Ghana: Deportation of 3 South Africans, retirement of Central Bank Governor reported in Ghana

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – The deportation of three retired South African policemen brought into Ghana by the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to train some of its members and the retirement of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Henry Kofi Wampah, were some of the stories reported in the Ghanaian media this week.

The three South African ex-police officers were arrested in a hotel in the Central Region by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) for training 15 young men of the NPP in various security drills, including unarmed combat, weapon handling, VIP protection techniques and rapid response exercises.

The BNI said the action of the NPP broke the country’s laws and sent the three men them to court where they were granted bail. However, the BNI failed to release them, as they were said to have broken other immigration laws. The NPP said it did no wrong in importing the trio and that their activities in Ghana were lawful.

The case came to an end when the security authorities deported the three men - Major Ahmed Shaik Hazis (retd), 54; Warrant Officer Denver Dwayhe, 33, and Captain Mlungiseli Jokani, 45.

“3 South Africans deported,” was  the headline of the state-owned Graphic, which reported that the three retired South African police officers who were arrested for allegedly engaging in activities with national security implications had been deported.

It said they were put on board a South African Airways flight which departed the Kotoka International Airport in Accra for Johannesburg on Tuesday. Their entry visas were revoked by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).

The newspaper quoted security sources as saying South African officials would meet them on arrival in Johannesburg.

The Graphic said one of the lawyers for the retired police officers, Mr Atta Akyea, described the deportation as “most embarrassing” to Ghana’s security set up.

Condemning the BNI, he said: “This is most embarrassing to our security set up because if it had confidence in the charges, it should have prosecuted the three and not let them off the hook.”

Mr Atta Akyea said the deportation of the three was indicative of the fact that their arrest was a “whole melodrama”.

The Ghana Immigration Service said in detailed statement that its findings revealed that their written statements did not conform with the purpose of their invitation, which was to “travel to Accra for a series of business meetings”.

The state-owned Ghanaian Times also had the headline “3 South Africans deported” with the story saying that the three were on Tuesday deported to their home country.

The Graphic had another story with the headline, “State serves notice not to pursue case against 3 South Africans.”

The newspaper said the state had served notice not to pursue the case against the three retired South African policemen who have been deported for organising illegal military training.

A notice dated 29 March, 2016 and addressed to the Circuit Court registry stated: “Take notice that the state intends that the proceedings against the accused persons, Ahmed Shaik Hazis, Denver Dwayhe and Mlungiseli Jokani, shall not continue.”

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, signed the notice, which was filed at the Circuit Court’s registry on 29 March.

On the retirement of the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Wampah, the Graphic said he said he would want to be remembered for the major reforms he initiated at the central bank that had resulted in the stability of the financial sector.

In a story with the headline, “I want to be remembered for stabilising the financial sector”, the Graphic quoted Dr Wampah, who retired on 31 March, as saying a lot of the reforms had started yielding fruits, partly resulting in the current economic stability. Dr Wampah’s term officially ends on 5 August but he has to take his accumulated leave.

He mentioned the Deposit Protection Scheme and the Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Bills that are meant to sanitise and bring significant reforms into the banking sector.

Dr Wampah said the two bills would consolidate the bank’s mission of promoting confidence in the financial system, especially in relation to protecting the savings of depositors. They would also encourage financial inclusion and access to formal financial services.

“Those reforms have resulted in economic stability, thereby placing the economy on an even keel for development,” he said.

The Graphic said some analysts had blamed Dr Wampah for his inability to curb inflation and stem the decline of the cedi, the local currency, resulting in the introduction of some foreign exchange measures in 2014 which were later withdrawn after a barrage of criticisms.

Mr Millison Narh has been named the acting Governor until President John Dramani Mahama appoints a new Governor.
-0- PANA MA 2April2016

02 april 2016 09:41:01

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