Hajia Fawzia Karim, the woman at the centre of the video that captures Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo receiving an amount of money concealed in a brown envelope has noted that the said footage was recorded in 2016 when the latter was the presidential candidate for then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), contrary to suggestions by the Salis Newspaper and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that it is a current video.
In her interview with Asaase Radio, Hajia Fawzia mentioned that the footage has been doctored, adding that they had visited candidate Akufo-Addo to donate towards his 2016 campaign. According to her, she donated 1000 t-shirts and GH¢40,000 on the said day out of her own volition.
“It was before the 2016 elections. I had about 1000 t-shirts which had the pictures of the then-presidential candidate and his vice and added an amount of GH¢40,000 to support Nana. I went there as a party supporter,” she said while expressing shock at the turn out of events.
In the last couple of days, two video clips with the same setting and scenery but with different narrations have been in circulation, stoking a conversation about whether or not President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has gone against his pledge to not condone any act of corruption.
One of the files which sought to suggest Akufo-Addo’s incorruptible tag was a mere gimmick, forms part of a forty-minute supposed investigative piece by the Salis Newspaper that uncovers how the President was influenced with an amount of $40,000 concealed in a brown envelope to ignore corruption and NDC affiliation claims against Director of the Department of Urban Roads, Alhaji Abass Awolu.
In the said video, Alhaji Abass, according to the narrator, sent a delegation to the President in his private residence in Nima. “They were led to the president by Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Adjei Bawuah. In his company was a woman and a man who were introduced as wife and brother of the Director of Urban Roads.”
A second video, however, suggests otherwise. Although the scene and personalities are same as Salis Newspaper’s, the conversation is entirely different; it’s a donation and not a bribe. The unseen man, who the newspaper in its report claims is the brother of Alhaji Abass, is rather heard discussing how they could assist in the electioneering campaign.
The footage suggests that the three personalities [Ambassador Bawuah, a lady and a man whose face is not captured] had been to Akufo-Addo’s home to offer resources in order to grease the wheels of his campaign.
The main opposition NDC insists it was a bribery scene involving the President, stressing it was aimed at making him soften his hands over the allegations against Alhaji Abass. But without equivocation, Hajia Fawzia in her interview stated that the meeting was not about her husband, Alhaji Abass Awolu.
Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has asked the general public to disregard the bribery allegation levelled against the President, stressing it is false information being propagated by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). While noting that the government has braced itself for more fabricated and concocted information with a few days to the elections, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the encounter captured on tape ensued at a time Akufo-Addo was not yet president.
“Whilst we are not surprised by the new low by the opposition candidate and his party, we remind Ghanaians that they should expect more of such falsehoods and fabrications in the days leading up to the election,” he said in a statement.
“It has become clear that candidate Mahama’s failed campaign now sees fake news and fabrications, as well as an amendment of their earlier promises as the only hope to salvage what is going to be another decisive victory for President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party.
“We are disappointed that Mr Mahama and the current NDC leadership will stoop so low with obvious fabrications which they hope can change the minds of Ghanaians. It is and will always be their stock-in-trade.
“The people of Ghana are discerning and will not be swayed by obvious fabrications designed by persons who always seek to bring the name of the Republic into disrepute and sully its image amongst the comity of nations.
“For the avoidance of doubt, President Akufo-Addo has never been involved in any untoward conduct, let alone take a bribe. The original footage of the incident shows it clearly as a 2016 campaign donation and nothing more,” he stressed.
Who recorded the video?
Hajia Fawzia suspects the video was recorded by Salis Yakubu Atsuluho of the Salis Newspaper. She established that Salis was one of the two persons who accompanied her to Akufo-Addo’s private residence.
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper has also said same. He disclosed that he introduced Salis Yakubu Atsuluho to Anas Aremeyaw Anas of the New Crusading Guide fame.
“I just don’t know how I feel. This gentleman, Salis Yakubu Atsuluho, he is the guy behind the Salis newspaper, he is the guy who did the secret recording of candidate Akufo-Addo”, Kweku Baako told Accra-based Peace FM on Wednesday, 2 December 2020.
“That is the guy who was behind ‘Who Watches The Watchman 1’; that’s the same guy. Look, this is the same guy whose entry into Tiger Eye was influenced by me. That’s why I say I don’t know how I feel.
“In 2006, I was seated at the base – Coffee Shop – when this gentleman walked up to me and, in fact, opened up to me that he was an NDC activist; now he’s an NPP member.
“He’s a political prostitute and a mercenary of the highest order”, Mr. Baako said, adding: “I regret because I led him to Anas Aremeyaw Anas and introduced him to Tiger Eye and in four, five months, Anas dismissed him”.
“This is 2006 and then he set up his own group”.
Mr. Baako said, “he’s the person behind Salis newspaper. He lied that I secretly recorded the President at the time Anas went to show him some excerpts of his documentary”.
“The guy we are dealing with has fled. As I speak to you, I know he has exited to Benin”, he revealed to host Kwami Sefa Kayi.