Former Northern Region Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Daniel Bugri Naabu failed to show up before the seven-member committee set up to probe the leaked tape of some top police and party officials seeking the removal of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The committee, chaired by Abuakwa South Member of Parliament (MP) Samuel Atta Akyea, sat for the first time on Thursday, August 24 to hear from the first witness.
But a letter signed by lawyer Raymond Dornyo of Crabbe, Crabbe & Co on behalf of Mr Bugri Naabu cited ill-health on the part of his client as he sought permission for absence.
Mr Atta Akyea was not happy with the reason, indicating that “it is not good enough reason for the simple reason that unless it is a death-dealing malady, then we can say for one measure or the other, we cancel”.
He urged all witnesses to be invited to “respect” the committee especially its timetable.
“We want all witnesses to respect the committee especially our timetable,” he told journalists.
“I do not believe it is right and proper that when people are invited to appear before the committee, they have scheduled the committee. It should be the other way around.”
He further stated that time consciousness is paramount to the committee and he expects all invited witnesses to respect that.
“It is not a witch-hunt, these are very decent members of our community,” he said, referring to the members of the committee.
The special committee was set up by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin, following a complaint by the Minority.
The Speaker tasked the committee to investigate the authenticity of the leaked audio recording, the conspiracy to remove the current IGP, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, any other matter contained in the audio recording and recommend sanctions to persons found culpable where appropriate.
It is also to make recommendations for reforms where necessary and make such other recommendations and consequential orders as the committee may deem appropriate.
The audio recording captures voices of some top officials said to be with the Ghana Police Service and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) discussing the IGP.
They are heard questioning the impartiality of the IGP, claiming he has the support of former President John Dramani Mahama, and so scheming to ensure the return of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The persons, therefore, called for his removal before the 2024 general elections.
The party official whose voice is heard on the tape is said to be Mr Bugri Naabu. He has, however, denied recording the conversation.