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06.11.2008 Politics

Government's ultimatum is not in vain, Agyakum

By myjoyonline

Government says a definite action would be taken this week over allegations that the President had misappropriated $5.5 billion of an unnamed company in an illegal oil business.

“Before this week ends, you are going to hear an official statement of the direction the president has taken on this matter,” Deputy Information Minister told Joy news' Steven Anti in an interview.

The Weekly Standard News paper edited by Victor Smith, broke the story, and accused the President of paying $4 billon of the alleged debt but was dragged to an international arbitration in Hague after failing to pay the $1.5 billion left.

The accusation was later corroborated by Alban Bagbin Minority Leader in Parliament on an Accra Radio Station, and insisted an impeachment process would begin immediately allegations were firmed up.

Incensed by the accusation, the President through his press Secretary Andrew Awuni issued a 14 day ultimatum for the accusers to substantiate the allegations or retract, failure which the appropriate action would be taken.

It is 14 working days and still counting and without any word or action from the president, perceptions are that the ultimatum was nothing but empty.

However, Deputy Information Minister Frank Agyakum maintained the “ultimatum was not made in vain.”

Asked whether the president would take the matter to the National Media Commission, Agyakum noted there were several options opened for redress, but maintained it was the decision of the President's legal team.

According to him, the Weekly Standard news paper, the originators of the allegations will also bare the brunt of the sanctions even though the ultimatum was directed at the opposition National Democratic Congress.

Meanwhile a media practitioner Dr. Arkofa Segbefia has questioned why the president would want to pursue the case in court when he made similar allegations against the ex-President

“ The president should do an introspection.When he alleged the ex-president Rawlings had gone to solicit funds to destabilise the country, did he provide any evidence, and did any body take him to court?” he queried.

He was however quick to note that if the President felt slighted by the allegations he could seek redress.

He also found it unnecessary for the NDC to have been drawn into the fray,especially when the Weekly Standard Newspaper is not an official mouth piece of the party.

Story by Nathan Gadugah