An Accra High Court yesterday played the controversial leaked tape of the National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, which the prosecution says was inciting NDC faithful against some key public officials in the country.
Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo and one of the party’s leading communicators, Anthony Kwaku Boahen, are on trial over the tape which captures how the opposition NDC was allegedly planning to commit crimes in the country and turn round to blame them on the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Among the strategies were the creation of a general state of insecurity in the country through kidnappings, arson and verbal attacks on public officials like the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof. Emmanuel Asante, and Electoral Commission boss, Jean Mensa.
The audio details how Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo, for instance, was asking the party members to make those officials “know their lives are in danger” as well taking the EC Chairperson “to the cleaners.”
The tape forms part of the evidence of the investigator, Detective Chief Inspector Bernard Berko, who testified as the third witness in the trial.
Already, a lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Languages, Isaac Osei, has tendered in evidence the transcript of the audio recording which is the subject of the trial of Ofosu-Ampofo and Kwaku Baohen before the court.
Led in his evidence-in-chief by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, Inspector Berko told the court that on February 27, 2019, the police had information that Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo had made certain statements which were of security concerns during a meeting of NDC communicators held at their party headquarters in Accra on February 3, 2019.
He said the matter was referred to him for investigation and as part of the processes, he obtained a copy of the said audio recording from Accra-based Adom FM and after carefully listening to the audio, he recognised the voice of Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo and other party leaders such as Alfred Ogbamey.
He said Kwaku Boahen, during an interview with Benjamin Osei Ampofo Adjei on Adom FM, after listening to the leaked tape confirmed that it was the voice of Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo that was on the tape.
“A2 (Kwaku Boahen) was further questioned whether he was part of the said meeting and he said yes, he was. A2 went further to say that he and some other members who were present at the meeting were in support and in agreement with whatever A1 (Ofosu-Ampofo) said that was why they applauded him.”
Inspector Berko said he then obtained copies of the leaked tape as well as the interview from Adom FM, made copies and forwarded them to the Ghana Institute of Languages, where they transcribed everything.
The investigator told the court that the accused persons were subsequently invited by the police to assist with investigations.
He said the two honoured the invitations and their respective audio recordings were played to them, after which they were interrogated by the police.
Inspector Berko also told the court that Ofosu-Ampofo and Kwaku declined to talk about the issue although Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo said the tape was doctored, they both told the police they wished to exercise their right to remain silence.
He said the two were then granted police enquiry bail and Ofosu-Ampofo after the grant of bail addressed NDC supporters who had converged at the entrance of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters premise and same was captured by TV3 Network.
Inspector Berko stated that as part of his investigations, he obtained the audio recording of the said address from TV3, made copies of it together with the leaked one which was already in his possession.
He said he then forwarded the two recordings to Israel Forensic Science Institute for forensic examination.
He added that a response and the tapes were received and then forwarded to the Attorney General.
The leaked tape was then played in court which detailed the plans the NDC chairman was briefing the party’s officials about.
The tape also contains statements such as “so you see that now, we have a tactical advantage. Nobody has slept in their house… People will also start capturing your mothers and Fathers and keeping them hostage … So we need to go back to the drawing board and strategise…
“We will go after them. But we will not go after them face to face. We have to use tactical approaches to make life very uncomfortable for some of them. We will target some people, and we will let the people know that their life is in danger and once they know their life is in danger they themselves will be careful.
“As for that one, I want to assure you that we will go all out to ensure that as President John Mahama said when it comes to this game, in fact, we are better than them.”
The prosecution had made an attempt to tender the audio recording in evidence but Tony Lithur, counsel for Ofosu-Ampofo, told the court the transcript which was tendered as evidence contains many more statements which were not contained on the tape that was played in court. He insisted that the entire tape be played.
The DPP who sifted through the numerous pen drives she had was not certain about the one which contained the full voice and, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn the matter so they could bring the full voice.
The case was adjourned to November 19, 2020 for continuation.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak