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General News Mon, 29 Apr 2019

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Rockson Bukari resigns over Shaanxi bribe saga

A Minister of State at the Presidency, Rockson Bukari, has resigned after a tape of him attempting to prevent a Starr FM journalist from publishing a damaging story about Shaanxi Mining company leaked.

Mr. Bukari had earlier denied claims he attempted to bribe the Starr FM correspondent based in the Upper East Region to kill the story against a judge and the Shaanxi Mining Company late in 2018.

A statement by the Communications Director of the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, stated that the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had accepted the resignation of the Minister.

Last week, details emerged of a telephone conversation between the minister and Mr. Edward Adeti revealing how Mr. Bukari in a frantic and desperate effort tried to prevent the Starr FM correspondent from publishing a damning story when he was heading the Upper East region.

The most senior judge in the Upper East region, Justice Jacob B. Boon, was caught meeting officials of Shaanxi Mining Company Ltd – a party in a case before him – day and night in November 2018 at his residence.

The journalist Mr. Adeti confronted officials of Shaanxi and the judge with his evidence two days prior to judgment. Thereafter, he began receiving telephone calls from some powerful figures, who are linked to Shaanxi, pleading strongly on behalf of the judge and the Chinese-owned company to not publish the findings.

Mr. Bukari was one of the powerful figures who allegedly arranged cash inducement and other gifts for the journalist to kill the story.

In the recorded telephone conversation the former Upper East regional minister was heard pleading heaven and earth with the reporter to shred the story.

However, Mr. Bukari in a statement Sunday said he was only playing a peacekeeping role.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Minister’s approach by way of pleading with Edeti is typical with his peace-making intervention approach to situations, and in this case, sought to avoid what he was informed was a misjudgment sought to be projected to hurt the reputation of a retiring judge in the region he had superintended as minister,” a statement from his office said.

Source: Starr FM

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