Lens’ Analytical Desk Report
Frank Benneh, the drug addict and former Career Diplomat in Geneva during the time of the NDC, owes his current freedom to one man-
Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the NPP.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who himself continues to battle against pervasive allegations that he is addicted to some hard drugs, did the nation a great disservice by deciding to discontinue without any reason the prosecution of Frank Benneh when the NPP took the reins of power in 2001 with the case still pending.
Frank Benneh, was in 1996 accused of dealing in drugs while in Geneva, Switzerland. The Drug hating NDC government ensured that, in line with diplomatic conventions, he was flown to Ghana and made to face the full rigors of the law. On Tuesday, 9th November 1999, an Accra Regional Tribunal ruled that a “prima facie” case had been established by the prosecution against Frank Benneh, who was facing trial on five counts of dealing in narcotic drugs. The Tribunal, chaired by Mr Justice Wright Mensah therefore, called on Benneh to open his defence on November 25, 1999.
On Tuesday, December 14, 1999 Frank Benneh opened his defence; his defense Attorney, was an NPP strongman and close political ally of Nana Akufo-Addo, Mr Ray Kakraba-Quarshie.
Eventually, the prosecution led by then deputy Attorney General, Martin Amidu, advanced compelling arguments that convinced the regional tribunal to convict and sentence Frank Benneh to 20 years in prison. But his legal counsel, Kakraba Quarshie managed to argue for him to be granted bail.
Mr Martin Amidu has since explained that the NDC government, in spite of that legal setback, continued to press for the case to reach the logical conclusion but time ran out when the NDC had to leave office in 2000 after losing the elections.
Speaking on Radio Gold in September 2006, following an earlier interview granted to The Chronicle newspaper in reaction to deliberate untruths peddled by Nana Ohene Ntow, Martin Amidu stated emphatically that the government of the NDC ensured that Frank Benneh was prosecuted and convicted for dealing in narcotic drugs.
According to Mr Martin Amidu, it was rather the NPP who upon coming into office discontinued the case against Frank Benneh.
“Why was the case not listed for hearing under Chief Justice Wiredu? Why was the case not listed in under Justice Acquah? It could not have been listed in Chief Justice Abban’s Court because the records of appeal were not ready at the time the NDC left office,” he queried.
The Frank Benneh debacle unfortunately was not the only instance of early NPP signal that it had no intention to carry on the fierce battle that the NDC had waged against drugs. Under the tenure of the same Akufo-Addo as Attorney General, three NPP women executives who were in February 2002 nabbed at the Kotoka Airport attempting to traffic narcotics drugs out of Ghana, also saw their case mysteriously terminated.
It will be recalled that a Daily Graphic report of Tuesday 12th February, mentioned that Abena Foriwaa, Chairperson, Comfort Akua Amankwaa, Organiser and Ama Nyarkoa, Treasurer, all of the Dzorwulu NPP, women’s wing were busted for dealing in narcotic drugs.
Under Nana Akufo-Addo’s tenure, what amounted to a deliberate attempt was made to completely obliterate all traces of that case. Ghanaians who followed the case closely continue to demand of Akufo-Addo to provide answers to the following critical questions:
Who instructed DCP Felix Abayateye to write a letter to the Narcotic Control Board demanding the docket on those three women?
Was the docket released and if so, why can the docket be traced?
Why have the women so far not been prosecuted? Who authorised the granting of the bail? Who stood surety for the bail? Who facilitated the escape of the women from Ghana? Has the bail bond been estreated? And if not, why?
NPP parliamentary aspirant Nana Kofi Coomson did state that Ghanaians cannot feel safe under an Akufo-Addo presidency. “I cannot close my eyes if the man is president of Ghana,” he stated ominously.
On the evidence of how Nana Akufo-Addo, as Attorney General, killed the fight against narcotics drugs and virtually opened the floodgates that have seen Ghana become a haven for drug barons and the cocaine hub of the continent, one cannot help but concur with the NPP parliamentary aspirant, Kofi Coomson.
Ghana certainly is not safe under an Akufo-Addo presidency.
Source: The Lens
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