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General News Fri, 30 Jan 2004

Konongohene exposed in visa deal

A deal in which the Konongohene, Nana Batafo Akyeampong Nti II, attempted to present himself as Nana Yeboah Marfo II, at the head of a delegation, in order to secure a visa from the American Embassy has been uncovered by The Chronicle Intelligence.

The said trip was at the invitation of the North America chapter of the Asante Akim Citizens Association, described as a non-profit organization.

Under the guise of invitation, the chairman of the planning committee, Stephen Gyedu of 691 Elizabeth Avenue Apt 22 Newark of New Jersey, in a correspondence dated September 20, 2002 to the Consular of the American Embassy in Accra, explained the need for the chief to visit the USA to launch an education fund and a re-afforestation programme at Hilton Short Hills on December 25, 2003.

The trip said to have been sponsored by the Konongo Traditional Council would have cost $17,000, the equivalent of ?150 million.

On the whole, five out of the 32 membership of the Traditional Council were to have gone on this trip. The list as presented to the Consular included Nana Yeboah Marfo II as chief; Samuel Opoku, “Development” Chief; Samuel Bamfo, co-ordinator of the Concerned Citizens Association of Ghana of the Asante Akim traditional area and Stephen Boakye as linguist.

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Miss Evelyn Yeboah, the Konongohene’s daughter, was to have posed as the chief’s wife and secretary of the Traditional Council, while one Matthew Bruce Atta Rockson was appointed ‘Gyasehene’ for the purposes of the trip.

A planned questionnaire the members of the chief’s entourage were to have studied for the visa interview (which is in the possession of The Chronicle) indicated that the delegation would have been away for two weeks (December 18-31, 2003).

They were also coached to tell the interviewer that Nana Yeboah Marfo II (Nana Batafo Nti) had been chief of Konongo for the past 20 years.

But for the indecent dressing of the chief’s daughter (wife/secretary) and her failure at the interview last December 1 officials of the Consulate would have been outwitted and Nana would have succeeded in smuggling out his “sub-chiefs” outside Ghana.

The Chronicle learnt that four of the six got approval for the visa all right, but later were disapproved on suspicion, which stunned the chief so much that the chief nearly fell to the ground.

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Discreet Chronicle investigations at Konongo have revealed that Atta Rockson is not a “Gyasehene.” Investigations into the “Gyasehene’s” background indicated that he was a video operator who had sold his video center and equipment for ?3 million to raise the fee for the trip.

Apart from a $2,000 he paid to the chief in August 2002, with the promise of sending him to the USA, he had also paid ?4 million and various sums of money ranging between ?200,000 and ?500,000 to fuel Nana Batafo Nti to Accra to see to the traveling arrangements, including the visas.

Further investigations revealed that Nana Batafo Nti, using his Owerriman Football Club, a second division side, as bait, extorts monies from unsuspecting members of the youth under the pretext of sending them abroad.

That is how “Gyasehene” Atta Rockson was lured to dispense with his vocation as a video operator in pursuit of an unaccomplished mission.

In August, 2002 he was made to believe he would go to the USA in October that year in the company of the football club. Rockson became suspicious of Nana’s dealing on learning that no football tournaments are played in the USA in October. When that failed, the chief promised to send him in May 2003 but that did not materialize either.

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Atta Rockson, 43, was counting on luck to go to the USA last December 18 until Evelyn Yeboah of Tema and the so-called chief’s wife brought bad luck to the entourage.

He is peeved about the deceit, extortion, disappointments and all. He might or might not take legal action against the chief of Konongo.

Nana Batafo Nti has admitted the various attempts he made to “help” Atta Rockson, who he claims to be his nephew, to travel outside the country.

According to the chief, he had often used his own resources to facilitate the abortive trips and wondered why the “boy” could be making much noise and also be that “ungrateful” to him for all the help.

Source: Chronicle