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General News of Saturday, 18 May 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Parliament to haul Gender, Interior Ministers over 3 missing girls

The Chairman of Parliament’s Gender, Children and Social Protection has said the Gender and Interior Ministers will be hauled to brief the nation on the status of the three missing Takoradi girls, when House resumes.

Dr. Kojo Appiah Kubi is hopeful the nation will be given a good briefing by the Gender Minister, Cynthia Morrison, especially the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery.

”They superintend the operations of the Ghana Police Service and should be able to speak to the issue,” he told Raymond Acquah on news discussion show, Upfront on Thursday.

The Gender Minister in January this year spoke of strong indications that the girls -Ruth Quayson, Priscilla Blessing Bentum and Priscilla Koranchie- who are reported missing between August 2018 and January 2019, are still in Ghana.




She said although human trafficking has not been ruled out in the disappearance of the girls, there is a strong likelihood that the Nigerian kidnap syndicate believed to be keeping them, has not taken them out of the country.

A lot has happened since then so Dr Appiah Kube wants the two Ministers to update the nation.

Police CID boss gaffe

The Gender, Children and Social Protection committee chair wants the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to focus on finding the missing Takoradi girls.

Dr. Kojo Appiah Kubi says communication from the police on the matter has so far not been impressive causing families to be worried amidst calls for the CID boss to step aside.

“Certain things have happened in the matter regarding the involvement of the police being in the public domain, with press conferences that they have held, which did not augur well for the image of the Police Service.

“Certain statements were made which were not very good which shouldn’t have been made…the police should be acting more than talking,” he said.

The police have over the past months been engaged in a frantic search for the girls with other parts of the country similarly hit by kidnappings and abductions.

The main suspect in the kidnapping, Samuel Udoetuk-Wills is currently serving an 18-month jail term after he was found guilty by the Takoradi Hugh Court for escaping from lawful custody in December 2018, following his first arrest.

“We know where the girls are,” CID boss Maame Tiwa Addo-Danquah told reporters at a news conference last month. While confident of wrapping up the saga, the CID boss urged patience and assured the public “they are safe...very soon they will be brought back home.”

Then, families of the missing girls questioned why the police failed to disclose the information to them before going public.

The Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo, criticised the action saying it was wrong for the investigating authorities to have disclosed information about the whereabouts of the three missing girls.

That information, which was put in the public domain by the CID boss she said, could put the lives of the girls in danger.

Weeks later, under-pressure Maame Tiwaa beat a retreat saying she was misunderstood when she announced three kidnapped girls had been located.

She told Accra-based Atinka TV, she ‘wanted to give the families hope’ by that announcement.

The Commissioner of Police has been criticised not only by her former boss Bright Oduro but many other people with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) giving her a 14-day ultimatum to find the girls or step down.

The MP for Atwima Kwawoma constituency in the Ashanti Region said it is not out of place for people to demand the head of the Maame Tiwaa.

“It is their right to demand that. My advice will be for us to be circumspect and wait a little bit,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has urged the public to rather volunteer information to assist the police find the kidnapped girls rather than make calls for the CID boss to step aside.