It is now becoming increasingly clear that the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) is not willing and able to either invite or question former President Jerry John Rawlings to ascertain what he knows about the infamous GH¢90million Mills campaign money.
The BNI had earlier shown keen interest in pursuing the case to its logical conclusion after President Mills personally charged the security agencies to investigate the allegation.
Operatives of the bureau proceeded to invite Herbert Mensah who first made the issue public and took him through a rigorous and extensive interrogation process which lasted for six hours.
In the course of his interrogation, Mr. Mensah who happens to be a close associate of the former first family told the BNI, the controversial tape on which he heard the conversation about the GH¢90million campaign money was in Mr. Rawlings’ possession.
More than a week after Mr. Mensah made this revelation, the BNI and other security agencies have failed to either invite or question Mr. Rawlings over the issue.
Some have interpreted this to be government and the BNI’s fear to confront the former President over the issue since they cannot risk the repercussions that would come with it.
In an interesting but bizarre twist, Security Advisor to the President, Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, has asked the media instead of the BNI to impress upon Herbert Mensah to provide proof of his allegations when indeed, the puzzle surrounding Mr. Rawlings’ connection to the tape remains unresolved.
Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah himself has admitted the issue was of national interest and needed to be properly investigated and put it to rest once and for all.
However, aide to former President Rawlings, Kofi Adams has expressed utmost disappointment at the National Security Advisor’s call on the media to impress upon ex-President Rawlings to produce the controversial tape.
In view of the fact that the investigation was triggered by a directive from the President, Mr. Adams who spoke on Peace Fm said the national security and for that matter the BNI could not cede that responsibility to the media. “Whether they will invite him or not is the responsibility of National Security [or] the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI)…” Kofi Adams said urging that the investigation be fast-tracked to establish the truth.
General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Bright Kwame Blewu also disagreed with the Security Advisor on this score.
Whilst he appreciated his recognition of the important role the media play in investigating and eventually establishing the truth or otherwise regarding some of these controversial issues, he however said it would be prudent for the BNI to pursue the case to its logical conclusion since they had already started the investigative process.
“We have that responsibility to find out the truth but the two processes of searching for the truth are different; we have the power but they (the BNI and the various security agencies) also have their process,” he said.
For this reason, the mouthpiece for Ghanaian journalists said “they should not rely on us at this time when they have been given the job to do because they themselves realized that that is the job to do.”
“On this occasion, we don’t want anybody to hide behind our mandate, they also have their mandate. They started the process…, why have they at a point decided to now come back to rely on us? We are not saying we don’t have that right; we have a right but why can’t they (the BNI) go to Mr. Rawlings’ face and say look Mr. Rawlings they say you know about the GH¢90million can you tell us more about it?”
Mr. Blewu could not fathom why the BNI which has the capacity and capability to investigate some of these issues are suddenly running to the media for cover “when indeed they have proven that they also have the right to call people and question them.”
In this instance, the GJA General Secretary stated “we are saying there are security implications and they’ve started handling it. We are saying that they shouldn’t hide behind us; they should also perform their responsibilities. National security should not be relying on us.”
Source: Charles Takyi-Boadu/D-Guide
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