The editor of the Vanguard Newspaper, Mr Osbert Lartey, has been accused of attempting to rape one of his marketing executives in his office.
And although Mr Lartey flatly denies the charge thrown at him by the pretty young marketing officer, the Searchlight has learnt that the matter has so disillusioned some of Mr Lartey's workers that they have since stopped working for him.
The young woman, when reached by the Searchlight, however, confirmed the attempted rape allegation and said that she is prepared to fight till her dying day for justice in the matter.
Explaining the background to the whole affair, sources close to the Vanguard told newsmen on April 27 this year, the pretty young marketing officer, who normally canvasses for adverts for the newspaper, arrived at the office quite early in the morning to find Mr Osbert Lartey sleeping in his inner office. At the time Mr Lartey was said to be a bit under the weather.
According to the source, Mr Lartey then told the young woman (name withheld) in Ga that he had missed her, then invited her into his inner office. The young woman, who was then cleaning the office, refused the invitation for her to join Mr Osbert Lartey in the inner office, where he had obviously spent the night.
Suddenly, according to our source, Mr Lartey burst out of the inner office to the reception area, grabbed the young woman, who was then in the process of cleaning the office, and tried to have sex with her. The young woman is said to have screamed, and fearing that the noise will attract the car dealers along the Lapaz – Tetteh-Quarshie Motorway where Vanguard has office, Mr Osbert Lartey is said to have let go of the girl and sneaked back into the inner office.
Scared, the young woman left the office and called Mr Lartey's secretary on her mobile phone. The two young women then agreed to meet on the Achimota overheard bridge. They were there, discussing the issue, when Mr Frederick Fianko, a reporter of the Vanguard, appeared. When he was told of the affair, he is said to have decided to confront Mr Lartey. However Mr. Lartey's answer to the query is said to be that he had only wanted to give his marketing executive a peck on the cheek.
Disgusted by the affair, Fianko is said to have walked out of the office in anger. Since then he has refused to report to work. Asked on Wednesday if Fianko has been coming to work in recent times, Mr Lartey said that the young man had written to him that he wanted to go back to school.
Asked where Fianko is schooling, Mr Lartey said he did not know. Meanwhile, the Searchlight has learnt that the matter has gone from the Women and Juvenile Unit to the Bureau of National Investigations, which organisation, it is believed, is being used to strike terror into the heart of the young woman to stop her from proceeding against Mr Lartey.
Mr Lartey, however, denies the attempted rape and other charges.