police were after DSP Akagbo and not him (Frempong). Chief Supt Adu-Amankwah, therefore, asked him to co-operate.

In a sharp rebuff, however, the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service disowned Mr Frempong’s claim, pointing out that the police were professional in their interrogations and never coerced Mr Frempong to implicate anyone.

The Director of the Police Public Affairs Unit, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kwesi Ofori, told the Daily Graphic, in reaction to the accusation, that the police did not encourage frame-ups, since they were aware that when people were put before the law courts, due processes were involved.

But Mr Frempong, in an interview, said he had told Chief Supt Adu-Amankwah to prosecute him if he had any information about his dealings in drugs because no amount of coercion could make him implicate anybody for something he (Frempong) knew nothing about.

“At that point, Chief Supt Adu-Amankwah became furious and asked that I should be sent back to the cells to teach me a lesson,” he added.

Mr Frempong was released from police detention following the reported retraction of the accusation by his accuser, Isaac Tenkorang, who subsequently apologised to Mr Frempong before the Kojo Armah Committee investigating the missing cocaine.

Narrating his ordeal to the Daily Graphic, Mr Frempong said he had reported himself at the CID Headquarters about 3:30 p.m. on February 25, 2008 on his return from Lome, Togo, when he was told that about 18 armed policemen and four plain-clothes men had stormed his residence the previous Thursday looking for him.

Mr Frempong said the police took away his passport, cheque books, statement of accounts and a KIA Pride taxi, with registration number GR 6071 Z.

He said he reported himself to the police in the company of a relative on February 25, 2008, since he did not know what they were looking for.

According to him, he was asked about his relationship with DSP Akagbo and he was later informed that the police had information that DSP Akagbo had given him the missing drugs to sell.

He said he was also told that he (Frempong) had given two slabs of cocaine to two persons to sell at $40,000, after which he had given each $500.

Mr Frempong said when he denied the allegations, he was told that he would be detained if he did not tell the police the truth.

“I told the CID boss that I dealt in cars and not cocaine and indicated that I reported myself because I thought there had been a problem with one of the cars I might have sold to someone,” he added.

He said after those exchanges, he was sent back to the cells. According to him, about 8:05 a.m. on February 26, 2008, he was taken to meet Chief Supt Adu-Amankwah, during which Chief Supt Adu-Amankwah forced him to implicate DSP Akagbo or face the consequences.

Mr Frempong said he was taken back to the cells after denying knowledge of what he was being accused of and also failing to implicate someone wrongfully.

According to him, he made his first appearance before the Kojo Armah Committee on February 27, 2008, where he was asked about his relationship with DSP Akagbo.

In his reaction, DSP Ofori explained that Mr Frempong had been mentioned by informants as knowing something about the missing cocaine, hence his invitation to the CID Headquarters.

He said Mr Frempong had been interrogated by the Director-General of the CID, DCOP Frank Adu-Poku, and other operatives and later handed over to the Kojo Armah Committee to assist in their investigations, saying that “that ended our work and dealings with him”.

He said Mr Frempong was later released by the committee, based on some developments at the committee level.

DSP Ofori said during his detention at the CID Headquarters, Mr Frempong was not subjected to any psychological or physical torture or any form of inhuman treatment.

He said the appearance of the names of the informants in some newspapers after the committee had been notified that the police had some informants to help them made the informants to go into hiding.

He said the police were disappointed when the names of the informants appeared in some publications because informant handling was very crucial to any effective and successful investigation.

According to DSP Ofori, the publication of the names of the informants exposed them to danger and that could have explained why they went into hiding until the BNI arrested one of them. He said the informants were exposed to the deadly world of drug dealing.

“You cannot expose someone to danger and expect that person to co-operate with you. You should not be doing things that jeopardise police operations,” he said.

DSP Ofori expressed the hope that the revelation of the names to the media did not emanate from the Kojo Armah Committee.

He said the Police Administration had given the committee maximum co-operation by making available to it documents and all officials who needed to give evidence.

He said the Police Administration did not have anything to hide and noted that it was at the instance of the police that the committee was formed.

Story by Albert K. Salia