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05.04.2006 General News

No Cocaine, No Tooth Pulling

By Daily Guide

So Come Out Of Hiding

Hon. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, Member of Parliament (MP)for Asuogyaman, who is also, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, has described as absurd, recent allegations of fraud, drug-trafficking, being peddled against him, by a Mrs. Elizabeth Agyapong, and carried by a section of the media. Reacting to the allegations at a press conference, in Accra, yesterday, he served notice of suing Mrs. Agyapong, and those newspapers which carried what he called, “the libellous publication”. He gave the names of the publications as The Insight, Ghanaian Democrat and the Ghana Palaver.

His team of solicitors, led by Yonny Kulendi, he said, are currently working on the necessary judicial processes, for the suit, adding that, the action by his accuser, is an attempt at maligning and tarnishing his hard-earned reputation. “These unfounded allegations, have been recently invented by Mrs. Agyapong, to malign and punish me for refusing to accede to her blackmail, and fraud”, he intimated.

He described the woman's allegation, that he showed her samples of cocaine, as a figment of her wild imagination, and denied ever, dabbling in rituals and murders as being peddled by Mrs. Agyapong. The deputy minister has meanwhile, challenged the woman, to report the matter to the police, if she was really speaking the truth. He indicated that, he was in Parliament, when he had a call from Mr. Dan Botwe, the Information Minister, to call at the offices of The Insight to react to allegations by Mrs. Elizabeth Agyapong, before it was published. He explained that, after reporting at The Insight offices at Kokomlemle, he assured the staff that he was prepared to furnish them with documents relating to the woman's allegations, against him.

Nana Kwesi, the manager of the warehouse in Tamale, provided all the documents, a week after the story was published. He expressed surprise at the action of The Insight reporters, whom he said, were irresponsible, and he denied ever taking the woman to a shrine to have her tooth extracted, with a plier, for ritual purposes. “I am a Christian, by faith. I have never dabbled in rituals, let alone ritual murders”, he stated, forcefully.

Flanked by his lawyer, Yonny Kulendi, Nana Kwesi Maamow, the company's Tamale manager, and Information Minister, Mr. Dan Botwe, the Deputy Minister denied media reports that, he had been convicted by an Australian administrative tribunal, on charges of fraud. Giving the background to how he became the managing director of Pointer Limited, the company, at the centre of the controversy, and his subsequent dealings with Mrs.

Agyapong, Mr. Osei-Ameyaw, who, until June 2003, lived in Australia, for the past 24 years, stated that, he was approached and advised by his uncle, a Mr. Herman Seshie, to take over the management of the company, to save it from collapse. The company, he explained, deals in pharmaceuticals, building construction and estate development, import and export of general merchandise, as well as farming and purchase of farm produce, for export.

He pointed out that, after assuming the position of managing director, he visited Tamale, where the warehouse of the company is located, between December 2003 and January 2004, to familiarise himself with it, and oversee the soya bean purchasing operations of the company. He explained that, it was during his second visit to Tamale that he met Mrs. Elizabeth Agyapong, also known as Aunty Lizzy, at the Pointer Limited office and warehouse, located within the Ghana Food Distribution Corporation warehouse.

The MP added that, the woman was also, one of the many who bought soya beans from the hinterland, for supply to Pointer Limited. The woman, he said, had been contracted to supply 14,158 bags soya beans, at the cost of ¢95,000, per bag making the total ¢1,345,010,000, but had supplied only 7,295 bags, in December 2003, and by January 20, 2004, her total supply was 9,295 bags.

Continuing, he explained further that, an amount of ¢1,345,010,00 was paid her, after she had supplied 9,295 bags of soya beans. “She called a Mr. Humphrey at Standard Chartered Bank, Tamale branch, to persuade me to provide her with additional funds, to procure 3,648 bags of soya, valued at ¢346,560,000, in addition to her outstanding 2,638 bags, from Yendi”, he intimated.

Mrs. Agyapong, he added, failed to supply the soya beans, as promised as a result of which he became concerned, and therefore, engaged her in a meeting with the staff in Tamale. He revealed that, the woman disappeared, after failing to make good her promise of supplying the soya beans.

The MP indicated that, he made a formal complaint to the Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of Police, Mr. Patrick Ampewuah, at the CID Headquarters, who advised her, on phone, to complete the supply, but she failed to do so. According to him, she disappeared again only to come back, to plead with the company, to give her additional advance of ¢1 billion, to pay for a large purchase, to enable her to make good her arrears, as well as supply the remaining bags.

He disclosed that, Mrs. Agyapong, also, called him, on phone, to meet him and officials of the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA), who had promised to supply her with large quantities of the product. At this stage, the MP became suspicious and contacted Messrs Asafo Adjei and Rodney Aquaye of Trust Bank, and alerted them of a scheduled meeting with Mrs. Agyapong.

At the meeting, Mrs. Agyapong was asked to supply the outstanding 6,286 bags of beans, before her request of an amount of ¢1 billion, could be given to her. He stated that, Mrs. Agyapong left for Tamale and started the supply, but failed to deliver all the 6,286 bags to the company, thus, she was left with 1,448 bags, valued at ¢137,560,000.

He further explained that, he travelled to Australia, in May 2004, only to be called and informed that Mrs. Agyapong had been arrested in Kumasi, where she alleged that, Pointer Limited owed her ¢600,000,000. “I asked the operations manager of Pointer Limited, Nana Kwesi Maamow, to make a statement to Detective Doe in Kumasi, to the effect that, she rather owed Pointer Limited several bags of soya beans”, he narrated.

He mentioned that, the woman was never heard of again, until September 2005 when she called, threatening to get Tamale boys, to kill him and burn the company's warehouse in Tamale, if he failed to pay the ¢600 million to her, adding that, she also, threatened to expose him, through the media.

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