Dr. Agnes Adu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana International Trade Fair Company Limited (GTFCL), is almost my age. But she is my niece from my mother’s father’s side of the family, that is, The Sintim-Aboagye, Adu and Amoh Family, among others, of Akyem-Asiakwa. We grew up together; but that was four decades-plus ago. Both her mother, Auntie Joanna, and her father, Uncle Samuel Nicholas Kwadwo Adu (Wofa Adu), late, are my cousins. This likely explains why Mr. Eric Kwabena Baning, my brother-in-law, whatsappped me news about the demolition of some unauthorized business structures on the premises of the Ghana International Trade Fair, which is managed by the Ghana International Trade Fair Company Limited, which has reportedly touched off a firestorm of protest, because the owner of one of the 20-odd demolished businesses is a well-known fixture on the local media circuit.
The name of the aforesaid media fixture, who is also highly connected to the Ahwoi Brothers, a formidable corporate force among the vanguard ranks of the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), is Mr. Raymond Archer. Years ago, I even learned that the name “Raymond Archer” was not the birthname or the real name of the protagonist of this column. But that, of course, is not the purpose or thrust of this column. I vividly recall, however, that as the editor of a dirt-digging or muckraking Ahwoi-owned rag during the latter months of the lame-duck John Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), that would be between the years 2008 and 2009, once upon a time, the criminally minded Mr. Archer faked a brutal physical assault on his person by some unidentified thuggish elements of the then-ruling New Patriotic Party, presumably elements who were displeased with Mr. Archer’s constant maligning of the Agyekum-Kufuor government.
Several photographs were published of the fake victim of assault in which the bloody shirt of Mr. Archer was fully displayed as evidence of the wanton acts of brutality that was being rampantly and riotously and surgically targeted at media operatives with whom the New Patriotic Party was in sharp disagreement. It would shortly turn out, when the case was called up and trialed in court, that what the fake victim of assault claimed to be his bloodied shirt was actually no blood at all but juice from crushed fresh ripe tomatoes that had been splattered onto his designer shirt and made to look like human blood. This whole cloth of mendacity would be exposed by lab scientists at the forensic laboratories at the Headquarters of the Ghana Police Service (GPS).
In short, our firm contention here is that Mr. Raymond Archer, who claims his illegally sited printing business on landed property owned by the Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited (GTFCL) to be worth some $ 10 Million (USD), has absolutely no credibility whatsoever. In the aforementioned make-believe court case, Mr. Archer was staunchly backed in his mendacious criminal fabrication by Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi, whose newspaper the fake victim of brutal physical assault allegedly managed and edited. Mr. Archer would be, literally, given a slap on the wrist and allowed to go back to doing business as usual. Until the latest Trade Fair Site demolition incident, Mr. Archer was known to be working for the Kofi Coomson-owned Ghanaian Chronicle newspaper.
The claim that his legally demolished business was worth in excess of $ 10 Million (USD) needs to be closely scrutinized and thoroughly investigated. It may very well turn out not to be worth even $ 1 Million (USD). At any rate, Mr. Archer’s was not the only illegally located or sited business that was legally bulldozed at the Trade Fair Site. As of this writing, at least 20 other businesses were also reported to have been demolished, we are told, after repeated warnings and the issuance of notices over the course of about two years. The law needs to work, even for infamous scofflaws like Mr. Raymond Archer.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York