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23.05.2005 General News

Take This Cash & Kill The Story

By The Enquirer

It was a quite evening on May 4, around 8pm, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Kwahu South, Mr. Raymond Osafo Djan, put in a desperate phone call to David Tamakloe, a reporter with the Enquirer, who was investigating a story in which the DCE had been cited for diverting ¢400million of the Assembly's money into his secret accounts.

The DCE asked for an emergency meeting with the reporter, which eventually took place near Tesano police station in Accra. Mr. Osafo refused to meet the reporter at the Enquirer's office which was just a walking distance.

It was at this meeting that the DCE who claimed on PeaceFMs newspaper review programme last Thursday May 19th that he never made any physical contact with the Enquirer and attempted to bribe the reporter to drop the story. The reason for asking for the story to be dropped, according to him, was because the president was preparing to release the list of DCEs and so a story like that would shatter his chances.

"You are suffering, take ¢2million and share it with your man at the bank, there is a problem but we are trying to solve it," the DCE said. Just after the DCE phoned David Tamakloe for the unsolicited night meeting, he also phoned his editor-in-chief, Raymond Archer, asking how he should handle the interview.

"Well the DCE may try to either bribe you or make some incredible revelations so get your recorder and be on the look out. If he tries to bribe, which is very likely, because of the evidence we have, please, try and record him, Mr. Archer told Tamakloe. Moments after the meeting was over, Tamakloe called his editor-in-chief jubilating and saying: "chief, we have a big story, the DCE tried to bribe me with ¢2million. I have the money here as evidence and the recording as backup."

After the emergency meeting, the DCE promised to give David Tamakloe and his informant at the bank another ¢10million with additional advise that David Tamakloe should set up a front company to which he will line up contracts from his Assembly.

On May 5, 2005, David Tamakloe wrote a memo to his editor-in-chief under the heading "Bribery Attempt By DCE". In respect of the story I am investigating about Dupong Rural Bank, the DCE has on May 4, 2005 at about 8pm, attempted to bribe me with an amount of ¢2,000,000. I am by this memo informing you that in order to establish double evidence, I have collected the money and secretly recorded him as well. I am also forwarding the money to you for advice, David wrote.

The editor-in-chief asked the matter of the bribery to be reported to the police since it was a criminal offence, but at the last minute, the Enquirer's attorney noted that it was good to report the matter to the police but it was tactical to wait and see what the DCE would say or do after the story was published. The attorney noted that it was important to hold to that evidence until the story was published. The editor-in-chief announced to the editorial department about the DCEs bribery attempt. The money which was presented to the editor-in-chief was in ¢20,000 denominations and cashed from Prudential Bank in Kumasi.

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