The Akufo-Addo administration has denied claims by the National Democratic Congress that it approved the recent importation of a large cache of arms into the country.

The opposition party in a recent statement raised the alarm that the Akufo-Addo administration had authorised the importation of the weapons at a time the country was grappling with the threat of terrorism.

But government says it can confirm that the Mahama Administration under the NDC rather issued permit for the importation of the arms before leaving office in January 2017.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told Journalists in Accra that the permit was signed by the then Deputy Minister for Interior under the Mahama Administration, James Agalga on 5th January, 2017.

Quoting from the letter, Mr. Nkrumah said the permit by the NDC granted the importer permission to import 20,000 cases of 500 pieces of shotgun cartridges, 4,000 pieces of hunting shotguns and 500 boxes of percussion caps.

“It is curious that after the election of 2016, two days to the handing over on the 5th of January, at a time of the transition, this permit was issued on the blind side of everyone.

The minister however, said as the consignment arrived, it was duly inspected in accordance with standard practise and has been delivered at a designated storage area.

“The state security agencies are ensuring that the consignment does not get into the hands of unauthorised persons”, he added.

Agalga’s Response

The former Deputy Minister has in a response to the accusation, told Graphic Online that the government is missing the point altogether.

According to him, the Minister of Information should be telling Ghanaians when an import licence was issued to the said company to import the arms and ammunition.

He said while he does not readily recall signing any such authorisation for the importation of the arms, he may have, if he did at all, done so within the law and under careful security consideration. 

However, he said since the current security situation is not conducive for the presence of such large caches of arms, what the NDC had raised as an issue was not about the legality of the import but that care should be taken so the guns do not end up in the wrong hands.

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