The presidency yesterday parried an Africawatch publication that seems to associate government with impropriety in a story headlined: “The Inside Story of the Oslo Scandal: Conspiracy to Steal”.
The story from the anti-government publication edited by Raymond Poku who uses the penname Stephen Malory, a Ghanaian domiciled in the United States, revisited a subject long dead after exhaustive explanation.
With an opinionated headline, the story goes ahead to accuse President Akufo-Addo and Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, of impropriety in the purchase of a property in Oslo, Norway, for use as Ghana’s embassy in the Scandinavian country at a cost of $12.1 million instead of, as the publication alleges, $3.5 million, which is based on what the Minority NDC in Parliament put out.
A statement issued by the Director of Communication at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, however, described the allegations “as baseless, libellous and scurrilous and contains nothing but manufactured lies.”
According to him, “We are aware of this magazine’s notoriously established agenda of defaming the President through the deliberate publication of false stories about him.”
He, however, promised that “the agenda will fail as it has failed before”. He gave an assurance that the publishers, editors and distributors of the publication would be dealt with at the appropriate forum.
Government could be considering a legal recourse against the publishers or even drag them to the National Media Commission (NMC).
Africawatch has gained notoriety for publishing baseless stories and showing traits of mercenary journalism – their stock-in-trade.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu