Veep's Brother On the Rampage
... Threatens life of Chronicle News Editor ... Interior Minister wades in The Ministry of the Interior and the Inspector General of Police are investigating a case in which Mr. Musah Fuseini-Cudjoe, brother of the Vice President and a board member of Ghana Airways, has petitioned the security agencies against Supt. Angwubutoge Awuni, Tema divisional police commander for his alleged links with the NDC and on suspicion that he had leaked a 419 story about him to the Chronicle. In his petition which was sent to the IGP and Interior Ministry late last year, Mr. Musah told the security agencies that he was reliably informed that Supt. Awuni and The Chronicle's News Editor, Mr. Raymond Archer, are sympathizers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who have teamed up to destroy anybody associated with the NPP. "I am reliably informed that you are a NDC activist who has teamed up with reporters such as Raymond Archer, who are sympathetic to the NDC, to destroy anybody associated with the New Patriotic Party (NPP). The introduction of Raymond Archer's story proves the point. What does my being a board member of Ghana Airways and relation of the Vice President got to do with the case?" he wrote. He added that it is risky for the Police Service to still have an officer like Supt. Awuni on the employment list of the Service. Before filing his petition, Mr. Musah made two phone calls to Mr. Archer, threatening his life for mentioning in his "JAKE BLOCKS 419 ENQUIRY" story the fact that he is a brother of the Vice President and a board member of Ghana Airways. In his opinion his relationship with the Vice President and his presence on the Ghana Airways board had nothing to do with the fact that a gang of 419 operators had defrauded him. "Mr. Archer, what have I done to you to deserve all this? I have received so many calls from abroad because the story is on the Internet. I want to tell you that if I have any enemy in this country then it you. From hence you have to make sure that you don't cross my path because I will deal with you," Musah threatened. The call, which was recorded by a colleague journalist, was made when Mr. Archer was attending a "meet-the-press" series organized by the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) at Golden Tulip Hotel late last year. In his petition dated September 23, 2003, addressed to Supt. Awuni and copied to Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, the IGP, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) - Kofi Boakye, Musah stated among other things: "I am petitioning the IGP with a copy of this letter to investigate the role that you have played in the publication of the case which is still under police investigation. I think it is very risky keeping officers like you who cannot keep confidential information in the Police Service" The most shocking portion of Musah's petition is the aspect, which states that, The Chronicle's News Editor had tried to lie to him, Musah, about the source of the story but finally mentioned Supt. Awuni as the source of the story. "Raymond initially tried to lie when I told him that I suspected you were the source of the information because I knew earlier on that you called for the docket from Community 7, Police station. He finally admitted that you gave him all the information," Musah said. Mr. Archer on his part has described Musah's claim as cheap lies calculated to achieve his sinister motive of ditching Supt. Awuni and insisting that he had realeased the said story to The Chronicle. He added that Supt. Awuni said that he did not have the docket and directed the Chronicle to contact the investigator. According to Mr. Archer when he contacted Mr. Musah for his side of the story, his first question was "are you going to put my name in the newspapers that I was a victim of a 419 scam?"
Chronicle's News Editor also indicated that Mr. Musah asked him whether he had contacted the Tema Police and he answered that he had already contacted Supt. Awuni who is the divisional commander and the investigator and that he wanted (Musah's) side of the case before publishing the story as required by the ethics of the profession.
According to him Supt. Awuni even though he claimed he did not have the docket said that Mr. Musah's case was not an exception and cautioned the public to beware of such confident tricksters who are going round the country as businessmen and women.
Archer said Musah requested him to hold the story for some time since he was investigating the case himself because the then Minister of Information, Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, had halted police investigation into the matter when on of the suspects was arrested.
In fact in a letter dated April 9, 2003, addressed to Mr. Obetsebi Lamptey, Musah viciously criticized the Minister for jeopardizing the investigations.
Mr. Archer said after the interview Musah tried to give him some money "to buy petrol" but he refused it although he decided to suspend publication of the story for over two months.
He added that the story had to be published eventually because it was evidently clear that the Minister's interference had jeopardized the police investigation.
In spite of all these, Musah again stated: "I called Detective Sergeant Acquah to inform him about it and he was very upset because no one had come to ask him about the case. In any case he hadn't completed with his investigations."
But Mr. Archer insists that once again, this portion in Mr. Musah's letter was a fabrication because he spoke to the officer concerned. He said the officer was professionally cooperative.
Following this letter, Supt. Awuni came to the office of The Chronicle visibly angry. He accused The Chronicle of lying to Mr. Musah that he was the source of the story when all said was that he was aware of the story but the docket was with the investigator.
"Between you and I you know I am not the one who gave you this story, why did you tell the man I gave you the story?" Awuni asked Archer.
On September 25, (two days after petitioning the IGP) Mr. Musah wrote another petition on the same case pushing for Supt. Awuni to be reprimanded for allgedly speaking to The Chronicle on a matter, which was of public interest.
Chronicle sources at the Ministry of the Interior has hinted that the Minister has written to the IGP asking him to submit a full report on the case against Supt. Awuni and Mr. Archer.
The Chronicle has further gathered that Supt. Awuni, who has been on interdiction on what many describe as a frivolous case of bribery, has been invited by the IGP on the matter.