Govt Peddling Falsehood…Lebanese Was Abducted, But Surreptitiously Released On Monday - Minority

The Minority in Parliament are insisting that the Lebanese businessman, Mahran Mustapha Baajour, was abducted by National security operatives in Ghana, before he was surreptitiously released by state officials.

The Caucus claim after raising an alert and mounting pressure for his whereabouts to be revealed, Baajour has been released and 'sneaked' out of the country to his homeland, Lebanon.

The Minority in a statement had indicated that "immediately after arriving at the Kotoka International Airport on December 13, 2018, Mahran Mustapha Baajour and his two Ghanaian hosts who welcomed him at the airport were arrested at the precincts of the airport just when they were about departing in their Toyota salon vehicle with registration number GN 6126 - 15 by persons claiming to be operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

“After all three were kept in detention for six days in violation of Ghanaian law, our understanding is that Mahran's two hosts, one Razak Abdul and another were then released as free men while Mahran was kept in detention. This is the reason Mahran's family and officials from his country are having a hard time believing denials and claims of innocence by Ghanaian Government officials they have contacted” 

However, government in a reply denied that the businessman had been abducted in the country describing the minority's claims as "false, unfounded and holding no truth".

"credible checks conducted at the National Security and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration affirm beyond a doubt that no such person had arrived at the Kotoka International Airport, contrary to the palpably false accounts given by the Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs..." the statement which was signed by Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, John Ntim Fordjour added.

But speaking to this in an interview on Citi Eyewitness News, Monday, the Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said government is just trying to 'cover up their shame' adding that 'the earlier they admit their mistake, the better'.

According to him, per his checks, the Lebanese businessman was released on Monday, 25th March 2019.

Mr Ablakwa has made the same comment in a post on his facebook page.

Read post below


The Minority in Parliament has become aware of an ignominious and undignified statement by a member of the Majority side of the Committee on Foreign Affairs seeking in a most pathetic effort to deny the obvious abduction and disappearance of Mahran Mustapha Baajour, a Lebanese businessman who arrived in Ghana on 13th December, 2018.

We note that the desperate statement which lacked any modicum of morality and truth was signed by Rev. John Ntim Fordjour. One wonders if our Honourable colleague, a Reverend Minister still believes in the sacrosanct John 8:32 - "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

For the avoidance of doubt, the Minority in Parliament firmly stands by all the facts as presented in our release of 24th March, 2019 as they remain the incontrovertible and unimpeachable truth.

In any case, we find it curious that Government did not consider it worthy to deny virtually these same facts as carried consistently by the Insight Newspaper and the international media several weeks before we put out our statement. Perhaps even more strange is Government's continuous silence in the face of protests in Lebanon accusing Government of the abduction several days before the Minority's statement.

The Minority wishes to further bring to the attention of the general public that the family of the abducted Lebanese had since the 19th of January, 2019 instructed their lawyer, Roberts Ekor Dassah Esq. to commence legal action in an Accra High Court seeking to get the Human Rights Court 1 to compel Government to produce Mahran Mustapha Baajour. Our information is that the next court date for the hearing of this case is 2nd April, 2019 and we should humbly appeal to the media to take interest in the court proceedings if indeed we are all interested in knowing the truth. [For ease of reference - the case is: The Republic Vs The Director, Bureau of National Investigations (1st Respondent), The Attorney General & Minister for Justice (2nd Respondent) and Mohammed Fawzi Aminu Amadu (Applicant)].

We should hasten to add also that upon carrying out our own checks, we have evidence from the Middle East Airline which brought Mahran to Ghana on the 13th of December, 2018. Suffice to point out that several witnesses who were on board the flight with the businessman stand in readiness to testify, not to mention an official confirmation from the Ghana Immigration Service which was adduced in court affirming that Mahran Mustapha Baajour had indeed been processed at the Kotoka International Airport on the said date.

The Minority can now confirm that following our initial statement calling into question Government's conduct, we have received news from Lebanon that Mahran Mustapha Baajour has a few hours ago been removed from Ghana and arrived in Beirut, Lebanon today the 25th of March, 2019. Mahran arrived on Qatar Airways and is currently being debriefed by Lebanese authorities even as his family in Lebanon has been contacted.

Clearly, but for our statement exposing the Ghanaian Government's terrible misconduct in this abduction affair, the businessman would not have been released from unlawful detention.

Noting these bizarre developments, the Minority calls on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to launch a full scale investigation into the circumstances leading to the abduction and subsequent removal from Ghana of Mahran Mustapha Baajour.

It must be noted that indications from Mahran's family, the Lebanese Government and human rights activists suggest that we have not seen the end of this matter. This is precisely the reason why the court proceedings in the Human Rights Court in Ghana is set to continue despite Mahran's sudden removal from Ghana and without prejudice to other international legal actions.

Without doubt, this is not a matter the now predictable cheap, mischievous and laughable strategy of Government knocking heads within Parliament's Committee of Foreign Affairs will save those who conspired to bring our country's image into utter disrepute.

The Minority in Parliament assures the good people of Ghana that we would continue to jealously guard the long established image of Ghana as a nation that upholds fundamental human rights and the rule of law, therefore, we would resist attempts by rogue elements to tarnish Ghana's hard-won reputation and soil our good name in the comity of nations.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (MP)
Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs.

[25th March, 2019]