The Ministry of National Security has dismissed claims of deliberately targeting and killing two persons in the Akan Constituency in the Oti Region.
This follows the death of two footballers in the Yadzo community of the Oti Region on Monday, as they were allegedly being pursued by National Security Operatives while attempting to transport cocoa beans to Togo.
In a statement issued on December 27, the National Security Ministry explained that “the incident leading to the death of the two persons was purely accidental and not borne out of a targeted operation” as accounted by the MP for the area.
While expressing their condolences to the bereaved families, they also urged the public to disregard the factual inaccuracies aimed at courting disaffection for the anti-cocoa smuggling operation in the constituency.
Below is the full statement
The attention of the Ministry of National Security has been drawn to a press release by the Honourable Yao Gomado, Member of Parliament for the Akan Constituency, accusing operatives of the Ministry of deliberately killing two persons in his Constituency.
The Ministry wishes to state that the account by the Member of Parliament for the Akan Constituency on the regrettable loss of the lives of the two persons is grossly inaccurate and mischievously fabricated to satisfy a parochial agenda.
1. In October 2023, the Ministry of National Security, in collaboration with COCOBOD, launched an intelligence-led operation along the Eastern Corridor which includes the Akan Constituency, to prevent cocoa smuggling to neighbouring countries. The launch of the intelligence-led operation was informed by a surge in cocoa smuggling activities, leading to a significant reduction in the quantum of cocoa beans sold by farmers to Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs). This explains the presence of National Security personnel in the Akan Constituency.
2. The anti-cocoa smuggling operations have, so far, been successful with several persons involved in the smuggling activities arrested. A significant amount of cocoa beans seized from the smugglers have been submitted as exhibits for the prosecution of the arrested persons. It is worth noting that as a result of the intelligence-led operations, the LBCs have recorded an uptick in the quantum of cocoa sold to them by farmers.
3. Regrettably, on December 25, 2023, one of the vehicles of the anti-cocoa smuggling operations team was involved in an accident when it collided head-on with a motorcycle carrying two persons; a development that claimed the lives of the two persons aboard the motorcycle.
4. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, personnel of the Ghana Police Service arrived at the scene to commence full-scale investigations. However, some aggrieved persons in the Akan Constituency, guided by a misconception that the two deceased persons were deliberately targeted, vandalised the vehicle and set it ablaze.