The Minister for National Security, Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, has told Parliament that the then Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, DCOP Opare Addo, refused to exit his office after his appointment was terminated, and that his outfit had not option than to change his office door locks and keys.
“…The man had been given a letter that he was no longer needed in the system, and he refused to go, so they needed to devise a way to move him from the office. We talked to him on several occasions and he wouldn’t leave. The position of a Regional Security Liaison is so important. We were not going to allow him to stay there for years or for months without leaving. I don’t think there was anything improper with the decision that was taken to get him out of the office by changing the locks to the office.”
Mr Kan Dapaah made this known when he came before Parliament to respond to a question asked by Mr Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwame Dafeamekpor, Member of Parliament (MP), South Dayi, on the circumstances under which DCOP Opare Addo claims he was assaulted in his office.
It would be recalled that some months ago, DCOP Opare Addo recounted how he was assaulted and hounded out of his office on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at about 5pm by members of the Delta Force, who are now part of National Security.
But unravelling how the incident took place, Mr Kan Dapaah said the retired officer (DCOP Opare Addo) was given a two-year contract to serve as the Ashanti Regional Security Liaison Officer, after the expiration of an initial two-year contract, which began on January 2018.
His new appointment took effect on January 1, 2020, and was to expire on November 1, 2022.
However, this appointment was terminated on February 19, 2021 by the National Security Coordinator, the Minister said, and noted that the reasons for his termination were clearly spelt out in the letter of termination, and he cannot say publicly what the reasons were.
He continued that a few weeks after the termination of his contract, DCOP Opare Addo was paid his entitlement as per his appointment letter.
“Subsequent to the termination of the appointment of Mr Opare Addo, the Ministry appointed Colonel Francis Arthur (Rtd) as the new Ashanti Regional Security Liaison Officer,” the Minister said, and added that Colonel Francis’ appointment took effect on May 1, 2021, but DCOP Opare Addo refused to hand over to him.
Mr Kan Dapaah stated that DCOP Opare Addo declined numerous invitations from the National Security Coordinator to explain his refusal to vacate the office.
Meanwhile, his continuous stay in the office obstructed the work of the new Regional Liaison Officer.
“Mr Speaker, against this background, personnel from the National Ministry Security were dispatched to the Ashanti Region to ascertain the reason for DCOP Opare Addo’s refusal to hand over to his successor, and if it became necessary to change the locks to his office. On arrival at his office, the personnel duly introduced themselves, but were met with acts of hostility from DCOP Opare Addo, including drawing his side arm”.
He said the personnel managed to restrain him and retrieve his side arm.
Mr Kan Dapaah noted that no official complaint had been made by DCOP Opare, either to his immediate boss or to the sector Minister regarding the alleged assault on him, and the Ministry had also not received any correspondent from the police in relation to the accusations by DCOP Opare Addo.
The Minister assured the House of the Ministry’s willingness to investigate the allegations should any official complaint be made by DCOP Opare Addo.
When asked if the proper procedure to resolving an issue of such nature was to change the office locks and keys, Mr Dapaah responded: “It is not; neither is it the normal procedure for a senior officer to refuse to leave office after his appointment has been terminated. Under the circumstances, we did not have any option, but to find a way to get him out of the office.”