The organisers of the Wahala marches, the Committee for Joint Action (CJA), led by NDC, strongman, Mr. Ato Ahwoi, have misled The Chronicle into publishing a false report in its Thursday, October 13, 2005 edition.
As a result, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, at the weekend, quizzed the editor, Mr. Kojo Omaboe, and JonathanAto Kobbie, the paper's Deputy Editor, at the Police CID Headquarters, to assist them in unravelling the identity of the person who wrote an article published by the paper and authored by a certain William Antwi, alias Oyoo Busanga, who claims to be domiciled in the United States. The article was headlined: “The President and His Per Diem Allowance -Legalised Stealing”.
While the investigators and the two journalists were busily scouting for the so-called Oyoo Busanga, there is speculation here, in Ghana, that, the long hand of the CJA, was in the said article.
The speculators say that, the article was planted on the worldwide web (Ghanaweb), to stimulate and whip up sentiments against President Kufuor, and his administration in order to attract maximum participation in the next Wahala march, scheduled for Saturday October 22, in Takoradi.
In the issue of that day, The Chronicle also, carried a front-page story, headlined : “Disclose Officials' Per Diem- CJA Demands of Government, Accuses It of Reckless Spending” which was a report of the press conference held by the CJA.
The article, by the said Bafo Oyoo, also, stated categorically, that, President Kufuor collected $3000 (equivalent of ¢27 million), every night he spends outside the country, and queried why a desperately poor country like ours, should pay its president this much when he does not pay for his air fare, hotel bills, and many others.
However, the Auditor-General, Mr. Edward Duah Agyeman, has, since, described the article as false, because since PNDC time, 1983, no government official has been paid more than $478.80 per night, he spends overseas, on official trips.
“These allowances range from $70 to a maximum of $478.80. Records available also, show that, in respect of the presidential delegation to the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, France, from September 30 to October 9,2005 the approval rates which range from $70-$478.80, per person, per day, were used.”
According to a Police statement, signed by CID Boss, David Asante-Apeatu, the two journalists who were invited to assist in the investigations, co-operated with them, and were also, conducting their own investigations as to how the story, posted on Ghanaweb, was published in their paper.
The Police statement quoting section 208 of the Criminal code, warned that, “it is an offence to publish, or reproduce any information, or statement, rumour which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public, knowing, or having reason to believe that, the statement, rumour, report is false.”