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05.05.2004 General News

Flap over donations ends; Ghanaian returns home

By Omaha World-Herald
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Kwame Bannor is back in Ghana and has received much of the money raised in Omaha for his return home, a local attorney said.

Omahans contributed about $13,700 this year so Bannor, who has Lou Gehrig's disease, could get back to his family in Africa. But a dispute broke out last week between Omahan Melva Woods, the woman who ran the fund-raising and oversaw the funds, and Bannor, who had made it as far as New Jersey last week.

Woods, a former boss of Bannor's, said she began to question whether Bannor actually was going to Ghana. She said she owed it to the many contributors to the fund to make sure he followed through with his plan.

Bannor and a friend in New Jersey, Franklin Agyemang, said by telephone last week they were concerned that Woods would use some or all of the money for herself.

Bannor said he wouldn't go to Ghana without the money. Woods said she wouldn't wire him the money until he reached Ghana.

Woods consulted attorney D.C. "Woody" Bradford, who had contributed to the fund.

Bradford said Tuesday that Bannor made it to Ghana and that Woods had wired him the money.

"It all worked out well," Bradford said.

He said Woods transferred more than $9,360 to Bannor. The rest was used by Bannor before his trip and by Woods for various expenses associated with his relocation and medical condition, according to an accounting provided by Woods to Bradford.

Agyemang said he talked with Bannor by phone Monday, and his friend was happy to be home.

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