Communications Director of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has taunted President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for "hurriedly receiving a bribe" with both hands when he rather held the symbolic State sword with one hand during his inauguration as President of the country.
At a press briefing in Accra, Wednesday, the party communicator questioned why a personality who touts himself as incorruptible would throw his integrity to the dogs and easily succumb to a $40,000 bribe.
“You received bribe with two hands but held the State sword with one hand. You received a bribe with two hands; are you a goalkeeper?” Sammy Gyamfi poked.
Mr. Gyamfi’s statement was a direct reaction to a video clip that purportedly captures Akufo-Addo receiving an amount of money concealed in a brown envelope. According to a report by Salis Newspaper, Akufo-Addo was being influenced to not remove Alhaji Abass Awolu from office in the wake of claims the Director of the Department of Urban Roads was a member of the NDC and was thus serving the interest of the party.
Although the government has said the said video was recorded in 2016 and was actually a donation being made towards Akufo-Addo’s campaign, Gyamfi, a lawyer, without equivocation, mentioned that attempts by the government and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to redeem the image of Akufo-Addo will not wash, stressing that Ghanaians are discerning.
About the video
Two video clips with the same setting and scenery but with different narrations are currently in circulation, stoking a conversation about whether or not President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has gone against his pledge to not condone any act of corruption.
One of the files which sought to suggest Akufo-Addo’s incorruptible tag was a mere gimmick, forms part of a forty-minute supposed investigative piece by the Salis Newspaper that uncovers how the President was influenced with an amount of $40,000 concealed in a brown envelope to ignore corruption and NDC affiliation claims against Director of the Department of Urban Roads, Alhaji Abass Awolu.
In the said video, Alhaji Abass, according to the narrator, sent a delegation to the President in his private residence in Nima. “They were led to the president by Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Adjei Bawuah. In his company were a woman and a man who were introduced as wife and brother of the Director of Urban Roads.”
A voice purported to be the man introduced as the brother of Alhaji Abass, is heard pleading with the President to pay deaf ears to some allegations against Alhaji Abass, stressing it is a plot by detractors who are bent on tarnishing his image and eventually seeing him kicked out of office.
Akufo-Addo after the supposed plea for clemency is seen receiving a hefty brown envelope from Ambassador Bawuah which according to the narrator contained $40,000 being presented on behalf of Alhaji Abass. While at it, the voice of the man purported to be the brother of Alhaji Abass is heard stating that the package is from Alhaji Abass who has been advised by some people to take that action or risk removal from office.
“He has been advised by some people to come and see you with money. He says he doesn’t have much except this $40,000. He is pleading with you not to remove him from office. He also assures never to disappoint you if he is maintained.”
A second video, however, suggests otherwise. Although the scene and personalities are same as Salis Newspaper’s, the conversation is entirely different; it’s a donation and not a bribe. The unseen man, who the newspaper in its report claims is the brother of Alhaji Abass, is rather heard discussing how they could assist in the electioneering campaign.
The footage suggests that the three personalities [Ambassador Bawuah, a lady and a man whose face is not captured] had been to Akufo-Addo’s home to offer resources in order to grease the wheels of his campaign.
“Please accept this 40,000 in addition to the t-shirts for now. Later, we will communicate to you how else we can contribute to this,” he said.
It is worth mentioning that in both videos, Akufo-Addo after receiving the envelope requested for a name. He said, “I need to have a name” to which the lady replied, “Hajia Fawzia”. It is unclear what Akufo-Addo needed the name for.
Below are the two videos. Watch the Akufo-Addo encounter in the first video from the 32nd minute