The disagreement of The Herald Newspaper Aker Energy/GNPC bribery story is heating up the political atmosphere amongst the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). It is getting fiercer, tougher and unregulated, as all sides begin to throw all weapons onto the battlefield to outwit each other.
Member of Parliament for Tamale South and Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, and Cassiel Ato Forson, MP for the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, are unrelentingly debunking The Herald’s report that they (Haruna Iddrisu and Ato Forson) facilitated a meeting between representatives of Aker Energy and some Civil Society Organizations (CSOS).
Purging themselves, Mensah Thompson, Executive Secretary of Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Duncan Amoah, Executive Secretary at Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), and the NDC members of Parliament have severally and separately fired back, rejecting vehemently The Herald’s reportage.
Counsel for Haruna Iddrisu and Ato Forson, Lawyer James Mensah Kulley of Law Trust Company have through a demand notice to the Editor of ‘The Herald’ Newspaper demanding a retraction and an unqualified apology for the publication that alleged their (Haruna and Forson) involvement in a GNPC Bribery Scandal.
The Herald, a perceived pro – NDC Newspaper, edited by Larry-Alans Dogbey, published a story on its front cover on Friday 03, September, 2021 under the banner headline ‘CSO Names Haruna Iddrisu and Ato Forson in GNPC Bribery Scandal.’
According to The Herald’s report, the Executive Secretary of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson, has confessed to receiving a cash amount of GHc10, 000 from Aker Energy and GNPC, days before the US$1.65 billion loan got to Parliament, revealing that the said meeting was arranged by the Tamale South Member of Parliament and his counterpart from the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency in the Central Region.
‘Aside the ASEPA boss, the Executive Secretary at the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), Duncan Amoah has also admitted he got a GHC30, 000 from Kadija Amoah and Joseph Dadzie, who is the Deputy CEO in-charge of Commerce, Strategy and Business Development at GNPC.
‘Unlike the ASEPA boss, whose meeting was facilitated by the two MPs, Duncan Amoah of COPEC, disclosed to The Herald that his meeting with Kadija Amoah and Joseph Dadzie, where he was given GHC30, 000 by the two in his office, was facilitated by Evans Mensa, a journalist with Joy FM.
‘Evans, however, has admitted to The Herald that he (Evans) does some media consultancy for Aker Energy, but denied being part of the meeting with Duncan Amoah in his office with Joseph Dadzie and Kadija Amoah to elicit COPEC’s support and also give him money.
‘However, Duncan Amoah, in a follow up interaction with The Herald insisted that the said meeting indeed, took place with Evans Mensah’. The Herald Newspaper reported.
A demand noticed under the hand of James Mensah Kulley, a Lawyer from Law Trust Company read, ‘I am instructed by my clients to put on record that nowhere and at no time did they facilitate any meeting between Mr. Mensah Thompson of the one part and Aker Energy and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) of the other, leading to some moneys exchanging hands over the USD$1.65 billion oil block transaction’.
Similarly, ASEPA’s Mensah Thompson, COPEC’s Duncan Amoah, in separate statements, denied report seriatim, claiming the publication was in furtherance of a personal vendetta.
But, the Editor of The Herald, Larry Dogbey would not yield to the multiple threats of law suits, saying,’ the truth is never in a hurry’.
Expressing shock at Larry Dogbey for the publication, Mensah Thompson wrote: ‘I won’t forget this. Wherever you are getting paid to do this. Keep on. A screenshot of a WhatsApp thread between Mr. Thompson and Dogbey read.
Larry Dogbey in response said;’ Paid? At least we both know who has been paid ‘something small’.
Accepting the challenge by Mensah Thompson to substantiate the claims in his reportage, Larry Dogbey, wrote on his facebook timeline ‘Mensah Thompson, Mensah Thompson your challenge is welcomed.
Larry Dogbey insisting it’s not be the best for his image.
‘It’s not good for my reputation, people would feel uncomfortable dealing with you in the end’.