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General News of Monday, 4 October 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Inside National Security raid that led to arrest of Savelugu 'terror-linked' Imam

Albert Kan Dapaah, Minister of National Security Albert Kan Dapaah, Minister of National Security

• Family of a detained Imam are demanding his release from custody

• Imam Siita Hussein was arrested last month in a raid by National Security in Savelugu

• He is alleged to have connections with terrorists in the sub-region


Imam Siita Hussein has been in the custody of National Security since his arrest last month in the Northern Region over claims that he has links to terrorist groups in the West African subregion.

The Imam was arrested by National Security during a raid on an Arabic learning centre he founded at Nambagla near Diare in the Savelugu Municipality.

He was picked with 30 others and flown to Accra where they were questioned by operatives on their alleged links to terrorist groups.

A brother to the Imam, who was himself arrested during the raid but subsequently released along with 27 others has given details about how the raid happened and their experiences whiles in detention in Accra.

In an interview with Joy FM, Hussein recounted: “All of a sudden, they surrounded the mosque with their guns while we were supplicating after dawn prayers.

"They ordered us to stay put and not make any move before introducing ourselves as police officers. They said anyone who tries to make any move will be shot.

"Because we haven’t committed any crime, I led them to search the whole place; the mosque, our rooms, everywhere,” he added.

Hussein is at the forefront of calls for his elder brother to be released because authorities have since arresting him failed to find any incriminating evidence to continue holding him.

Experiences in National Security custody

According to him, the Imam remains in custody with one of his top clerics. On their experiences in National Security custody, he said: “They kept us in one room and gave us food that night. They provided a place for us to bathe.

"They started picking us randomly into another room where they asked us some questions. They asked us which country our sheikh studied the Quran and his Islamic teachings. They asked where we were born and many other questions”.

According to the Joy News report, operatives have revealed that the Imam and other detainees are being held over audio recordings found on their mobile phones.

Operatives believe that the recordings are connected to exchanges between the Imam and suspected terrorists per a preliminary forensic investigation.

The Imam's brother also confirmed that the school has been shut down on orders of National Security and all foreign students have left.

"All the foreigners have gone back. The place is now empty. For me, I don’t support the existence of learning if the government allows for its operation.”

Fulani Welfare Group boss confirms raid

Commenting on the development last month, Alhaji Musa Barry, General Secretary of Fulani Welfare Group confirmed having gotten a hint of the raid and subsequently receiving confirmation via a call from a National Security official who invited him to a meeting.

“I was only there to interpret their language, they are all Fulani, but they are not herdsmen, they are all students of that cleric.

"So they were investigating about their mobiles, the communication and other things which help the National Security to interpret,” he said on the September 9 edition of Joy FM's News Nite programme.

Unfounded allegations, call for release

Hussein also denies all allegations made against his brother who he insists had no previous encounter with police: “This is his first encounter with the police. I repeat, this is the first time he’s being arrested”.

He alleged that despite being held without charge to date, the family has no access to the detainees.

He reiterated his call for charges to proferred against them or that they are released.

“There is no truth in all their claims. What I do know is that the world has changed and everybody now depends on WhatsApp for information, so that is exactly what we are doing too.

"WhatsApp is a universal information sharing platform. So we are asking for their release. They haven’t committed any crime. The police have found absolutely nothing against it. So we are appealing for them to be released to their families,” Hussein stated

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