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President Akufo-Addo demands retraction and apology from the Aljazeera Investigative Journalism directorate over “False” Report

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is demanding immediate retraction and apology from international media outfit, Al Jazeera Media Network (“Al Jazeera”).

The President’s demand comes on the back of a documentary aired by the Doha-based Al Jazeera describing the leader of Ghana as corrupt person who acted as a lawyer for one Alistair Mathias of which the President personally benefitted unlawfully from an alleged $100m state infrastructure contract purportedly awarded to Mr. Mathias.

But a letter written by Nana Bediatuo Asante, Secretary to the President to the media company stated that the President Akufo-Addo left private practice as a lawyer since the year 2000.

Additionally, the letter pointed out that neither the President personally, nor his law firm has acted as counsel for Mr. Mathias.

“I am instructed by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to demand formally that Al Jazeera Media Network (“Al Jazeera”) retract immediately and apologise for airing an inaccurate and unfair documentary that contained spurious and unsubstantiated allegations against the President and the Government of Ghana.

“The documentary in question made baseless daims that the President acted as a lawyer for one Mr. Alistair Mathias and implied that the President personally benefitted unlawfully from an alleged $100m state infrastructure contract purportedly awarded to Mr. Mathias. In his letter dated 11th April, 2023, responding to Al Jazeera’s letter of 2nd April, 2023, which was received on 6th April, 2023, containing these vague and defamatory allegations, the Legal Counsel to the President, Kow Abaka Essuman, acting on the instructions of the President, informed Al Jazeera that the President had not been in private practice since the year 2000 and that the President had no recollection of acting as a lawyer, either personally or through his law firm, Messrs. Akufo-Addo, Prempeh and Co, for a Mr. Alistair Mathias or his company, Guldrest Resources.

“In those circumstances, further and better particulars were demanded from Al Jazeera to respond adequately to the allegations made in Al Jazeera’s letter. Al Jazeera was thus requested to provide information on the period for which the President allegedly provided legal representation to Mr. Alistair Mathias or his company, Guldrest Resources. Furthermore, Al Jazeera was requested to provide details of the “USD 100 million tender for state infrastructure”, allegedly given to Mr. Mathias, which he outsourced and kept a percentage in offshore accounts, as stated in the letter as well as information on how the President personally benefited unlawfully from the alleged “USD 100 million tender for state infrastructure.”

“Al Jazeera refused or failed to provide these details as requested and went ahead with the broadcast of the documentary. At the end of the documentary, a terse text was shown, contradicting the content of the documentary. Additionally, the subject of the documentary, Mr. Alistair Mathias, denied what he said in the documentary to Al Jazeera’s investigative journalist. In light of these blatant denials by Mr. Alistair Mathias and the response from Mr. Essuman, those parts of the documentary ought not to have been included because those statements were not true,” the letter stated.

The President has therefore described those parts of the documentary as malicious, defamatory, and a calculated attempt to tamish his reputation and Government of Ghana for that matter.

He is therefore demanding that Al Jezeera withdraw the documentary immediately, retract and apologise to him, the government of Ghana for “airing unprofessional and defamatory.”

“It is imperative that you act forthwith on the request within 7 days from the day of receipt of this letter.


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