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Alleged bribe: NDC doctored video of 2016 campaign donation to Akufo-Addo - Govt

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

"We are not disappointed that Mr Mahama and the current NDC leadership will stoop so low with obvious fabrications which they hope can change the minds of Ghanaians. It is and will always be their stock-in-trade," the government has said.

In a statement issued by the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Wednesday reacting to a video alleging bribe taking against President Akufo-Addo, the government said it was a "false accusation." 

It said: "The false accusation is premised on a doctored video of a 2016 campaign donation to then candidate Akufo-Addo. Characteristic of the NDC’s reliance on waging a campaign of lies, fake news and fabrications, the opposition candidate and his party have now sponsored the doctoring of this video and superimposed it with new voices to create the false impression that it is a post 2016 event showing the President receiving a bribe.

"Whilst we are not surprised by the new low by the opposition candidate and his party, we remind Ghanaians that they should expect more of such falsehoods and fabrications in the days leading up to the election. It has become clear that candidate Mahama's failed campaign now sees fake news and fabrications, as well as an amendment of their earlier promises as the only hope to salvage what is going to be another decisive victory for President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party," it added.

Below is a copy of the government's reaction

STATEMENT

  1. The Government of Ghana notes, without much surprise, a desperate attempt by the campaign of John Mahama to falsely accuse the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, of bribery.
  2. The false accusation is premised on a doctored video of a 2016 campaign donation to then candidate Akufo-Addo. Characteristic of the NDC’s reliance on waging a campaign of lies, fake news and fabrications, the opposition candidate and his party have now sponsored the doctoring of this video and superimposed it with new voices to create the false impression that it is a post 2016 event showing the President receiving a bribe.
  3. Whilst we are not surprised by the new low by the opposition candidate and his party, we remind Ghanaians that they should expect more of such falsehoods and fabrications in the days leading up to the election. It has become clear that candidate Mahama's failed campaign now sees fake news and fabrications, as well as an amendment of their earlier promises as the only hope to salvage what is going to be another decisive victory for President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party.
  4. We are not disappointed that Mr Mahama and the current NDC leadership will stoop so low with obvious fabrications which they hope can change the minds of Ghanaians. It is and will always be their stock-in-trade.
  5. The people of Ghana are discerning and will not be swayed by obvious fabrications designed by persons who always seek to bring the name of the Republic into disrepute and sully its image amongst the comity of nations.
  6. The general public and the media are encouraged to be vigilant in order not to fall prey to the antics of these persons who desperately desire to tarnish the image of the Republic for their own selfish, parochial, partisan ends.
  7. For the avoidance of doubt, President Akufo-Addo has never been involved in any untoward conduct, let alone take a bribe. The original footage of the incident shows it clearly as a 2016 campaign donation and nothing more.

Kweku Baako's version

Speaking on Accra based Peace FM's Kookrokoo morning programme on Wednesday, the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako said the video in circulation on social media alleging bribery against President Akufo-Addo was recorded in October 2016.

He said it was recorded by Salis Yakubu Atsuluwo, at a time President Akufo-Addo was campaigning to become President in the 2016 elections.

He indicated the said money, GH¢40,000 was offered as part of political party campaign support and that it was not true that it was US$40,000 as being alleged in the second video.

He also added that it was not bribe as alleged in the second video published by the Salis newspaper owned by Salis Yakubu.

[Watch video below from 1:41:20 onwards]

Mr Baako said Salis Yakubu used to work with Anas Aremeyaw Anas's Tiger Eye P.I. but has since parted ways with Anas.

He said Salis did not know that the original video was "available to us [Kweku Baako and others], so we released it to expose his doctored one," he said.

Baako who said some aspects of the issue was linked to his [Baako's] case with Kennedy Agyapong in court as well as that of Anas Aremeyaw Anas versus Kennedy Agyapong in court insisted that he cannot go into details because of the court case.

He said the allegation of bribery was out of place and that it is clear that the money was to help Akufo-Addo finance his campaign in 2016.

Mr Baako said he first came into contact with Salis Yakubu Atsuluwo in 2006 and that Salis approached him at the Labadi Coffee Shop in Accra. 

From then, he [Baako] influenced his entry into Tiger Eye P.I. 

He said when Salis walked to him for the first time, he opened up to him [Baako] that he was an NDC activist.

But later on along the line, Mr Baako said Salis became an NPP member, he told him.

Baako said Anas parted ways with him, so Salis set up his own group afterwards.

He alleged that Salis has currently "exited to Benin" in the wake of the issue.

Read also: Bribe: NPP released 'doctored' video to dismiss 'authentic' one - Sammy Gyamfi

Watch the video below showing Baako [1:42:32 onwards] discussing the issue on Peace FM Wednesday morning.

Read alsoBribe: NPP released 'doctored' video to dismiss 'authentic' one - Sammy Gyamfi

Sammy Gyamfi's version

Meanwhile, the Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Sammy Gyamfi says members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) deliberately released a "doctored" video as a ploy for the public to dismiss the "authentic" video which alleges bribery against President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Mr Sammy Gyamfi said this at a press conference in Accra Wednesday [December 2, 2020] afternoon and insisted the recording was done in 2017.

He named the person who did the recording as Yakubu Suale to counter what Kweku Baako said was Salis Yakubu Atsulowo.

He confirmed Yakubu was working with Anas Aremeyaw Anas and that the recording was done at a time Yakubu was still working with Anas, but he [Gyamfi] cannot tell if the recording was done with Anas's approval.

He said Yakubu became friends with Kennedy Agyapong after he parted ways with Anas and that he was the one behind Kennedy Agyapong's "Who watches the watchman."

Reacting to concerns on the timeless for the recording of the video, Sammy Gyamfi insisted that there is another version of the recording, which he will later make available and that in that video, which has no audio, the person [Yakubu] who recorded it, President Akufo-Addo and Ambassador Barwuah sitting in the same office were captured and the camera captured the date.

Read also: Bribe: Video was recorded in October 2016 - Kweku Baako

Click this link to watch the NDC press conference

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