The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) has said it “rejects the government’s communication on a foiled attempt to destabilise the country” and has urged managers of the security of the state and the political authorities, to “collaborate responsibly on sensitive matters” in the future.
The comments come on the heels of the arrest of three suspects in connection with an alleged coup plot against the Akufo-Addo government.
Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, owner of Citadel Hospital and his two accomplices – Mr Ezor Kafui (a local weapon manufacturer) and Mr Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu (aka BB or ADC) were arrested on Friday, 20 September 2019 at Accra and Bawaleshie near Dodowa.
The government’s press statement issued by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Monday, 23 September 2019, said: “A joint security operation of personnel drawn from Defence Intelligence, CID and Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), conducted a successful operation which led to the arrest of three persons and the retrieval of several arms, explosive devices and ammunition from locations in Accra”.
The release explained that surveillance on the activities of the persons involved commenced in June 2018, when Dr Mac-Palm and Mr Ofosu started organising a series of meetings at the Next-Door Beach Resort, Teshie, and other locations in Accra, in furtherance of their objectives.
The minister’s statement said: “…Between June and August 2018, BB, acting for and on behalf of Dr Mac-Palm, contacted a number of serving military personnel, and talked them into hatching and executing a plot to obtain weapons, take over key installations, and secure funding for the purpose of taking over the reins of government. These meetings were closely monitored”.
Again, the statement said in August 2018, Dr Mac-Palm and two others, Kennedy Amoah and Dr Albert Sam (based in the USA), formed a group called ‘Take Action Ghana” (TAG) “under the guise of mobilising the youth for nation-building, education, health, and providing shelter to the needy”.
The minister said, “evidence available shows the intent was to build a support base of youth and radicalise them against the political authority in Ghana”.
“In furtherance of this scheme, Dr Mac-Palm contracted one Mr Ezor from Alavanyo to produce locally made weapons and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for the operation. In July 2019, Mr Ezor set up a workshop in a container, originally used as an X-Ray laboratory, at the premises of Citadel Hospital, and started producing the weapons and IEDs in-house.
“On 10th September 2019, Dr Mac-Palm and Mr Ezor procured from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, some essential chemicals to be mixed with gun powder, stone chippings, surgical needles and powdered pepper for their operations. He also contracted a worker at the Base Workshop in Burma Camp to supply 10 AK 47 riffles. He made an advance payment of GHS7,000.00.
“On Thursday, 19 September 2019, at about 2300 hours, still under surveillance, Dr Mac-Palm, Mr Ezor, and one soldier went to an area close to the Laboma Beach to test fire some of the locally-manufactured weapons”.
Items retrieved at Citadel Hospital, Alajo, Accra were:
• 5 x locally-manufactured pistols with magazines fitted on.
• 1 x foreign pistol (Reg. No. PX154006) with 2 X magazines.
• 3 x locally-manufactured pistol barrels.
• 3 x smoke grenades.
• 22 x Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
• 9 x 7.62mm NATO AK47 rounds.
• 2 x AK-47 magazines.
• 1 x long Knife.
• The outlined plan for the operation presented by some soldiers at one of their meetings at Next-Door Resort.
• 7 x mobile phones.
• 2 x IPADs.
• 2 x decoders.
• 1 x modem.
• 3 x tablets.
• 1 x Ghanaian passport.
• 2 x pen-drives.
• 1 x voice recorder.
• 1 x USB connector.
• Machines and materials for manufacturing weapons and IEDs.
At Bawaleshie near Dodowa, a 63 x 9mm NATO rounds ammunition was retrieved.
In a statement on Tuesday, 24 September 2019, the BPS commended the state security agencies for “surveilling, retrieving arms and ammunition and arresting some suspected culprits behind the manufacture and stacking of arms.”
According to the Bureau, “The need for security agencies to clamp down on the proliferation of arms in Ghana cannot be overemphasised and, thus, must be an ongoing concern to assure public safety and security.”