When the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, released a statement detailing actions taken against three policemen and the Director of Operations at the National Security Ministry, some critics said it was the usual way to reshuffle them and leave them when public outrage waned.
The critics did not have to wait too long to be proven right.
Within 24 hours after the minister’s statement announcing the sacking of Lt. Col. Frank Agyeman as the National Security’s Director of Operations, he was appointed the Commanding Officer of the 64 Infantry Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Lt. Col. Agyeman and the three policemen had been investigated for assaulting Citi FM’s Mr Kudah, who was said to have illegally filmed some abandoned vehicles belonging to the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC).
The journalist said he was assaulted by the National Security operatives led by Lt. Col. Agyeman.
“They pushed me and I sat on the chair. They [National Security operatives] slapped me from the back. I was trying to appeal to them that they had beaten me enough, but they were just slapping me from the back,” Mr Kudah said after his release.
“I’ll be talking to another one and someone will just come and slap me from the back,” he recounted.
The Ministry of National Security promised to investigate the incident, and it did so swiftly. The investigative committee, according to the ministry, “established that the conduct of Lieutenant Colonel Frank Agyeman (Director of Operations) and some police officers at the Ministry on the said day was inappropriate and contravened the Ministry’s standard operating procedures.”
The press statement signed by Mr Kan-Dapaah said: “The secondment of Lieutenant Colonel Frank Agyeman (Director of Operations) at the Ministry has been reversed. The officer is to report to the Chief of Defence Staff for further investigation and appropriate action.”
The statement added that the “three (3) police officers involved have been withdrawn and are to report to the Ghana Police Service for investigation and disciplinary action.”
The minister’s press statement was dated May 20, 2021.
The following day (May 21, 2020), Lt. Col. Agyeman was made the Commanding Officer of the 64 Infantry Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces.
The 64 Infantry Regiment is the Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF). As the Commando Unit of the military in the 1980s and early 1990s, the regiment was notorious for human rights abuses.
A Military Secretary (MS) publication labeled “Restricted” and sighted by The Fourth Estate said “Lt. Col. FK Agyeman (GH/3306)” was moving from the Army Headquarters, where he was before his secondment of the National Security Ministry, was now in charge of the 64 Infantry Regiment.
That communication comes from the office of the Chief of Defence Staff, which is supposed to investigative Lt. Col. Agyeman and take further actions.
When The Fourth Estate contacted the Director of Public Relations at the Ghana Armed Forces, Col. Eric Aggrey Quarshie, he declined to comment on the matter.
Our sources at the Ministry of Defence, however, say the ministry has noted with concern, the manner in which Lt. Col. Agyeman was appointed and will resolve it.