President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is demanding a retraction and an apology from Al Jazeera Media Network for airing what he described as an “inaccurate and unfair documentary that contained spurious and unsubstantiated allegations” against him within seven days.
The President in a letter addressed to Al Jazeera signed on his behalf by Nana Bediatuo Asante, his secretary, said the documentary made baseless claims that he acted as a lawyer for one Mr Alistair Mathias and implied that he personally benefitted unlawfully from an alleged $100 million state infrastructure contract purportedly awarded to Mr Mathias.
Nana Akufo-Addo explained that when the Aljazeera contacted him to respond to the allegation, he instructed his lawyer, Kow Abaka Essuman to inform the media house that he had not been in private practice since the year 2000 and that he has 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.
The President noted that he demanded further and better particulars from Aljazeera which included information on the period for which he provided legal representation to Mr Mathias or his company, provide details of the $100 million tender for state infrastructure as well as information on how he personally benefited unlawfully from the alleged $100 million tender but Al Jazeera refused or failed to provide these details as requested and went ahead with the broadcast of the documentary.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s letter said “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”.
Accordingly, Nana Akufo-Addo said those part of the documentary, are malicious, defamatory and calculated attempt to tarnish his reputation and the government of Ghana.
He is, therefore, demanding that Al Jazeera withdraws the documentary immediately, retracts and apologise for airing such unprofessional and defamatory documentary.