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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Ashanti NPP angry over Mpiani’s arrest

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Ashanti NPP angry over Mpiani’s arrest The Ashanti Regional branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has expressed utter displeasure about the arrest of Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, former Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs in the erstwhile NPP administration by operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

To drum home their discontentment, the Ashanti regional branch of the biggest opposition party is gearing up to stage a massive demonstration in the regional capital, Kumasi.

Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John, a leading member of the party in the Ashanti region, hinted this move in an interview with Angel FM, a local radio station in Kumasi yesterday morning.

He disclosed that executive members of the party in all the 39 constituencies in the region were to meet urgently to discuss the modalities for holding the gargantuan demonstration.

Sir John who was the director of communication in-charge of the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions for the party’s 2008 electioneering campaign noted that, the NPP finds the arrest of Mr. Mpiani by the BNI as a perfect example of a ‘rape on democracy’.

Continuing, he said the party considers the over 10-hour detention of the astute accountant as a complete disregard for rule of law, especially when his lawyers were not allowed to be part of the marathon interrogation session.

“It is about time we told the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) that Ghana has gone past the dark days when the rights and freedoms of the citizenry were arbitrarily trampled upon any time those at the helm of affairs deem fit,” Sir John fumed.

He said the arrest of Mr Mpianim by operatives of BNI constituted an elaborate plan by the ruling party to demonise members of the immediate past administration most of whom are of Ashanti descent.

“Let me assure the NDC that, some of us will not sit unconcerned for our brothers and sisters to be witch-hunted unnecessarily,” the outspoken NPP leading member declared.

Meanwhile, a group calling itself Civil Society Against Witch-Hunting (CSAW), a non-partisan pressure group in Kumasi has also condemned the detention of Mr Mpianim, saying the development was a bad omen for the entrenchment of democratic principles in the country.

The President of the group, J.K. Owusu-Boakye, told DAILY GUIDE that the over 10-hour detention of Mr Mpiani was uncalled-for, especially when he had not been formally charged with any offence.

He therefore called on President John Evans Atta Mills to walk his talk of uniting Ghana and allowing due process to take centre stage of our national life by halting all forms of witch-hunting.

In another development, residents of Kumasi have joined the bandwagon in expressing dismay about the arrest of the one-time Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs.

Residents who called into various radio stations on Wednesday morning expressed shock that instead of the Prof Mills-led administration working hard to fix the economy which they say is broke; they were rather witch-hunting officials of the erstwhile government.

The BNI on Tuesday arrested the ex-Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs and detained him for over 10 hours at the national headquarters in Accra.

Though the reasons for his detention were unclear, sources indicated that Mr Mpianim was interrogated by personnel of the national investigative agency over a wide range of issues including the [email protected] celebrations and the sale of some government properties.

Mr Mpiani who voluntarily responded to an invitation by the BNI reported at the headquarters at 11:00 am on Tuesday in the company of his lawyers, Yoni Kulendi, Egbert Faibille and Hamida Nuhu, but got released only after 10:00 pm.

Information available to DAILY GUIDE had it that the BNI did not only prevent Mr Mpiani’s lawyers from being part of the interrogation session; he was also whisked away to an unknown destination during the interrogation session.

When information about the whereabouts of the former Chief of Staff was not forthcoming, former ministers of the immediate past administration and a section of the party’s activists were compelled to storm the offices of the BNI to enquire about the location of one of the country’s finest accountants.

After several hours of agitations by ‘eye red’ NPP activists who thronged the BNI offices, operatives of the national investigative agency finally released Mr Mpiani when it was gone past 10.00 pm.

Mr Mpiani, sources indicated, would be reporting himself to the BNI to continue answering questions about his stewardship in ex-President Kufuor’s administration in the days ahead.

From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi

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