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Friday, September 11, 2009

Why I sacked Exopa CEO's lawyer - NACOB boss

About six suspected drug dealers have been arrested by NACOB between Sunday and Wednesday at the Kotoka International Airport
About six suspected drug dealers have been arrested by NACOB between Sunday and Wednesday at the Kotoka International Airport

The acting Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Yaw Akrasi-Sarpong, has taken a swipe at what he said was the “arrogant” behaviour of Mr. Kwame Akuffo, lawyer for the CEO of Exopa Modeling Agency who has been arrested for alleged drug dealing.

Mr Akuffo had accused the NACOB of flouting the constitutional right of his client, Ibrahim Sima, when his statement was taken on Tuesday. Kwame Akuffo said his attempt to correct what he thought was improper saw him being driven out of the offices of NACOB.

Mr Akrasi-Sarpong confirmed to Joy News on Wednesday that indeed, “I sacked him out of the room” for unduly interfering in the investigation of his client.

He said while the NACOB officials were taking Mr Sima through the procedure in the presence of his counsel, the counsel [Akuffo] abused his presence there as he persistently argued with them in almost every question they posted to his client.

He said it got to a point Mr Akuffo was protesting and “obstructing the case” and to calm tempers from flaring as he [Akrasi-Sarpong] was “getting angry”, Mr Akuffo was ordered to leave the room.

“He started looking at me and pointing his left hand at me and arrogantly speaking out to me,” he narrated.

He said the behavior put up by Sima’s lawyer was not necessary because his client was “not under any pressure”.

The NACOB boss also admitted profiling Mr Akuffo in a different case and defended that, explaining that he was not the only one profiled by his outfit, but several other people. He suspected Mr Akuffo of going to NACOB offices "with that at the back of his mind”.

“Anybody, any lawyer who obstructs our investigations, I will inform our international partners and we will profile him. Profile simply means, is he doing it deliberately under the guise of asking to defend the right of a client. Because in the international narcotics business, we know civil servants are corrupted, politicians are corrupted, the judiciary can be corrupted and even narcotics officials themselves. So that profiling is an ongoing process and I will deepen it and broaden it.”

He said investigations on Mr Ibrahim Sima would soon be concluded so he could be placed before court.

In a related development, Mr Akrasi-Sarpong disclosed that three persons suspected of dealing in narcotics were arrested on Wednesday at the Kotoka International Airport. He would not give details.

Story by Isaac Essel

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