The three South African security experts who have made headlines this week in what is turning to be a thorny political scandal may well spend the Easter holidays in custody despite being granted bail by Ghana’s court.
The three are facing three counts of unlawful training, conspiracy to commit crime and engaging in unauthorised military activity, charges they have pleaded not guilty to and have been granted bail.
Even before bail conditions will be satisfied, the three were whisked away by officials of the BNI and driven to the Regional BNI Headquarters where they have been, Thursday afternoon, and may well be for the next five days contrary to the court’s order.
This has left the New Patriotic Party angry with lawyer Atta Akyea describing the action by the BNI as an affront to the country’s judiciary and an embarrassment to the country as a whole.
“We are now a Banana republic; when the court says release suspects, the BNI says go to hell, we will detain them,” angry Atta Akyea told Joy News after a last gasp attempt to secure the release of the suspects at the BNI custody failed.
The suspects, Major Ahmed Shaik Hazis (Rtd.) 54, WO/Denver Dwayhe Naidu (Rtd.) 39, and Captain Mlungiseleli Jokani (Rtd.) 45, were arrested Monday, for illegally training members of the New Patriotic Party who are supposed to provide VIP security to the party’s flagbearer and other leading members.
Joy News’ Raymond Acquah who was in court
Thursday reported the prosecution as saying that the suspects arrived in Ghana in March after they applied for visas to do business in Ghana.
He said the BNI picked information the three suspects were illegally training some Ghanaians at the EL-Capitano hotel in Cape Coast and caused their arrest together with the owner of the hotel as well as Captain KODA the security head for the opposition flagbearer Nana AkufoAddo.
The BNI hauled the suspects before a Circuit Court, Thursday, praying the judge to remand the suspects for 14 days during which they will be able to conclude investigations on the matter.
But the judge refused the request and granted a ¢20,000 bail to the suspects with two sureties each to be justified.
The judge ordered that the suspects be handed to the court registry for bail formalities to be conducted. She further ordered the BNI to hand over the passports of the suspects to the court registrar.
Shortly after the case was adjourned the BNI, according to Atta Akyea, ignored the orders of the court and drove the suspects away.
There was a bit of a scuffle with lawyers of the suspects demanding to know where there their clients were being taken and why the BNI was violating the orders of the court.
The BNI prevailed in the tussle and whisked the suspects to the BNI offices instead of the court registry, Atta Akyea narrated.
He said they followed them to the office of the BNI and after almost four hours, nobody would explain to them why the suspects were being held.
Consequences Atta Akyea told Joy News the conduct of the BNI has consequences to the country.
“It is in bad taste because we are disrespecting the laws of Ghana and these are foreigners. Don’t give any impression that this is a kangaroo country in which we treat people anyhow. How can a court of competent jurisdiction say that take the accused persons to the registrar and go and look at the houses of the sureties so that bail is granted and then you just whisk them away defying the orders of the court,” he stated.
“We are not going to rest on this matter,” he said.
Atta Akyea believes the government in collusion with the BNI are playing up a matter that is of little significance.
“This whole case is a whole melodrama of no consequence. When civilians are training and you call it military training. Do you know what military training is? The people were being given VIP protection training. That is different from the normal security arrangement in which people are trained as to how to use guns, armoury. There is nothing like that in this case.
Charges against the two retired army officers,
Captain KODA and Captain Acquah both of whom were arrested in connection with the matter have been dropped but are still in detention at the BNI office, Atta Akyea stated.
He said they will pursue a case of contempt against the BNI on Tuesday.
ⓒ PEMTSIKATA NEWS