$3.5 million Scandal: According to Ude Jackson, editor of www.pointblanknews.com, video clips and still pictures in his possession are strong evidence that Ghana’s former president JJ Rawlings and Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi have been close pals for a long time.
Ude Jackson, editor of www.pointblanknews.com have blown the lid over the alleged nine-month secret ‘deal’ between former President Jerry John Rawlings and Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of the Rivers State of Nigeria, involving some $3.5 million dollars.
But Ghana’s former president Rawlings have Denied Receiving $3.5 million From Nigerian Governor. His Spokesperson, Kofi Adams denied media reports indicating that Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi sunk $3.5 million into the NDCs (Ghana‘s ruling party) 2008 electoral campaign. He also vehemently denied that these monies were channeled through former President Rawlings.
Meanwhile, Publisher of the said Nigerian Online-news outlet, pointblanknews.com, Jackson Ude has insisted that his story is true, credible and verifiable. Ude insists that Rotimi issued a cheque through one of his aides to the ruling party in Ghana, as a contribution to the election of President John Atta Mills.
He claims that the alleged amount of $3.5 million was transferred through former president Rawlings to the NDC. Ude alleged that there are video and picture evidence to prove that Rawlings and Amaechi Rotimi are indeed very close friends.
At the root of this whole saga is whether Rawlings met Amaechi only once, when he travelled to Nigeria to be a guest speaker for a programme for sustainable development for the River State last year about four months before the general elections. Rawlings denies that a deeper personal relationship developed out of that meeting.
Daily Guide, a Ghanaina newspaper is saying however that contrary to his claims, Rawlings and the governor had met more than twice.
According to Ude Jackson, editor of www.pointblanknews.com, video clips and still pictures in his possession are strong evidence that Rawlings and Amaechi have been close pals for a long time.
Kofi Adams, Rawlinhs spokesman suggested the story was a plot by Daily Guide and The Chronicle to smear the former president.
DAILY GUIDE is also reporting that, about three months before Ghana’s December 2008 general elections, Governor Amaechi had discreetly flown into the country to ostensibly deny to then President John Agyekum Kufuor, allegations that he was bankrolling the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the country’s largest opposition political party at the time.
This was after ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo had reportedly queried Amaechi over information that he was flirting with and meddling in the politics of Ghana. But some nine months after vehemently denying the allegations, the governor was stripped naked over the weekend, in the on-line publication from the oil-rich country.
Before his secret trip as governor to meet Kufuor, Amaechi was for several months a refugee in Ghana when he was caught in a political turmoil in his native Rivers State during the gubernatorial race.
Governor Amaechi, who is not new to controversies, even when he presided over a corrupt House of Assembly during the Governorship of Mr. Peter Odili, had a problem with his party in 2007, ran to Ghana, and for several months, lodged at the Fiesta Royale (Formerly Cresta Royale) Hotel at Dzorwulu in Accra.
After being entangled in some financial deals, for which reason his party was hesitant in presenting him as its gubernatorial candidate, he fled to Ghana so he could pursue the matter from Accra.
Daily Guide also says that while in Accra, Amaechi flew into Port Harcourt to fight his legal battles through London and returned to his Fiesta Royale base through the same route.
The last time the paper spotted him in Ghana was on Monday, 23rd February 2009, when the British High Commission held a programme at the La Palm Royal Hotel in Accra.
Governor Amaechi is currently in the middle of a controversy over how his administration misappropriated funds totalling over Five Hundred Billion Naira ($3.6billion) in the last two years.
Media reports say out of the sum, a whopping Four Hundred Million Naira ($3.5 million) was allegedly transferred to facilitate the election in Ghana.
According to the publication, the money was given to the NDC founder and former Ghanaian President, Jerry Rawlings, through one Nyeson Wike, a special aide to Governor Amaechi, and that the money accounted for the victory of President John Atta Mills in the historic Ghana election.
“Former Ghanaian dictator, Flight Lt. Jerry John Rawlings (Retired) has been identified as the alleged conduit through which the huge sums were transferred to the ruling party in Ghana.Rawlings has been a regular visitor to Rivers State.
Another individual identified as a courier for Governor Amaechi is one Nyeson Wike, an aide to Amaechi”, it said.
The publication said Amaechi had invested over N1 Billion in selected companies in Ghana, in a manner designed to outwit the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of his home country, which had been investigating his administration for money laundering.
Wike, who allegedly operates an account with a top bank in Port Harcourt, was said to have ran errands for Amaechi mostly in Ghana and other countries the Governor had interest in.
Meanwhile, Daily Guide claims to have seen “heaps of documentary and pictorial evidences, suggesting that the former president and the governor are more than mere pals”.
Interestingly, some Ghana’s ruling party, NDC gurus are fuming that such huge monies were raked in on behalf of the party, and Professor Mills had to struggle to win the election by a mere 40,000 votes.
Under the laws of Ghana, political parties are not allowed to seek sponsorship or funds from non Ghanaians or foreign institutions. Proving this story therefore should have dire consequences both for Rotimi Amaechi and JJ Rawlings. That is whu Mr Ude should produce the evidence now or shut up.