Director-General of National Lottery Authority (NLA), Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, has revealed that some disgruntled staff within the authority were among those who unleashed mercenary journalists to malign and blackmail him.
Though he did not mention specific names, he disclosed on Citi FM in Accra, last Monday that these workers who, hitherto, his assumption were engaged in underhand dealings and averse to his latest reforms, connived with some media practitioners to blackmail him.
“People can come on a fishing expedition. They will come and make all manner of noise. People have been rented as mercenaries because of change and reshuffle at the NLA. They latch onto any piece of paper or any documentation and they take in out to some mercenary journalists and they go on a frolic trying to malign and intimidate and extort [money] from people,” he said.
It will be recalled that last week it was reported in a section of the media how a certain media practitioner (name withheld) allegedly conspired with others to hang a ‘perception of corruption’ on the Akufo-Addo led-government and some of the president’s key appointees.
The modus operandi was to tag current government appointees with allegations of corruption through a manipulative and fierce ‘trial-by-the media.
Key on the list were Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Deputy Chief of Staff, Samuel Abu Jinapor, Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen and Director-General of the NLA, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, who had moles from his outfit manufacturing fictional allegations and leaking same to journalists as though they were authentic.
As part of the plot, a supposed bank statement of the NLA was passed around media circles with the collusion of some peeved elements at the Authority with a bizarre story that Osei-Ameyaw had used a credit card of the Authority to purchase a box of jewelry for the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
The idea was to throw the nasty story out in the public domain, set an agenda for it to become a topical issue, get particular anti-corruption organisations to pick it up and call on the president to sack the NLA boss and to order a probe into the allegation.
But speaking on the alleged corruption and conflict of interest under his watch on Citi FM, the former Asuogyaman lawmaker disclosed that he dId not preside over procurement at the NLA as claimed.
“I don’t preside over the processes of procurement and people will just go around and make preposterous allegations… It is about time Ghanaians stopped all this hullabaloo about who is a relative and who is not a relative and who is a friend. First and foremost, we must understand that if a corporation or a company that is a separate legal entity bids for a project competitively and the competition is open, fair, equitable, transparent and accountable, and somebody wins, I don’t think it is a conflict of interest.”
“I have never had any sister or anybody come to me for a contract that I have willfully manipulated to suit them. That is absolute nonsense. It will not happen under my watch,” he asserted.
Story: Kwamena ANANSE