The ability of a notorious Nigerian kidnapper to obtain a Ghanaian passport is a reflection of the porous security in Ghana that must be addressed immediately, Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, an international relations expert and Director of Academic Affairs at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, has said.
He also said it showed how poorly Ghana had managed its affairs because over the years some other foreigners had also had access to Ghanaian passports.
His comments follow remarks by the Inspector General of Police for the Nigeria Police Force, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, revealing that a top Nigerian kidnapper who was arrested by the Nigerian Police two weeks ago had a Ghanaian passport as well as properties and a family in Ghana.
The Nigerian IGP had further disclosed that Chikwudubem Onwuamadike, known simply as Evans in Nigeria, confessed to being a former drug trafficker. The Nigerian police chief said the suspect always charged his ransom in dollars.
Mr Idris made the revelation at the ongoing West Africa National Security Conference at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra on Tuesday, 20 June, 2017.
“Last week, we arrested a kidnapper… He has houses in Ghana and his family is based here in Ghana and that’s the only kidnapper that kidnaps and demands ransom in dollars. He has collected about $6million so far in ransom and he can keep his victim for as long as six months even if it means paying this ransom in instalments. It’s sad that he keeps somebody for six months and doesn’t release the victim until that money is paid in full,” Mr Idris said.
“I was told his family is in Ghana and he has two houses in Ghana and I even have the addresses. Finally, the importance of actionable intelligence sharing cannot be overemphasised as today, through some exchange of information; Nigerians are celebrating the arrest of the Nigerian-Ghanaian. I say Nigerian-Ghanaian because he’s a Nigerian but he also has a Ghanaian passport and that is something you people have to look at,” the Nigerian police chief cautioned.
Speaking on this development in an interview with Accra News’ Abena Korantemaa Agyapong on Wednesday June 21, Dr Antwi-Danso said: “It is worrying that the Nigerian kidnapper had access to a Ghanaian passport. This is an indication that we are not managing our affairs well. It shows that everybody can easily get a Ghanaian passport no matter where the person is coming from.
“How come our security is so loose that anybody can get access to our passport? That is very disturbing.”
When asked whether this development would be a blot on Ghana’s international image, he said: “We will be noted as a country whose security is very lax, a country with loose security arrangements. But that won’t damage our relationship with them. It only reinforces the need to strengthen.”