The sudden removal of Mr. William Kwasi Appiah as Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) by the Akufo-Addo government was choreographed to look like it was triggered by the arrest and detention of Koku Anyidoho, Deputy General Secretary the opposition NDC, insider information reveals.
Apparently, ,media speculation that Mr. Appiah had been sacked because he had allowed former President Mahama to visit Mr. Anyidoho in BNI custody and take pictures with him was mealy engineered as an abstract cover story.
The man had been removed because of differences between himself and National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, over jurisdictional and procedural issues. The NPP is said to have only taken advantage of the Koku Anyidoho incident to execute a plan to get him out of the way.
Albert Kan Dapaah wanted the elite investigative body to shirk its investigative and arrest powers to the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police so that a regime stooge planted at the CID would have exclusive latitude to go after regime opponents.
The National Security Minister had allegedly also tried to make the BNI an extension of the ruling NPP and turn it into an exclusive conduit for the employment of party faithful.
However, the sacked BNI Director had refused to acquiesce to the demands of Kan Dapaah. A stickler to principles, the man is said to have opposed attempts to use the BNI to witch hunt members of the former NDC government.
This earned him bile from the National Security Minister and other regime hawks that led to his eventual removal from office.
Kan Dapaah, who has claimed that Mr. Kwasi Appiah has not been sacked but only reassigned, is also said to have been angered by the former BNI boss’ refusal recruit some people that Dapaah had personally handpicked for BNI positions.
William Kwasi Appiah was therefore already on a blacklist before Koku Anyidoho was arrested on treason charges last month over his declaration of intent to lead a civilian coup against the Akufo-Addo government.
The allowance of former President Mahama to visit Mr. Anyidoho while in custody and to take pictures with him that had lended on social media was therefore a none issue that a regime which wanted Kwasi Appiah out had pounced on as opportunity.
His removal was swift, with the statement announcing it claiming that he had been reassigned to the Ministry of National Security, even though the exact portfolio he has been reassigned to was not mentioned.
According to sources from within the BNI, the investigative body was last year asked to restrict itself to intelligence gathering and allow the CID to take over its investigative and arrest functions. Mr. kwasi Appiah is said to have flatly refused.
If he had agreed for the BNI to cede these powers to the CID, it would have afforded Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo Danquah, the woman who was recently promoted to CID Director General by President Akufo-Addo, more latitude to investigate and arrest.
Before her promotion to the position of CID Director General, Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo Danquah who is the wife of a distant relation of the President was caught on a secretly recorded tape professing her allegiance to President Akufo-Addo.
In that scandalous phone conversation with controversial musician, A-Plus, whose accusation of two Deputy Chiefs-of Staff as corrupt thieves, had triggered an investigation by the Police, Tiwaa Addo Danquah had been heard saying she was disheartened by corruption scandals that were plaguing the Akufo-Addo government.
She had been one of four senior police officers leading investigations into the A Plus allegation but is widely believed to have gone on to kill the investigation because Flagstaff House, the seat of government, was badly implicated.
A few days after the case had been dismissed, Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo Danquah had been promoted to the position of Director General of CID by President Akufo-Addo.
Seen by many as a regime stooge, the new CID boss is expected to be used by the Akufo-Addo government to arrest and harass actors in the previous NDC regime. The woman appears to be behind the arrest and detention of the NDC’s Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho, over supposed treasonable comments made by him on radio last month.
Mr. Anyidoho had been arrested at the Ghana International Press Center (GIPC) by CID operatives in mufti in connection with Mr. Anyidoho’s comment that a civilian coup d’etat and a social revolution was snowballing in the country. Many see the treatment of such comments as treasonable as a joke.
It is said that Albert Kan Dapaah had been at loggerheads with the former BNI Director because the man would not allow the BNI’s arrest and investigative functions to be taken over by the CID headed by Maame Yaa Tiwa Addo-Danquah so she can go after NDC people in similar fashion to the way she went after Koku Anyidoho.
It was while Mr. Anyidoho was in BNI custody over the supposed treason comments that Mr. William Akwasi Appiah had been removed from that office. The removal had been timed with visitation to the BNI by former President John Mahama to commiserate with Mr. Anyidoho.
The coincidence of the removal with President Mahama’s visit has since created the impression that the man had been removed because of the visistation by Mahama.
However, sources say that the visitation by President Mahama is not what had led to the removal of the man but longstanding differences with Kan Dapaah, the National Security Minister.
Among others, it is said that recruitment of some 60 people that the BNI had scheduled to undertake this year is still pending because the former BNI Director had refused to solely employ from a list of 100 people that Kan Dapaah had furnished to him.
Mr. Akwasi Appiah is said to have objected to the political party tainted recruitment by saying that such unprofessionalism had never happened in the BNI and would not start with him. He is said to have then demanded that the ten presented by Kan Dapaa apply like everyone else and go through the proper recruitment procedure.
Following from that, Kan Dapaah is said to have deliberately withheld the recruitment process. The National Security Minister is also said to have refused to sign a 10% salary increment for the BNI.
The former BNI Director was said to have also refused demands for several functionaries of the former NDC government to be arrested because there had not been solid basis for such arrests. This allegedly angered Albert Kan Dapaah the more and further strained relations between the former BNI Director and the National Security Minister.
These sentiments were therefore deep seated undercurrents between the two before te arrest of Koku Anyidoho and subsequent visitation of former President Mahama to the BNI head office to commiserate with him.
A few hours after pictures that President Mahama had taken with Koku Anyidoho had began circulating on social media, Mr. William Kwasi Appiah was removed as BNI Director.
The removal has since led to media speculation that he had been sacked because he had allowed former President Mahama to visit Koku Anyidoho while Mr. Anyidoho was in the custody of the BNI.
Albert Kan Dapaah, has since also claimed that the man has not been sacked but reassigned to the National Security Ministry. Curiously, a 29th March statement signed by Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, announcing the removal did not give the new position that Mr. Akwasi Appiah has been reshuffled to at National Security.
In that same statement however, Ambassador Rasheed Seidu Inusah, who was named as Mr. Appiah’s replacement had his reshuffle well communicated as he was being moved from the Foreign Affairs Ministry where he was Director General of the Research to the Directorship of the BNI.
The same statement also specified that Peter Nyarko Opata, who was deputy to Amb. Innusah at the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Department of Research, was to take over from his boss as substantive Director General of the Research Department of the Ministry.
However, in the case of the sacked BNI Director, the statement only said that, “William Kwasi Appiah, Director of Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has been reassigned to the Ministry of National Security.”