Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo has written to Al Jazeera over the explosive undercover investigative report titled ‘Gold Mafia’, demanding a retraction and apology within seven days of receiving the letter.
The documentary series exposed gold smuggling and money laundering principally in Zimbabwe, highlighting links between cartels, top government officials and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
In the letter written and signed by the President’s Secretary, Nana Bediatuo Asante, the Ghanaian leader is demanding that Al Jazeera retracts immediately and apologises for “airing an inaccurate and unfair documentary that contained spurious and unsubstantiated allegations against the President and the Government of Ghana”.
The letter states ,among other things, that the documentary made baseless claims that President Akufo-Addo acted as a lawyer for one Mr. Alistair Mathias and implied that the Ghanaian leader personally benefitted unlawfully from an alleged $100 million state infrastructure contract purportedly awarded to Mr. Mathias.
In the four-episodes documentary series, Mathias and other main subjects involved in what they clearly explained to be money laundering said there is no president in Africa they can’t get access to.
“There is no president that either of us (referring to himself and Ewan Macmillan, one of the main subjects of the investigation), can’t get to on this continent,” he said.
“When you work, you must always have the king with you,” Kamlesh Pattni, one of the main subjects was recorded saying. He also assured undercover reporters that he has a direct line to the President of Zimbabwe (Emmerson Mnangagwa).
Mathias, who says he used to be the biggest dealer in Ghana at one point, also told the reporters he used to do about $40 million to $60 million worth of gold business a month from Ghana.
“Ghana’s president is a good friend of mine. In fact, he was my lawyer,” Mathias was recorded saying.
He continued to say he does government contracts in Africa and mentioned Ghana specifically.
“In Africa I do government contracts. In Ghana I take tenders, road construction, procurement, supplying different things, oil, this that. There, all the politicians get taken care of indirectly. Because it allows me to do all my other stuff freely,” he stated in the video.
BELOW IS THE LETTER OF DEMAND BY THE GHANAIAN LEADER: