The managing editor of the Daily Democrat newspaper, Mr. Emmanuel Opare Djan has sought to explain why his lead story captioned, “Vodafone Deal – $2000 Bribe For Selected Media Houses" was accompanied with the pictures of Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, the managing of the New Crusading Guide and Kwami Sefa-Kayi, host of Peace FM`s Kokrokoo show.
In an on-air interview with Peace FM, Mr. Opare dismissed the suggestion by a section of the public that by the publication he was implicating the two in the alleged scandal. He said he only used the two pictures because the two men are highly influential in the Ghanaian media circles.
Reacting to the publication, Mr. Sefa-Kayi refuted any suggestion to the contrary, inherent in Mr. Opare Djan`s story, criticized the paper for misusing his hard-earned image saying the action is tantamount to defamation and does not show professionalism in journalism.
He added that Mr. Djan could have used the National Media Commission logo instead if he really wanted to be objective in his report. "Money cannot buy me in my line of duty. I am working for God and Country,” Sefa-Kayi declared.
The story had alleged that some media houses had received various sums of money in dollars from the previous NPP government to broadcast in favour of the sale of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone.
Below is the story as reported in the Daily Democrat newspaper:-
$2000 Bribe For Selected Media Houses
More revelations are emerging from the Vodafone bribery scandal that rocked the nation following the disclosure made by P.C. Appiah Ofori, Member of Parliament (MP) for Asikuma Odoben Brakwa constituency.
The Daily Democrat has discovered another bribery scandal in the same deal; this time around it involves some members of the inky fraternity. Some prominent journalists have been cited as having collected various amounts of money in dollars from the company that took over the ownership of Ghana Telecom, the national communications organization. The amounts range from US $1,000 to US $3,000 dollars to each of the journalists and media houses. In addition to that, they were promised juicy adverts in the event of Vodafone Plc winning the controversial sales.
The nation was shocked to the bone when Hon. P.C Appiah Ofori, a member of the then ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), which approved the deal in parliament, revealed that all those on the then majority side who voted for the deal were given US $5,000. He said the money was allegedly sent to the Castle, the NPP’s kickback headquarter’s and distributed to the members, perhaps including Nana Akufo-Addo, since he participated in the voting. Attempts have been made to discredit him by revoking his membership, which would result the loss of his parliamentary seat, leading to a bye-election in his constituency.
Concerning this new revelation, some of the media houses were used to promote Vodafone Plc. as a viable company to handled the milky Ghana Telecom. Vodafone bought 70% of Ghana Telecom at a cost of $950 million, a fee considered as very low when viewed against the assets of the company and the liabilities that the government of Ghana incurred. The Daily Democrat is withholding the names of the persons and media houses involved, some of whom were called to secret meeting and briefed on how to promote the deal, in a similar fashion as the sale of shares in Goldfields Ghana Limited, now Anglogold Ashanti Goldfields. Prior to the real deal, many media houses turned into experts who knew everything about the deal. Whiles some supported Randgold, others gave their weight to Anglogold, with monies allegedly changing hands.
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