“There was absolutely no disrespect,” National security minister on airport security guard’s interdiction

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The Minister for National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, says he is shocked to hear about the interdiction of an aviation security officer by the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL).

He said even though the incident happened, it didn’t warrant the action taken by the Airports Company.

The security officer, Awudu Basit, was interdicted for demanding to search the Minister for National Security at the Kumasi Airport.

According to GACL, the security man’s actions had cast a dent on the company’s image and integrity, hence the decision to interdict him.

In the interdiction letter, sighted by The Fourth Estate, the management of GACL said, “You were assigned to perform airside patrol duties at the Kumasi Airport on 8th September 2022, and you saw the Minister of National Security emerging from the VVIP Lounge to board Africa World Airline Flight at about 1430 hours.

“It is reported that you approached the Hon. Minister and demanded to conduct a pre-boarding search on him in the open frontage of the VVIP which ended up embarrassing the minister.”

The Management of the Ghana Airports Company has since launched an investigation into the circumstances leading to the incident.

But in an exclusive interview with The Fourth Estate, Mr. Kan-Dapaah expressed shock that the management of the GACL went to the extent of punishing the security guard.

“I am surprised about the turn of events. There was absolutely no disrespect,” he said.

He said he hadn’t seen the letter interdicting the security guard and was hearing about the interdiction for the first time from The Fourth Estate.

“I spent over 40 minutes at the waiting room and he did not ask to screen me. However, just before I was about to board and in the full glare of so many people he demanded to search me.”

“Last Monday, an official from the Ghana Airports came to my office to apologise and I did explain that there was no need for an apology because there was no disrespect towards me by the officer,” he told The Fourth Estate.

He appealed to the Airport Company to reverse the interdiction of the security guard.

Mr. Basit’s interdiction takes effect from Friday, September 9, 2022, “in line with Article 17 (e) of the collective agreement, the letter stated.

The letter, signed by the Group Executive of the Human Capital and Office Services, R. S. Tagoe said, the security officer, Mr. Awudu Basit shall be paid two-thirds of his salary during his interdiction.

In a letter available to The Fourth Estate, the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company, Pamela Djamson Tettey, said management had rescinded its decision to interdict Mr. Awudu Basit.

The letter, addressed to workers’ union of the Kotoka International Airport, stated that “management had reconsidered the interdiction of AVSEC officer, Basit, following further consultations and facts which have since come to its attention.”

— TheFourthEstate