The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has petitioned the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to withdraw the nomination of deputy minister-designate for Agriculture, George Best, also known as George Kwame Oduro.
A letter from the Bureau to the President dated March 23, 2017 indicated that Mr Oduro was on May 19, 2008 mentioned as a principal suspect in a cocaine case in Geneva, Switzerland where he is declared wanted.
According to the BNI, Mr Oduro arrived at the the Kotoka International Airport in Accra on May 17, 2008, on a Canadian passport numbered LJ557784 aboard Royal Air Maroc.
“He is believed to be an accomplice of Nelson Troy EDWARD, a Ghanaian arrested in Geneva on 13th July, 2007 for possessing three thousand and fourteen (3,014) grams of cocaine,” the BNI letter stated.
The BNI indicated that the investigating Magistrate who handled the case involving Nelson Troy, issued an international arrest warrant for Mr Oduro’s arrest in 2008.
The BNI’s letter comes on the back of a request by the presidency, on March 17, 2017 for security background checks of some 54 ministers and deputy ministers nominated by President Akufo-Addo.
The Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu said he wants the name of George Oduro, who has been vetted today Thursday, April 6, 2017, to be removed from the list of nominees.“In respect of the nominees I am compelled to request that the president should consider withdrawing the nomination of one of the appointees named George Oduro because there is a damning BNI report on him,” he said on the Floor of Parliament.
But the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu disagreed with him.
According to him, it was inappropriate for the Minority Leader to bring up the issue because the House was assessing a report on nominees who have already been vetted.
The Speaker, Prof Mike Ocquaye also indicated that “we will restrict ourselves to the report. We have a clear number of ministers, their names before us and we will speak to approving the report on them. And that is what we shall do.”
Meanwhile, appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament, George Oduro said the issue is one of a mistaken identity.
According to him, the letter served on him by the BNI had the name George Kwabena Oduro which is completely a different person.