A former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, has apologised to his successors for failing to inform them about the installation of an audio-visual recorder at the office after leaving his post.
Alhaji Fuseini’s apology followed news of how the highly sensitive device was found hidden behind Ghana’s Coat of Arms in the office currently occupied by Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.
He owned up as being the brain behind the installation of the device and said “I apologise to my successors; it was never intended to spy on them. Nobody was spied on in the office after l had left there”.
“The device was not activated and that is why, when the security agencies went to sweep the office the first time, they did not receive any signal that a device had been planted there,’’ he told journalists in Accra Tuesday.
Alhaji Fuseini said he was prepared to cooperate with investigations into the matter.
He explained that he took the decision after the National Security had informed him to be careful about his personal security.
He said the firestorm that had greeted the news about the devise was to be allayed with the assurance that there was no ill-motive behind it.
He said he took the decision to protect himself and ensure his security when he was assigned to be responsible for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources whose remit included ridding the small-scale mining sector of illegality.
National Security operatives used gadgets to sweep the office of Mr Amewu on July 10, 2017, and discovered the audio-visual device planted behind the Coat of Arms in the office.
The set-up included a camera, a storage unit and another device suspected to be a transmitter.
The device is believed to have the capacity to pick a whisper 35 feet away.
The discovery of the recorder sent panic waves across the country, as many suspected it was installed to extract sensitive information from Mr Amewu, who is currently leading a rigorous campaign against illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
According to Alhaji Fuseini, the device was given to him by a gentleman whose name he only gave as Haruna, when he (Alhaji Fuseini) assumed office as the Lands and Natural Resources Minister.
He explained that he subsequently directed the installation of the bugging device to aid him monitor activities in his office.
He, however, noted that the device was malfunctioning and so there was no need for people to be agitated.
The National Security has since retrieved the device and is probing to get to the bottom of the matter.
A highly placed source at the National Security Secretariat told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra yesterday that “investigations are ongoing, in spite of the new twist. No issue will be left unresolved”.
“All those involved will be invited for questioning. We really need to get to the bottom of the issue,” it added.
The new twist
A former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Nii Osah Mills, expressed dismay following the discovery, saying all his days in office were under the watch of a secret camera.
“I feel naked,” he told journalists in Accra yesterday.
Nii Osah-Mills was nominated in June 2014, the device was discovered late June 2017.
“I am undeterred”
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Amewu said he was taking all precautionary measures to beef up his personal security.
He told the Daily Graphic last Monday that the ‘planting’ of secret cameras and recorders in his office would not deter him from fighting illegal mining.
He said much as he was disappointed to have discovered that his office had been bugged with audio-visual gadgets, he was not deterred.
“This won’t deter me in any way because we have been assigned by the President to save the country’s livelihood and that is exactly what we are going to do,” Mr Amewu noted.