….Sends his men After Whistle-blower Prof. Frimpong-Boateng
As Ministers, party functionaries, journalists and presidential staffers fight domestically to extricate themselves from findings of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining (Galamsey), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has bared his teeth at Aljazeera Media Network.
He has given the internationally-respected media house a seven-day ultimatum to immediately withdraw a documentary, retract and apologise to him and the Government of Ghana, for airing what he considers to be unprofessional and defamatory documentary.
But back home, President Akufo-Addo’s relatives at Kyebi in the Eastern Region, his maternal hometown, through the Kyebi Traditional Council led by the Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, have vehemently denied claims that galamsey activities have led to the destruction of his fence wall in Kyebi.
The president’s demand to Aljazeera was contained in a two-page letter signed by his cousin and Secretary, Nana Bediatuo Asante dated April 25, 2023 and addressed to the Investigative Journalism Directorate of Al Jazeera Media Network in Doha, Qatar.
The President’s missive was provoked by a documentary aired on Al Jazeera Television, which has gained traction on social media.
Titled: Request For Retraction And Apology For Inaccurate And Unfair Documentary on The President and Government of Ghana, the President described as ‘baseless’ a claim in the said documentary ‘that the President acted as a lawyer for one Mr. Alistair Mathias and implied that the President personally benefited from an alleged $100M state infrastructure contract purportedly awarded to Mr. Mathias.’
Acknowledging that Al Jazeera, had contacted him for his side of the story, the president said he caused his lawyer, Kow Abaka Essuman, to inform Al Jazeera his client had not been in private practice since the year 2000.
He went on to say that the President also had no recollection of either personally or through his law firm to have represented the said Alistair Mathias or his company, Guldrest Resources. Al Jazeera was therefore contacted to furnish the presidency with further details, but they did not show up and went ahead to broadcast the said documentary.
In this regard, the President has officially written to the Al Jazeera Media Network, demanding a retraction and apology for tarnishing his image over what he described as ‘inaccurate and unfair’ reportage on Ghana’s first gentleman in its Gold Mafia documentary.
“It is imperative that you act forthwith on this request within seven (7) days from the date of receipt of this letter,” the president demanded in a letter his Secretary, Nana Bediatuo Asante, wrote to the media organisation.
Nana Bediatuo Asante in the letter argued that parts of the documentary that indicted Akufo-Addo, were malicious, defamatory, and a calculated attempt to tarnish the reputation of the President of Ghana.
The presidency denied Akufo-Addo’s involvement in any of the allegations that were made in the Gold Mafia documentary released a few weeks ago.
Akufo-Addo among other things was accused of profiting from the establishment of offshore gold trading activities and being the lawyer of one of the key persons in the documentary, Alistair Mathias.
Many allegations made against Nana Addo and his government have hardly been interrogated as they were often dismissed just as they came. However, the first OSP appointed by Nana Addo is on record to have described the President as the ‘Mother Serpent of Corruption’.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng in a report had said that he received a report that galamsey activities close to the President’s Kyebi residence affected parts of his garden which had to be quickly put back in shape by the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
But media men from the Presidential Press corps were sent to the house said to be a property owned by his late mother, Adeline Sylvia Eugenia Ama Yeboakua Akufo-Addo, in a coordinated effort to discredit the German-trained heart surgeon.
Citi News’ Sammy Wiafe, who was part of the media team report thatduring the tour of the President’s Kyebi residence, the Chief of Kyebi, Osabarima Marfo Kwabre, said the reports are untrue and only machinations to tarnish the President’s image.
“There is nothing like that here and that is why I am here with the Kyebi executives, and we are to ensure that we clear the president’s name. The reports of the president engaging in galamsey activities are not true.”
Osabarima Marfo Kwabre added that the reports have left the Traditional Council uncomfortable.
“We are very uncomfortable that a man who has struggled for over 45 years to build his name is now being destroyed as he is preparing to leave the presidency, and it is very bad.”
He therefore called on Professor Frimpong-Boateng to come out to back his allegations with evidence to prove to the Traditional Council that there were indeed illegal mining activities close to the President’s residence.
“He [Professor Frimpong-Boateng] should come here and prove to us that the president was engaged in galamsey, and we expect him to come here and prove to us.”
Neighbours of the president, also denied the allegations, indicating that they have never seen illegal mining activities close to the president’s garden.