Extortion, a deplorable crime that preys on vulnerabilities, lies at the heart of this intricate narrative. We delve into a clandestine realm where individuals deploy agents for personal and political gains, manipulating the digital expanse of social media and contracted journalism. At the epicentre of this web of deceit is Yahaya Alhassan, who, under the cloak of influence, has resorted to a series of tactics with the aim of tarnishing BOST and its CEO, Edwin Provencal, all in pursuit of financial gain. This article endeavours to unearth the motivations behind his actions, shedding light on the murky world of extortion and underscoring the urgent need for justice.
Historically, this relatively obscure and unrestrained social media provocateur with a modest reputation has been linked to opposition politics and allegedly connected financial networks.
Drawing from a trove of audio recordings, text messages, and emails spanning a three-year period, this extortionist has employed a multifaceted array of strategies, primarily relying on fear and intimidation to achieve his objectives. Edwin Provencal remains a constant target, subjected to attacks across various platforms, including social media and various blog sites.
In a recent WhatsApp exchange, Yahaya Alhassan divulged his attempt to reconcile with the MD and offer his services as a PR Consultant, requesting a monthly retainer of no less than 1,000 cedis. This abrupt shift from promising to build a protective “firewall” around the MD raises questions about his true intentions.
Messages directed at BOST’s MD included solicitations such as, “How are you? Let’s resolve this, bro. I purchased some items on the 20th of July, and I commissioned them, bro. Retrieve this policy document to support our women on the community radio station at www.radiokejetia.com.” His messages wove pleas with boasts, asserting, “In this country, I shape policies, bro. We are friends. Sort out the entire Kejetia/Ghana women policy document at www.radiokejetia.com.”
In a subsequent exchange, he issued a threat, stating, “I possess the information officially, so if you treat me disrespectfully because the organisation requires support for underprivileged girls, I will hold a press conference and unveil it, particularly at this critical juncture. Note, there is no public-spirited action that I cannot undertake.”
When questioned about the threatening nature of this communication, he responded, “Mr. Edwin, we have met officially in the past, which is why I am proceeding with caution. The proposal and the attached document were delivered to your office; kindly address them. Equally significant, it is disheartening for me if my calls go unanswered, as few can match my commitment.”
Subsequent to these developments, this established extortionist embarked on a coordinated campaign of falsehoods, including orchestrating street protests, in an attempt to besmirch the reputation of BOST and its management team.