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21 January 2017

I wasn’t Interior Minister during the ‘cocaine ship’ saga – Kan Dapaah

Minister-designate for National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, says he was not the Interior minister when a ship carrying cocaine docked in the country in 2006, hence could not have been dismissive of any information to that effect. A member of the public had petitioned the Appointments Committee of Parliament that Mr Kan-Dapaah failed to act when information about the arrival of the MV Benjamin ship arrived in the country. But during his vetting Friday, Mr Kan-Dapaah dismissed the claim saying “With regard to the cocaine that came into the country, in actual fact, I was not even the minister. I was appointed the Minister of the interior on 5th of May”. The minister-designate noted the ship and the problems that came with it happened “on May 3 [2006] so when it happened I wasn’t the minister” He explained to the Committee that as far as the operational matters of NACOB is concerned, the Minister of the Interior plays only administrative role, noting if he was even there at the time he would not have been informed of the incident. In a Wikileaks cable, one John King claimed Mr Kan-Dapaah was “dismissive and irritated” when the issue was brought to his notice for discussion. But at the vetting Friday, Mr Kan-Dapaah denied any such suggestion, though he admitted having a discussion on the matter with the said King. “The agent was aware that my role as minister of the interior was such that I wouldn’t be involved in the operational  matters…and he made his point strongly. In an equal manner, I also made my point strongly. I said to  him that I did not share his view as far as it related to him. “I really don’t understand how he thought I was irritated and dismissive. If making my views   known to him is what he calls dismissive then I disagree,” he explained Mr Kan-Dapaah said he took time to take King through the various actions that the government had taken at the time to bring down the drug menace in the country. Meanwhile, the Committee suspended the public vetting of Mr Kan-Dapaah to continue with an in-camera session due to the sensitive security nature of the portfolio he has been appointed to head.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

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