John Vianney Kuudamnuru

Some residents of Aflao and business men and women who use the Aflao border as entry point in doing their businesses have called on government to set up a Committee of Enquiry into circumstances that led to the reinstatement of Hope Sodzinshie into the Aflao post of Customs Excise Preventive Service (CEPS). Their call came after series of media reports on that matter have fallen on deaf ears.

John Vianney Kuudamnuru
John Vianney Kuudamnuru

In an interview with some of the importers along the Aflao border, they indicated that until media reports are taken seriously by relevant authorities and security agencies corruption would never stop in the country.

The people believed that any serious government would sit up and consider what the media says about certain acts of corruption that are collapsing the very government institutions set up to manage situation.

They expressed disappointment in CEPS Leadership for ignoring laid down rules and procedures for recruiting people into the service.
They cited Hope Sodzinshie?s example and averred that his coming back into the service is questionable.
They also called on the newly appointed CEPS Commissioner
John Vianney Kuudamnuru, to immediately institute proper investigation into the strange reinstatement of one, Hope Sodzinshie, into the service after he was interdicted for misdemeanor.

According to the people, the former CEPS Commissioner have failed to look into the matter even though there have been consistent appeals and media publications to that effect.
The people of Ketu South in the Volta region said they continue to live in fear ever since persons they described as ?criminals? have been allowed into the Aflao post of Customs Excise Preventive Service (CEPS).

The Hope Sodzinshie Saga:
The people claimed Hope Sodzinshie, an alleged notorious former National Security operative and an ex-soldier, who was axed from the Ghana Army over what the people claimed to be thievery and behaving in a manner that brought the image of the noble profession into disrepute.
However, after being dismissed from the Ghana military, once worked with CEPS, but was allegedly sacked for conniving with colleague customs official to steal goods seized from one Alhaji, a Kumasi businessman.
According to allegations, Hope and his accomplices while on duty one fateful day arrested some goods concealed in a number of cartons from the said Alhaji at a location close to Kumasi.
The goods, sources claimed, were conveyed to the CEPS headquarters only to realize that it was actually some unspecified amount of Ghana Cedis and US dollars that were concealed in the cartons.
Unfortunately, Hope and his cohorts could not account for the total number of cartons seized from the Alhaji as it emerged that some of the goods went missing. It was later discovered that the disappointed and shameless ex-soldier and his friends stole some of the goods. This also led to his second dismissal from public service together with his accomplices.
Surprisingly however, the same Hope Sodzinshie got recruited into the National Security for a short while and later reinstated into CEPS under strange circumstances.
The ex-soldier is alleged to be aiding and abetting crime in that part of the region: he allegedly distributes guns and other deadly weapons to known criminals at Aflao, who go about their nocturnal robbery activities with impunity.
?He was sacked from CEPS. We were surprised to wake up one day and found him around the same offices still harassing businessmen and other passengers. He uses his position to extort money from people,? a resident said.
Speaking to some business owners who do business along the Togo-Aflao border, they described Hope Sodzinshie as a ?terrorist? who extorts money and intimidates them when going about their business activities.
His modus operandi, according to eyewitnesses, has created fear in people, a situation that serves as an obstacle to the progress of thriving businesses in the area, since no steps have been taken by the appropriate authorities to call Hope Sodzinshie to order.
However, people believe his coming back was politically engineered and therefore called on the Ghana National Security, CEPS, Police and Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to investigate the allegations and help maintain law and order in the area.
?We are calling on the new CEPS Commissioner to institute thorough investigation into Hope Sodzinshie?s coming back. We don?t understand why he is back to the service after he was sacked,? they said.
The issue of Hope Sodzinshie?s mysterious coming back to the service have been exposed, but although he made several attempts to silence the media investigating him, by complaining to the National Media Commission, serious and uncompromising revelations keep coming about his deals.
From latest information, Hope Sodzinshie was brought back into the service through ?the back door? since, sources close to the Aflao CEPS, hinted that the CEPS Headquarters in Accra is not aware of his coming back into the service after he was interdicted for bad behaviour.
?His coming was just an internal arrangement by some elements within the service here in Aflao,? the source hinted.
It also came up that, Hope Sodzinshie is no more on salary as since on records, his appointment had long been terminated.
His admittance into the service, especially to serve at the Aflao Branch, many people described, as, an attempt by some officials within the Aflao CEPS who are backing Hope Sodzinshie?sbehaviour and hence have given him the mandate to be at post even though reliable information has it that the headquarters is not aware of his duties at the border.
Hope Sodzinshie, according to sources, is making efforts to silence the media so as to discontinue publishing stories about him.
But the media which has too much information dares him to come out and tell the whole world whether he has not been sacked from the service and if he was sacked, what led to that.
They also dare him to tell the whole world that reinstated him.
However, the media is appealing to the necessary authorities to consider what is happening along the Aflao border as an important aspect of the fight against corruption.
Pressure is now being put on John VianneyKuudamnuru, the new CEPS Boss to ensure that the proper thing is done so as to weed the service of all bad nuts.
This reporter can say that tension is building in the business centre of Aflao, where businessmen and women who do business along the Ghana-Togo border, are bracing to demonstrate against some inhuman treatments at the border in the hands of persons like Hope Sodzinshie.
Before Hope?s dismissal from the service, he was attached to the National Task Force of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Customs division.
His coming back to post at a full-fledged CEPS official at the Aflao border, makes people to smell what they described as ?fishy deal? at the CEPS office, hence their demand on the Authorities to probe the development.
Information gathered by is that, Hope Sodzinshie has been reassigned to Akanu Border also near Aflao after series of publications and calls on the government and the relevant authorities to investigate his activities along the border.
Sadly, the confidence people repose in the NDC-led administration, which has promised to fight corruption with all its arsenals, is gradually waning as people, especially Aflao residents, say the lackadaisical attitude being exhibited by government and its agencies towards relevant issues that have come into the media domain, will cause the party?s defeat in the coming elections.

They are still harbouring displeasures against government for not doing anything about Hope Sodzinshie, a CEPS officer at the Aflao border, whose issues have been in the news for the past two months.

There is no doubt that new hurdles have emerged that appears to have showed how state institutions that are mandated to investigate illegalities have refused to do so.
They mentioned that a case such as that of Hope Sodzinshie, should not be allowed to travel for long, since Hope Sodzinshie is still at post with his usual intimidating behaviour.

Interestingly, the silence on the part of the former CEPS Commissioner and government over the matter has sent tongues wagging, with majority of businessmen and women who use the Aflao border demanding answers as to the reasons why Hope Sodzinshie has been reinstated and moved to the Akanu Border instead of interdicting him and launching an investigation into his activities.



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