The Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, has been granted police enquiry bail after the police had picked him up in connection with an alleged kidnapping.
The police obtained warrants from an Accra High Court to arrest and interrogate the NDC National Chairman, allegedly for various acts of kidnapping and causing unlawful damage.
A source within the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service told the Daily Graphic that “credible and actionable intelligence” the police had gathered made Mr Ofosu-Ampofo a suspect.
The CID said it obtained the warrants following Mr Ofosu-Ampofo’s refusal to cooperate with investigations.
He was arrested at Number 3 Church Street at the Labone Estates in Accra yesterday while having a meeting with a group of people. He was sent to his house for a search before being taken to the CID Headquarters in Accra.
According to the CID, the court issued three warrants in connection with Mr Ofosu-Ampofo — arrest, search and seizure warrants. After initial interrogation yesterday by a team of police investigators, he was granted a police enquiry bail and asked to report on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
Currently, all his electronic gadgets have been seized for forensic investigations to determine whether he had any dealings with those who claimed he was behind the kidnappings and market fires in the country recently.
On May 7, 2019, the CID invited Mr Ofosu-Ampofo to its headquarters for questioning in connection with kidnappings and market fires but he refused to honour the invitation, a highly placed source within the CID told the Daily Graphic.
According to the CID, some persons picked up for interrogation and investigation into the recent fire outbreaks had mentioned his name as part of a grand scheme designed to cause fear and panic in the country.
But Mr Ofosu-Ampofo declined the invitation by the CID. After a month, the CID called him and reminded him that the invitation was still open, but he insisted that he would only honour the invitation by a court warrant. So the police had no option but to go to court for a warrant to arrest him.
When the Daily Graphic visited the CID Headquarters in Accra about 4 p.m. yesterday, lawyers for Mr Ofosu-Ampofo, some NDC bigwigs and supporters were on the premises.
The lawyers included Mr Tony Lithur, a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong; Mr Victor Kwadzoga Adawudu, Dr Dominic Ayine, Dr Abdul Basit Bamba, Mr Baba Jamal, Mr Kakra Essamuah and Mr Abraham Amalibah.
Some NDC party members had also massed up in front of the Police Headquarters, as they were denied entry into the premises. The supporters threatened to sleep there if the police did not release their chairman.
Meanwhile, the NDC had, last Monday, said it had gathered information that the government was working to arrest Mr Ofosu-Ampofo as part of a "ploy aimed at lowering him in the esteem of Ghanaians".
Consequently, the party, through a statement issued by its Director of Communications, Mr Kakra Essamuah, urged its supporters to expect the arrest.
A letter dated May 7, 2019 and signed by the Director General of the CID, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mrs Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, had invited Mr Ofosu-Ampofo to the Police CID for questioning.
It alleged that Mr Ofosu-Ampofo had been mentioned by some suspects as being “part of a grand scheme designed to cause fear and panic in the country”.
“The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has commenced investigations into cases of kidnapping and fire outbreaks in various parts of the country. Intelligence gathered indicates that some of these kidnappings and fire outbreaks are being orchestrated by various unidentified groups, persons and individuals,” the letter said.
“Some of the persons picked up for interrogation and investigation have mentioned your name as part of a grand scheme designed to cause fear and panic in the country. As a result of the above information and intelligence, you are kindly requested to report to the undersigned on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 2 p.m. to assist in our investigations,” it went on.
However, on May 9, 2019, the NDC organised a press conference and said it would not allow its National Chairman to honour the police invitation.
Addressing the press conference, the Vice-Chairman of the party’s Council of Elders, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, said the decision of the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government to prosecute NDC officials was "malicious" and intended to frustrate the work of the party and mobilisation towards the 2020 elections, adding that the party had had enough of the "intimidation" of the ruling NPP.
Lawyers for the NDC National Chairman also wrote to the CID that their client would not honour the invitation.
The letter from Mr Ofosu-Ampofo’s lawyers, addressed to the Director-General of the CID, said the police invitation to their client was prejudicial to his ongoing trial on the matter of conspiring to cause harm and assault against a public officer.
It added that the invitation was an attempt by the security agencies to shift the blame over the inability of the security agencies to address what it described as the increasing state of insecurity in the country.