The Youth Leader of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Divine Nkrumah has petitioned President John Dramani Mahama and the United Nations (UN) over the maltreatment meted out to him and his deputy last month by some officials of the Narcotic Controls Board (NACOB) at the Kotoka International Airport.

The petition copied to Adomonline.com demands that NACOB comes out to explain in detail the reasons for the action of its officials at the airport on the said date since it has failed to comprehend the reason for the action of NACOB.

Adomonline.com broke the news that Mr. Nkrumah and his deputy while returning from South Africa were molested by Airport officials led by one Vincent Asiedu.

The report continued that Divine Nkrumah was forced to go through body scans and his luggage searched thoroughly at the Airport for unstated reasons.

The PPP at a subsequent press conference called on NACOB to train its staff according to international standard.

“What is even more disturbing to us and our families is that, without a shred of evidence of us engaging in narcotic activities, the NACOB officials who were on duty that night at the Kotoka International Airport indicated to us that we have been blacklisted for profiling anytime we had an opportunity to travel…,” portions of the statement read.

This action which the statement describes as ‘baseless and unilateral’, the petition said has the potential to ruin their political and professional lives and hence have called on the relevant agencies to intervene.

The petition copied to the Office of the President, Office of Parliament, Ministry of Justice and Attorney Generals Department, Amnesty International, Diplomatic Missions, United Nations, All Political Parties, CHRAJ and All Security Agencies.

Read below the full petition

14-APR-2015

The Chief Executive Officer

Narcotics Control Board Ghana

Opp. CSIR, Air Port Residential Area

Accra.

Dear Sir,

PETITION ON MISHANDLING AT KOTOKA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT BY NACOB OFFICIALS

We write to petition your good office on an incident that occurred at the Kotoka International Airport on the night of 28th March 2015 for your intervention.

The two of us, undersigned, arrived from South Africa on 28th March 2015 at about 9:15PM. At about 9:35PM, we were on our way to the arrival hall when two officers led by one Vincent Asiedu called us from the queue of about 200 people and asked us to step aside for questioning.

On stepping aside, he asked for our passports and we obliged and gave them to him. He then proceeded to ask the following questions:

Where we were coming from?

What we went to do and the nature of our business in South Africa? Whether or not we had our party ID Cards on us?

All this while, none of the two officers had identified themselves, and neither had they told us the reasons why they were asking those questions. They decided to search our luggage after we indicated that we did not have party identity cards on us. Mr. Divine Nkrumah’s luggage was searched first.

After conducting a thorough search, they decided to take Divine to the urinal to take samples of his urine. At that point, Mr. Richard Nii Amarh asked for the name of the officer who was holding our passports. His response was that Richard has no right to know his name because he is a public officer. The ID card which was wedged on his chest had been turned backwards and so his name was not visible at the time. When we insisted that we want to see his name on the ID card, he said we were preventing him from doing his work as a public officer. At that point, they marched us back to a room where our jackets were taken off and scanned. Our luggages were also scanned after which we were moved to another room to go through body scan.

The scanning and body search lasted for about 30 minutes, but we were detained for well over 3 hours by these officials of NACOB. They had no explanation for detaining us except to say that they were waiting for an order from a commander whose name they also refused to mention.

At the time of our arrival, our families, party officials and some media men were waiting for us to take us home. They were all made to wait for these 3 hours that we were kept in that unlawful detention by your men.

Whiles we are law abiding citizens who will like to corporate for the lawful inspection by any state official, we also expect state officials to use due process, respect for human rights and professionalism when going about their duties. We have been traumatised by the actions of your men and the media publicity which has made thousands of people worry us with phone calls to seek explanation as to what actually happened.

We cannot simply understand why we were taken through such torturous handling by NACOB officials at KIA without any form of explanations whatsoever. Yes, NACOB can claim that it was a routine exercise which was being conducted but we cannot also accept why up till now, no form of report has been published to prove whether the results of the search conducted were positive or negative. Were they incriminating or not? What happened to the urine sample taken from Mr. Divine Nkrumah?

What is even more disturbing to us and our families is that, without a shred of evidence of us engaging in narcotic activities, the NACOB officials who were on duty that night at the Kotoka International Airport indicated to us that we have been blacklisted for profiling anytime we had an opportunity to travel. This unilateral and baseless decision has the potential to ruin our political and professional lives and jeopardize our future.

We do not want to believe that the NACOB officials’ conduct was a deliberate attempt to associate us with the narcotics trade as has been the tragedy for some political actors in Ghana.

Request for Answers!

It is our humble request that your office takes practical steps to correct Mr. Vincent Asiedu and his colleagues and to prevent them from visiting similar unwarranted circumstances on other innocent Ghanaians who may fall into their hands whiles travelling.

We also wish to request for an official report from your outfit, indicating why we were arrested and whether or not the search and tests conducted on us found anything incriminating against us.

We believe that your good office will take the necessary steps to correct the wrongs in the bid to gain the confidence of the public as a State Institution committed to fighting narcotic offences but with the full regard for the protection of the rights of innocent citizens.

Please accept the assurances of our highest cooperation.

Sincerely,

Divine Nkrumah

National Youth Coordinator

Progressive People’s Party

Richard Nii Amarh

Volunteers Coordinator

Progressive People’s Party

CC:

All Media houses

Office of the President

Office of Parliament

Ministry of Justice and Attorney Generals Department

Amnesty International

Diplomatic Missions

United Nations

All Political Parties

CHRAJ

All Security Agencies

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