Embattled National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo yesterday declined an invitation from the Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to report at the headquarters of the law enforcement agency.
A correspondence from the CID asked him to report at 2pm yesterday to assist in investigations into the spate of kidnappings and fire outbreaks that have rocked the country in recent times.
A suspect has accused the NDC National Chairman of masterminding the criminal activities.
He was advised by his lawyers led by Dr. Dominic Akuritinga Ayine not to honour the invitation, according to a correspondence they sent to the Director General, CID, COP Maame Tiiwa Addo-Danquah yesterday.
Ask The Police
At about 12.55pm, lawyers of the party, including Tony Lithur, Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong, former Attorney General, Abraham Ambaliba and Dodwin Edudzi Tamakloe arrived at the reception of the CID headquarters but without Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo.
Mr. Amaliba who was clutching a document which turned out to be a letter addressed to the CID Director General delivered it to the receptionist for onward delivery to her boss.
A swarm of reporters took positions for a story due to the 2pm timing given by the CID for him to come and assist in investigations, but they returned with a ‘no show’ report.
Reports that Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo was not going to honour the invitation were confirmed after he delivered the letter.
A reporter asked Mr. Amaliba about the contents of the letter and his response was “ask the police.”
When journalists asked Edudzi Tamakloe whether the NDC Chairman would honour the invitation, the lawyer said “he is not coming.”
When eventually the contents of the letter addressed to the CID Director General were made public, it was clear that Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo would not turn up at the CID headquarters.
The letter signed by Dr. Ayine and addressed to the CID Director General suggested that Mr Ofosu-Ampofo was not going to show up.
“Having carefully reviewed your letter against the background of the ongoing prosecution of our client, we are unable to resist the conclusion that your invitation and so-called investigations into kidnapping, arson and other crimes is collateral to the ongoing criminal trial, and that its purpose is partly to prejudice our client’s defence,” part of the letter stated.
“The invitation follows a pattern of political harassment and intimidation which violates his fundamental human rights, particularly his constitutional rights to personal dignity and political association that is devoid of intimidation and harassment.”
Continuing, the lawyers pointed out that “even though we appreciate the importance of every citizen assisting the law enforcement agencies in the discharge of their mandate, our considered view is that the current invitation constitutes a gross abuse of the investigative and prosecutorial powers of the police as a public institution.”
He Won’t Come
“Since Ofosu-Ampofo is not under arrest for the alleged offences, he is legally entitled to decline your invitation. We have therefore advised him accordingly,” the lawyers said.
They added that “our client, being national chairman of the largest opposition party in the country and his leadership and members cannot help but notice the failing security situation in the country since the present government took office.”
They said that the tone and insinuations in the letter is an attempt to shift, in their estimation, the inability of the security agencies, including the CID, to manage the security failures in the country.
They also explained that Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo and one other person are currently the subject of criminal proceedings in court arising from the violence that characterized the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-election for which he was arrested and interrogated over a leaked audio recording which they claimed was unconstitutionally obtained.
Ex-President John Mahama, the 2020 flagbearer of the NDC, set the tone before the NDC letter to the CID when he described the process initiated by the police as ‘useless’.
He said on his Accra tour on Wednesday that “let them (NPP) remember that in whatever they do, they are setting precedent. You cannot take any frivolous and vexatious investigation and be inviting the chairman of the biggest opposition party every day to the CID headquarters on very useless allegations.”
He said the Akufo-Addo government, which is not delivering, had resorted to harassment of NDC officials, saying that won’t save the NPP from defeat in 2020.
“We are advising the NPP – if you deliver on your promises, the people of Ghana will look favourably at you but if you have failed don’t out of your desperation decide to harass our party officials. Whatever you do, you cannot escape the judgment of the people.”
NDC Press Conference
After the lawyers presented the letter to the CID, the NDC held a news conference addressed by Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu on behalf of NDC Council of Elders on the harassment and intimidation of the National Chairman.
“The party will not allow Ofosu-Ampofo to honour the invitation. Our National Chairman is not under any compulsion or obligation to assist the police in their investigations and the NDC will not allow him to honour that vexatious invitation,” they said, adding “he has no assistance to render the CID as far as this matter is concerned.”
The NDC said “the living conditions of the ordinary Ghanaian are getting worse. What is needed is a conscious effort to determine the choices we have to make for our survival and sustainable development. This is what Ghanaians expect of their political leaders and representatives, not political retribution, witch-hunting, harassment and humiliation.”
“The Akufo-Addo administration appears more to be preoccupied with showing off its political power than creating a congenial atmosphere for national unity and development,” the NDC stated.
By A.R. Gomda & Linda Tenyah