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Opinions of Sunday, 30 November 2014

Columnist: Ata, Kofi

Was Nayele Ametefeh Ibrahim Mahama’s Girlfriend?

By Kofi Ata, Cambridge

The Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Honourable Kennedy Agyapong publicly alleged on Adom FM that Ms Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, Angel and Ruby Appiah who has now pleaded guilty to trafficking 12 kilos of cocaine from Ghana to UK was the girlfriend of Mr Ibrahim Mahama, the younger brother of President Mahama and challenged Mr Ibrahim Mahama to confirm or deny the allegation. He also alleged that the same woman was going out with Dr Opuni the Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board (see, “Cocaine lady used VVIP because of Ibrahim Mahama – Ken Agyapong”, Ghanaweb, November 26, 2014). Mr Ibrahim took up the challenge and responded to the MP’s allegation but either cleverly, dishonestly or deliberately avoided the main question on whether Nayele Ametefeh was his girlfriend. Instead, he cunningly threw back a challenge to Kennedy Agyapong to show any evidence of him and the woman in question together (see, “Ibrahim Mahama dares Kennedy Agyapong”, Ghanaweb, November 27, 2014). This article is to analyse the allegation and the response.

The allegation against Ibrahim Mahama and Dr Opuni was in Akan and I listened to the clip on Peace FM online. It was crystal clear the main allegation was that the woman was the girlfriend of Ibrahim Mahama and not the provision of pictures of the two together. That was a minor issue to buttress the allegation. It is therefore bizarre that Ibrahim Mahama chose to respond to the pictures and not the fact that he has been accused of being the boyfriend of the cocaine trafficker. More seriously, he also kept silent on the allegation that the woman was able to use the VVIP because she was the girlfriend of Ibrahim Mahama.

Ordinarily, the relationship between a criminal and a citizen should not be a big deal. However, this case is not ordinary. Again, Mr Ibrahim Mahama is not an ordinary citizen but the younger brother of the President of the Republic, who when Vice-President (John Dramani Mahama) used or misused his position to intervene on behalf of his younger brother’s in a business matter. This cocaine case has public interest and serious security and reputational implications not only for the government but also the people of Ghana.

For these reasons, Mr Ibrahim Mahama should be told in no uncertain terms that, he cannot and must not be allowed to throw dust into the eyes of the public when the international image of Ghana and her national security are at risk. He must be compelled to answer the questions on whether Nayele Ametefeh is or was his girlfriend and if so, did he assist her to have access to the VVIP at KIA on her failed cocaine trip?

This is important because if the allegation is true it will damage the presidency and the security agencies in Ghana. If true, was Ibrahim Mahama aware of Nayele’s drug trafficking activities? If not, did he question the sources of her extravagant and opulent lifestyle? Finally, if true, was the President aware of the relationship? Did the security agencies also know of the relationship and if so did they warn the President or his brother about the illegal activities of Nayele, since they claim she has been under their surveillance for some time and collaborated with their UK counterparts in her arrest? If not, then that is a very serious security failure. The security agencies are expected to keep an eye on all those who have direct connections and regular dealings with the President of the Republic, including his family members, presidential staff and ministers. The purpose is to warn the President in advance of anything that could embarrass him personally or bring his office into disrepute if such thing becomes public knowledge.

Mr Ibrahim Mahama cannot dance around very serious allegation against him and should be invited by the security agencies and questioned because he is not above the law. Ghanaians are being told that the call to Mr Armah to facilitate the passage of Nayele through the VVIP at KIA was made by one Alhaji Dawud who is now at large. How could BNI arrest those who assisted Nayele and her friends at the request of Alahji Dawud but allow him to abscond? Alhaji Dawud should have been the first priority of BNI. Could it be that this Alhaji Daud does not exist in reality but a cover up? Could Alhaji Dawud be Ibrahim Mahama but being shielded by those involved and the authorities in order not cause embarrassment to the President?

Ibrahim Mahama’s response to Kennedy Agyapong’s allegation is unconvincing and insulting so he should be made to answer the allegation by either denying or confirming it rather than issue empty threats. This matter should be taken seriously by all from President Mahama to the ordinary citizen without fear or favour because its implications could last for over a decade. The inconsistencies by ministers, BNI and those involved beggar belief.

Mr Ibrahim Mahama, please come again and answer the question whether the cocaine woman was your girlfriend or not. Don’t be clever by avoiding the question because it would not go away. It’s in your best interest, otherwise whenever you travel outside Africa, especially to the west, you would be subjected to very strict searches that could embarrass you. We are waiting to hear from you again.

Kofi Ata, Cambridge, UK.