Fake Story Traced To Flagstaff House, Daily Guide & GFA Spokesman
It is emerging that, some elements within the new Akufo-Addo government, especially those inside the Flagstaff House, have the appetite for witch-hunting political opponents, whether there is an issue or not.
It is also emerging that, the writing of false stories by party agents, whitewashing them on the internet to find their ways into pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) newspapers and onto various morning shows, will be increasing by the day as the governing party seeks to prove the mountain of corruption allegations it made against the Mahama government and its appointees.
The Herald’s findings are that, Wednesday’s publication that the brother of Ghana’s ex-President, John Mahama – Ibrahim Mahama and a certain Ali Seidu, were hauled before Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), on that day over an alleged massive corruption scandal engulfing COCOBOD, is untrue.
The Herald gathered that the false story published by an online portal Ghanaguardian.com owned by Director of Communications at Ghana Football Association (GFA), Ibrahim Sannie Daara, had come from one Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe Jr inside the Flagstaff House, who handles President Nana Akufo-Addo’s numerous social media platforms.
The BBC-trained Ibrahim Sannie Daara, did not verify the claims, but rushed to put it on his news portal.
The sports journalist, has since eating back his false claims, saying Ibrahim Mahama, was not at the office of EOCO on Wednesday, but rather businessman Ali Seidu and Kofi Job Gyasi alias “Kofi Job” turned themselves to EOCO on the day over corruption investigations at COCOBOD.
The Herald’s findings were that, acting on a report in the Daily Guide newspaper claiming that they had been invited by EOCO to answer questions over alleged corruption scandal engulfing COCOBOD, Ali Seidu and Kofi Job Gyasi, turned themselves in to answer the allegations made by the Daily Guide.
However, the two men were told by EOCO officials that they were not under investigation and had not been invited to answer any charges as claimed by the newspaper.
EOCO officials reiterated to the duo that invitations by the anti-graft agency to answer to charges are formally sent directly to the accused persons and not through newspaper publications.
The duo, who had acted on the false Daily Guide report were discharged without any charges or allegations of corruption at COCOBOD being levelled against them.
Kofi Job Gyasi, according to The Herald’s sources at the EOCO, made it clear that he was ready to assist the Office with its investigations, adding though he got some road contract to execute, he met every needed requirement.
He is said to have gone there with loads of documents to show to the officers, the officers were very professional and diligent.
Ibrahim, brother of Ghana’s former President John Mahama, was therefore not among the two men who went before EOCO over the alleged corruption scandal at COCOBOD, which had the EOCO freezing and probing ex-Chief Executive Office CEO of Cocobod, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni’s bank account.
Ibrahim Mahama, was not among the two men widely reported to be under investigation by Ghana’s anti-graft agency, EOCO.
Indeed, Seidu and Gyasi, close friends of ex-Ghana President John Mahama, turned up at EOCO on Wednesday afternoon without a formal invitation to answer to the supposed allegations from the body.
The Daily Guide and New Statesman newspapers, had claimed that some highly connected individual been huge beneficiaries of contracts that were reportedly awarded without laid down regulations and fertilizers purportedly smuggled to neigbouring countries for individuals’ interest during Dr. Opuni’s tenure.
Based on these newspapers’ publications some of which falsely claimed Dr. Opuni was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport running away, the government through EOCO, is probing the supposed fraudulent multi-million dollar contracts he’s believed to have signed before leaving office.
Mr. Opuni’s tenure was has been acclaimed as one of the productive years the critical sector; which generates revenue for the country and employs millions of Ghanaians.
Farms have been expanded, new hybrid seedlings have been planted, fertilizers, insecticides and other incentives such as high bonuses were offered freely to farmers to spur them on to increase production in an era where Chinese involvement in Galamsey activities were taken most cocoa farms leading to a dwindling sector.
Indeed, last June, the Ghana COCOBOD under the leadership of Dr. Opuni in London raised US$2 billion syndicated loan facility for the purchase of cocoa beans for the 2016/17 crop season – from October to September 2017.
At time, some analysts said COCOBOD’s track record in the repayment of the syndicated loan facility since 1992 has been the major contributing factor for the favorable interest rate.
The COCOBOD got more than $2 billion dollars worth of bids from the banks but agreed to take $1.8 billion. COCOBOD, however, maintained that it could raise another US$200 million when the crop performs better and requires further funds.
The loan facility was expected to be paid back fully by in August, this year.
The deal was led by some eight banks like Deutsche Bank AG, Natixis, Nedbank of South Africa, Rabobank, Standard Chartered Bank, Societe Generale, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and DZ as co-arranger.
The funds was also to help improve infrastructure in some cocoa growing communities like the cocoa roads, which aimed at opening up the remote cocoa areas to aid the carting of cocoa beans to buying centers .
The US$1.8 billion loan, also helped to improve the Central Bank’s international reserves, to help stabilize the cedi.