This news story ought not to have made the headlines, but we are talking about Ghana, where even a cockerel’s dropping on the toes of a teenager routinely makes the news headlines. I am talking about the news item titled “Contracts for Sale Exposé: I’ll Expose Manasseh Over GHȻ1K Bribe – Kennedy Agyapong” (MyNewsGh.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/23/19), in which the media mogul and ruling New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Assin-Central, in the Central Region, claims to have videotaped evidence of Mr. Manasseh Azure Awuni, the controversial investigative journalist, receiving the payola sum of GHȻ 1,000 (One-Thousand Cedis) from Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei, the recently suspended CEO of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).
You see, the problem that Mr. Agyapong is immediately confronted with here is the timing of his accusation, and then the fact that he has waited this suspiciously long to let the proverbial cat out of the bag, as it were. Mr. Agyapong also has to deal with the inescapable problem regarding the fact of whether, indeed, Mr. Adjei is culpable of the criminal charges brought against him by the Awuni documentary, involving the illegal sale of government contracts. Then also, we are further informed that going as far back 2001 or 2003, or thereabouts, that Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei had been charged in a case of causing financial loss to the state of a sum total of GHȻ 72 Million, in which a Commission of Enquiry headed by the late Justice Nicholas Yaw Boafo Adade, the legendary Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, recommended outright dismissal of Mr. Adjei.
In other words, what we have here is the uphill task of Mr. Agyapong’s defense of somebody with a criminal record, the last thing that he ought to be doing if the hip-shooting proprietor of the Ken City Communications Network is really interested in fighting and rooting out official corruption, as he has been pontifically claiming for quite sometime now. Or maybe Mr. Agyapong has a share in the PPA boss’ rackets that Ghanaians need to be apprised of, by the opening of another Commission of Enquiry into the same? The other equally damning aspect of the clearly lame strategy adopted by Mr. Agyapong has to do with why he has waited until now, that is, until the screening of the long-publicized “Contracts for Sale” documentary by Mr. Awuni, before coming out with his allegation claiming that the award-winning investigative journalist has been captured on videotape receiving the diddly kickback sum of GHȻ 1,000.
First of all, even if it turns out to be true or forensically valid that, indeed, Mr. Awuni took the diddly sum of bribe money that Mr. Agyapong is accusing him of, there still remains a vast credibility gap here, in that by Ghanaian standards, Mr. Awuni is quite a significant media bulwark or a formidable force to be reckoned with to be easily able to demand a much bigger “hush money” or exposé-quashing sum of bribery than the veritable chum change that is the sum of GHȻ 1,000. In sum, the logical conclusion here is that a virulently vindictive Mr. Agyapong is simply out to inexcusably take some of the shine or commendatory gloss off an otherwise quite admirable professional record of this 37-year-old investigative journalist. And it looks pretty bad coming from Mr. Agyapong, because it makes the man who heroically exposed the mega-thief stalwart and major underwriter of the National Democratic Congress, Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, well appear to be about the ungodly business of staunchly and fiercely defending indefensible New Patriotic Party mega-scam artists like Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei, that is, if the Awuni documentary, currently being authenticated by CHRAJ, the Attorney-General and the Office of the Special Prosecutor turns out to have real teeth and prosecutorial bite.
It also goes without saying that if he really had any genuine concerns for the seemingly intractable national canker of bribery and corruption, Mr. Agyapong would not have waited until Mr. Awuni’s “Contracts for Sale” documentary had aired. I sincerely don’t think that the Ken City Communications Network mogul thought seriously through his decision or promise to release his embarrassingly well-after-the-fact counter-exposé on Mr. Awuni.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 23, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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