NACOB Arrests Nduom Boys

Divine Nkrumah and Richard Nii Armah

Divine Nkrumah and Richard Nii Armah

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has expressed disgust at the manhandling of two of its youthful members by officials of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB).

The two, Divine Nkrumah and Richard Nii Armah, National Youth Coordinator and Volunteers Coordinator respectively, were arrested and detained Saturday evening at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) by NACOB officials. For more than three hours, they were held captive by the officials. Their phones were seized in the process, rendering them incommunicado from the rest of the world.

This was when they returned to the country from a trip to South Africa where they attended a conference.

Divine, who narrated his ordeal to DAILY GUIDE, said moments after disembarking from the South Africa Airways flight around 9:15 pm, he was approached by two plain-clothe men who only said they were officials of NACOB without any identification cards.

According to him, he was taken out of the queue on the tarmac and sent to a holding area where an ‘extensive search’ was conducted into his luggage, but nothing incriminating was found in it.

Divine Nkrumah said his passport was subsequently seized by the men who refused to show any form of identification to prove their claim as officials of NACOB, adding that they said the passport was a state property when he demanded to know why they were asking for it.

At this point, Divine said he asked one of the gentlemen, who he later got to know as Vincent Asiedu, to hand over his and his colleague’s luggage if they had completed the search.

But that was not the end of the story. According to him, he was taken to a washroom where he was undressed and a sample of his urine taken for reasons he could not fathom.

After that, the PPP youth leader narrated, ‘They didn’t tell me anything; then they marched me to another isolated room at the top where I was re-scanned and then they took me to another room again for another scan.’

‘I arrived at 9:15 pm and as at 11:30 pm, nobody had said anything to me or given any reason whatsoever as to why I was still under detention there,’ he stated.

This seemed to have compelled his colleague Nii Armah to confront the supposed NACOB officials and inquire from them why they were still detaining his friend without any cause.

But that appeared not to have gone down well with the officials who, according to Divine Nkrumah, took his colleague through the same molestation, with his passport seized whiles they searched through his luggage.

At exactly 11:55 pm, the PPP youth leader said they were released to go without any form of explanation or apology for what they had been taken through, but their passports were given back to them.

Divine disclosed that ‘They threatened that they were going to blacklist us; that when we travel next time we will be taken through rigorous scrutiny.’

He claimed that they were therefore in talks with the legal team of the party to decide on what line of action to take.

PPP Position
At a press conference yesterday, National Chairman of the PPP, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond, expressed disappointment in the behaviour of officials of the state agency, saying, ‘We are extremely miffed at the high handedness of NACOB to two of our officers – Messrs Divine Nkrumah and Richard Armah – our National Youth Coordinator and Volunteers Coordinator respectively.’

Present was the party’s flagbearer in the 2012 general election, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom.

What baffled them most was the fact that the two young men were easily identified by the supposed NACOB officials in the mist of lots of people in a queue, and demanded for their party cards before allowing them to go. He then queried rhetorically, ‘We then ask, when did party card become a travelling document in Ghana?

‘We cannot live in a state similar to the revolutionary junta that we once had in our political dispensation. Indeed, this is a constitutional era and we expect the NACOB to be a respecter of the law in Ghana.’

Brew-Hammond stressed, ‘We wish to place on record that we shall not be intimidated by any powers from above who do not want to see the success of the PPP in the next elections.’

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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