The National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, has been slapped with new charges by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service over the infamous leaked tape scandal.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo and two other executive members of the NDC – National Communications Officer Sammy Gyamfi and his deputy, Kwaku Boahen – were initially charged with conspiracy to commit crime, to wit, kidnapping, and threat of harm.
But those charges, according to a member of the NDC’s legal team, Abraham Amaliba, were dropped Tuesday, April 10, and new charges preferred.
Speaking on TV3’s New Day, Mr. Amaliba said the new charges as preferred against the NDC chairman are now conspiracy to cause harm and assault on a public officer.
He told host Johnnie Hughes how he questioned the police which public officer the NDC executives in their alleged leaked tape assaulted and who the complainant was, but “the answers were not forthcoming”.
He observed that the new charges levelled against his clients are not borne out of good faith but merely an attempt by the police to distract the work of the NDC chair.
Mr. Amaliba also explained that the NDC had to walk out of their anti-vigilantism meeting with the NPP and the National Peace Council to honour the invitation of the police which consequently led to the levelling of the new charges.
What we know so far
A leaked audio purported to be the voice of Mr Ofosu-Ampofo in a meeting with NDC communicators had him saying: “We’re going to take [the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission] to the cleaners.”
“As for the EC Chair, we must wage a relentless war on this EC Chair. Me, she doesn’t want to see my face,” Mr Ofosu-Ampofo is alleged to have said.
In the audio, Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo also gave his blessing to the party communicators to insult the Most Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante, the Chairman of the National Peace Council.
“For the first time, I’ll endorse insulting the National Peace Council Chair,” he said.
The alleged meeting between Mr Ofosu-Ampofo and NDC communicators was aimed at planning strategies ahead of the 2020 general election.
When the issue of the leaked tape went viral, the NDC described it as concocted and false.
They threatened taking a legal action.
A statement signed by Mr Gyamfi dismissed the authenticity of the said tape and accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and some members of the government of being the masterminds behind the tape.
The NDC, therefore, urged the public to disregard the said audio, which had gone viral, and “treat all of its content with the contempt it deserves”.
CID invites Ampofo
Later, Mr Ofosu-Ampofo was invited by the CID to speak to the leaked tape.
Although the CID issued a press statement explaining that it had invited the NDC Chairman to assist them with investigations, his lawyers showed up at the CID headquarters to explain that their client did not receive any official invitation until later.
Arrest of Ofosu-Ampofo
Failing to honour the invitation twice, the police obtained a court warrant for his arrest to answer questions relating to his alleged comments on the leaked tape.
Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo finally showed up at the CID headquarters for interrogation in the accompaniment of a high-powered delegation of lawyers and bigwigs of the NDC.
He was charged with conspiracy to commit crime, to wit, kidnapping, and threat of harm and granted bail.