The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has directed that a special seven-member committee to probe the alleged leaked audio containing a discussion on removing the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr George Akuffo Dampare, from office.
Mr Bagbin’s committee will comprise of three legislators from each side of the House, with support from a technical person to assist the committee in its investigations.
“This issue goes beyond defence and interior committee and we need some of you who are good in information technology (IT) and other areas to submit your talents and skills to the committee for this work to be done,” he said.
Names of members
Addressing Parliament prior to the House adjourning, Mr Bagbin asked that the leadership of the Majority and Minority caucuses should submit the names of their members to committee.
“Leadership, please within one week we should get the names submitted because I know you have to do some consultation,” the Speaker directed.
Terms of reference
The Speaker’s directive came after the Minority Leader, Emmanuel Kofi Armah-Buah, had submitted, per the directive of the Speaker, the terms of reference of investigation of the committee.
He mentioned that as the authenticity of the leaked audio recording, investigate the conspiracy to remove the current IGP, investigate any other matter contained in the audio recording, recommend sanctions to persons found culpable where appropriate, make recommendations for reforms where necessary and make such other recommendations and consequential orders as the committee might deem appropriate.
The decision to form the committee comes in response to a demand by the Minority caucus of Parliament, who called for a thorough forensic audit to determine the authenticity and credibility of the leaked tape.
That was after Mr Armah-Buah had read an urgent statement on the alleged leaked tape on the floor of Parliament last Wednesday.
He said in the allege leaked tape there were purported senior members of the New Patriotic Party who had met a senior police officer to discuss the Assin North by-election, the role of the IGP and how the IGP did not lead efforts in allowing the NPP win the election.
He said the attempt to remove the IGP and the discussion about the 2024 elections and what must be done to remove Dr Dampare for a new IGP to be put in place to collude with the sitting government to get a certain outcome must concern to Parliament.
“It boils down to the security of this country and it is important that this House wants to know the authenticity of that leaked tape,” he said.
Contributing to the statement, the immediate former Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said it was a truism that the leaked tape contained matters relating to the conduct of the IGP and efforts and conspiracy to seek his removal.
He said the primary duty of the President and the Interior Minister was safety and security of the citizens which was vested in the hands of the IGP.
“Because the identities of the persons in the tape are not known, it is only through forensic thorough audit that you will establish those persons.
“Mr Speaker, we do so not just for the professional integrity of the IGP and to preserve and protect and empower him to ensure that elections in this country even tomorrow are conducted in a manner that is free from intimidation and fear,” he said.
He therefore urged the House to conduct a thorough forensic audit into he leaked tape to establish the veracity or otherwise what was contained in that tape.
Contributing, the Minister of Local Government, Dan Botwe, said insecurity anywhere and under any circumstance should be condemned.
He, however, said the impression should not be created that an appointment of an IGP by a ruling government determined the outcome of an election.
“If you are saying there is a tape and whether it should be investigated or not, I have no problem since it is your bosom Mr Speaker. But for the Minority to go ahead and comment on it and create the impression that a particular IGP in place determines the outcome of an election is wrong,” he said.
Mr Botwe cited how various elections conducted during the era of various IGPs in the past saw opposing political parties winning parliamentary elections across the country.