President John Dramani Mahama speaking at the event on Wednesday

President John Dramani Mahama speaking at the event on Wednesday

President John Dramani Mahama yesterday justified the arrest of the Chief Executive Officer of Accra-based Citi FM , Samuel Attah-Mensah, by officials of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), in his first public comment about the recent arrest of a Ghanaian lady in London over cocaine.

According to the President, the arrest of Samuel Atta-Mensah, popularly called Samens, was to ascertain the truth about the story his online media,, published regarding the arrest of the suspected drug dealer, Nayele Ametefeh, aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, who supposedly carried a Ghanaian diplomatic passport.

The allegation of diplomatic passport had been rejected by the government, but the use of the VVIP at the Kotoka International Airport by the busted cocaine dealer was not discounted by officials.

President Mahama, who broke his silence on the raging cocaine controversy at the opening ceremony of the celebration of 20 years of the setting up of Independent Radio by Charles Wereko-Brobby’s Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options (GIPPO) in Accra, said the BNI research and fact-checking had been fruitful.

The Ghanaian lady was busted for carrying 12 kilograms of cocaine worth £3.5 million ($5 million) at the London Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom.

Citifmonline , which first broke the story in Ghana, apart from the social media on Sunday, said Nayele Ametefeh was allegedly in possession of a Ghanaian diplomatic passport.  

The BNI arrested Samens a day after the story was published.

With no access to a lawyer, the Citi FM boss was frightened with two pistols deliberately tucked in the vehicle that took him to the National Security office at the Blue Gate, Castle Annex, near the Accra Sports Stadium.

It took his open protest to get the BNI operatives to conceal the guns.

President Mahama however said Samens was not arrested by the BNI, explaining that two editors, one from a radio station and another from a national newspaper, were only invited by the BNI.

‘They were not arrested or detained. Both editors were asked, not ordered, to come to the BNI offices to assist them with their investigation. Both editors complied on their own free will.’

Diplomatic Passport
‘Once it has been reported that this woman who is not a diplomat but was in possession of a diplomatic passport, the BNI had to perform its duties and begin investigations,’ he said.

President Mahama said in its investigations the BNI narrowed down the story’s original source of dissemination in Ghana to the radio station and the national newspaper.

‘We now know for certain that this woman was not in possession of a diplomatic passport. We now also have credible and verifiable information about her identity and we are now able to stop the continued spread of misinformation,’ the President said.

Samens Storms Out
He said in truth, the BNI had worked to help, not hamper the media to provide the public with accurate and verifiable information about newsworthy items.

With the justification of the BNI’s misconduct by President Mahama, Samens, who is the Vice President of Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and was sitting at the event, just stormed out of the programme at the Accra International Conference Centre.

President Mahama called for a way for the government and the media to work together, noting that ‘our goals are not dissimilar and above all we must allow each other to exist in the realities of the present’.

He said neither the government nor the media wanted to be returned to the position of the past.

‘We have all moved on, we have all evolved and we must embrace change,’ President Mahama said.

By Cephas Larbi

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