Anyaa-Sowutoum NDC Chair Denies Extortion Claim

…Says He Received GH₵3,500Token From Failed MP Aspirant

The constituency chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Anyaa-Sowutuom in the Greater Accra Region has denied taking monies from a parliamentary aspirant of the party, with a promise to help her secure victory during the party’s just-ended primaries held on May 13, this year.

Mr. Kwesi Arhin explained that, though the failed parliamentary aspirant, Janet Keturah Ashong, gave him some money as a token, just as other aspirants did, prior to the election, the gesture was not made with a condition to assist her to win the primaries.

He mentioned that, the total amount given to him by the failed parliamentary hopeful was just GH₵3,500, but not GH₵20,000, as being bandied around by his detractors with a motive to soil his hard-earned reputation.

Speaking with The Anchor on Thursday, June 22, to explain his side of the story, Chairman Arhin said Ms. Keturah handed him money on three different occasions. First was GH₵500 when the lady met him to announce her intention to contest the primary. GH₵1,000 on the second occasion when she met him, together with the constituency secretary, deputy secretary, communication officer and one Trebi Ashitey at his residence, while the last one, which is GH₵2,000,was given to him through Keturah’s driver at the election ground.

He insisted that, he never forced Ms. Keturah or any aspirants for money, but the gestures were given to him on their own volition.

Chairman Kwesi Arhin and some coordinators of the party were accused by Ms Keturah of taking various sums of money from her, but failed to do her bidding in the ensuing parliamentary primary, as one Emmanuel Adotey Allotey, instead, emerged the winner.

According to Keturah, some of the money collected from her was ostensibly to be paid to the Electoral Commission (EC) and the police, but it appears it never got to those it was intended for.

But Mr. Arhin, who was accompanied by the constituency communication officer, Mawuli Kpodo, said he her took the money, because other aspirants had all given him money, something which is the norm, and wondered why he would reject Janet Keturah’s own.

“I took the money on the premise that Allotey came, he gave me…I took it, Babangida came and gave, I took it. So, why will I reject her own?” Mr. Arhin quizzed.

He told The Anchor that, on his part, he also took the aspirants through the whole “world” to announce that he was not in the camp of any of them because he wanted to remain neutral.

According to him, all this while, the disgruntled aspirant did not attach any condition to the money she was giving him.

He said, “I was not the only person she gave the envelope. We were three, she gave this man an envelope, she gave the secretary an envelope and she never attached anywhere to it that this envelope I am giving you, do this A, B, C for me. Granted, she has told me that ok, this envelope am giving you, you should use it for my winning, then it will be able to receive it or not. But she gave it to me like that, without stating any condition.”

Mr. Arhin also accused The Anchor of not treating him fairly, before carrying out with the publication, stressing, “I have been treated unfairly, I was not contacted,” before the publication.

“You mentioned in your publication that the lady gave me GH₵20,000. She never gave me that amount. I am the constituency chairman, [and] the norm is that I have become the father of the constituency. So, before anybody hits the ground running, you need to come and at least seek my blessing. The first was Allotey, the guy who has won, he came with my vice chairman and left an envelope.

The second was Marriam, she came to my fuel filling station and told me, she wanted to contest and I advised her. The next person was Keturah. She came with one of my coordinators called Trebi Ashitey. She told me about her intent and I said okay, no problem and she also left an envelope,” he said.

He explained that, “Upon a second thought, I called the lady and Trebi Ashitey at my residence and I made her aware that contesting parliamentary election or any major election is like taking a financial decision at overnight, so she should not go now and prepare herself for the next one. She said okay chairman, I’ve heard you, I will wait and consult some people and call you back.

“She didn’t call me and one day I was there my secretary called me that Keturah says she wants to meet myself, Communication Officer, deputy secretary and secretary. I asked where, and he said your residence. I said okay because, I’ve already availed to all the aspirants. So, she came and told me that she wants to go to the ground but she is finding it difficult to penetrate. But I realized that she wanted me to give my boys to her to work for her and when I do that, it is suicidal for me politically,” he said.

Mr. Arhin told The Anchor, “So, I advised her to go and see the coordinators because they are the entrance to the branches. So, if you are going to see a coordinator and you give him GH₵200 or GH₵300 before you form a campaign team for me, is it a crime?”

“I never heard from this lady again until on the last day, they gave an accreditation to be given to the aspirants and their agents. So, I woke up early around 4:30 and I went to give it out. When I was even at the election centre, I was dozing off and I was there when somebody hinted me that the lady [Keturah] wanted to see me. I met her and she says, chairman, I have something for you. I asked what is it, and she sent her driver give me envelope, I checked it and it was GH₵2,000. That was on the election day,” he narrated.

When asked, why he did not respond to the allegations all this while, he told The Anchor that he did not respond because he was prevailed upon by the national and regional hierarchies of the party not to respond, because they themselves will look into the matter.

He stated that, the failed parliamentary aspirant, for a long time, had an issue with him and that was why she was bent on tarnishing his image.

I Will Expose You All

Meanwhile, Keturah is threatening to expose everyone of those, who took money from her before and during the party’s just-ended primaries held in May, this year.

In multiple audio recordings released on Monday, June 20, 2023, Ms. Keturah threatened that she will go to every length to expose her constituency party officers, especially the chairman, who deceitfully took money from her, under the pretence of facilitating her victory, which never happened.

“The money the constituency chairman took, the arrangement we had, the meeting we had, I will expose you people. If you like say fi fi, say fi fi. I thought you people will shut up your mouths. Sit down quietly if not and you say fi fi, I will expose you all. I will post you on Facebook, I will post you on Instagram, I will post all of you,” she said.

In the audio recordings, which are in the possession of The Anchor, an unhappy Janet Keturah served notice, she will not rest until she exposes everyone that has squandered her money.

“Me, Keturah, I won’t let you have peace, if you won’t come out to speak the truth and say sorry, I will not let you have peace. If you like do what pleases you, anywhere you go to organize campaign for the candidate, I will go there and expose you.

“I have all of you, your pictures, I have all your pictures, I will post you and write everything under it. I will expose you all the money you took, the money the chairman took, I will post everything say, I will post all of you your pictures. Say fi fi,” she dared.

More to come…


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