The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has mounted a strong defence of what it says are ‘indisputable’ evidence that a viral video in which president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is captured taking $40,000 in bribes, was taken in 2017 and aimed at influencing his office.
National Communications Officer of the party Sammy Gyamfi says the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) cannot claim to have presented an original version of the tape, when they were not the ones who filmed the said interaction, in President Akufo-Addo’s Nima office.
At a press conference in Accra Friday, the NDC National Communications Officer said the party stands by its position that the video was taped by a card bearing member of the NPP, who worked with investigative firm Tiger Eye PI.
The NDC says the wife of a John Mahama appointee could not have donated funds and T-shirts to an opposition candidate.
Sammy Gyamfi’s comments come after the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, has said no attempt to discredit President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ahead of the elections by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will work.
Mr Arhin in a Facebook post said: “Facts will always remain facts, and any attempts at falsehoods, lies and fabrications will be exposed.”
He added: “According to Alfred Obgamey, there is a picture of Nana Akufo-Addo and Angela Merkel, which, according to his checks from ‘GBC’s news footage’, indicates that the picture was taken in February 2017. This, for him, lends credence to the fact that the doctored video was taken in 2017, when Nana Akufo-Addo became President.
“Someone should tell Alfred Ogbamey that that picture, which I have attached to this post and can be seen in the video, was taken in June 2012. Nana Akufo-Addo was accompanied on that visit by the late Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Saratu Atta, Herbert Krapa, amongst others.
“Indeed, in May 2015, Nana Akufo-Addo, again, met with Chancellor Merkel. When he became President, Nana Akufo-Addo’s first trip to Germany was in June 2017. Facts will always remain facts, and any attempts at falsehoods, lies and fabrications will be exposed.”
The government in an earlier statement on Wednesday, December 3 said it is not surprised neither is it disappointed at a “desperate attempt” by the John Mahama campaign to tag President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo corrupt.
According to a statement released the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the video is doctored and it shows then candidate Akufo-Addo in 2016 receiving a donation for his campaign.
This has, however, been strongly rejected by the NDC, which has called out the president to come clean and explain the circumstances under which the money was received in his presidential office.
The party’s Member of Parliament for Ketu South Constituency, Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey, thinks the president cannot absolve himself from bribery even if it demands consulting traditional deities.
But Mr Oppong Nkrumah’s statement said it is only characteristic of the NDC to rely on “waging a campaign of lies, fake news and fabrications [and] the opposition candidate and his party have now sponsored the doctoring of this video and superimposed it with new voices to create the false impression that it is a post-2016 event showing the President receiving bribe”.
“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.”
The statement perceives the Mahama campaign as failed, therefore resorting to fake news and fabrications as well as an amendment of his earlier promises as the only hope to salvage his defeat in the hands of President Akufo-Addo.
“We are not 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.”
It cautioned the public and the media to be vigilant in order not the fall prey to the “antics” of persons desperate to tarnish the image of the country “for their own selfish, parochial, partisan ends”.
“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,” the statement concluded.