Former Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu, has thrown subtle jabs at some journalists, particularly JoyNews’ Araba Koomson while demanding an unqualified apology from Policy Think Tank, IMANI Africa for what he deems an ‘unfair’ denigration of his image, ABC News can report.
The two, were at the forefront of journalists and social commentators who took him on following some alleged acts of impropriety as regards the the use of funds to renovate a 2-bedroom house for use by Directors-General of the institution.
Earlier in the year, the allegation of corruption was rife after documents leaked into the public domain suggested that Kwame Owusu instructed the Ghana Maritime Authority to patronise the services of his hotel, located close to their institution, for their end-of-year dinner for staff resulting in an expenditure of GHC135,123.
The former DG was also proclaimed to have instructed the reconstruction of a two-bedroom house into a four-bedroom house fitted with 11 air-conditioners all at the cost of GHC1million.
In the midst of the brouhaha, JoyNews editor, Araba Koomson in an editorial during a prime-time news bulletin reprimanded Kwame Owusu in a manner that suggested that there was incontrovertible evidence of wrongdoing on his part.
But speaking in an interview with Paul Adom-Otchere on Good Evening Ghana, the former Ghana Maritime Authority DG insisted that he did not issue a rejoinder or find it worthy to reply the content put out by Araba Koomson because she is young and desperate for attention.
He intimated, “…a young girl who is on Joy FM trying to make name for herself, I can accept that, Araba Koomson. She can bash me because she wants to make name.”
Kwame Owusu, however, indicated despite accommodating the rants of Araba Koomson, same cannot be said of IMANI Africa President, Franklin Cudjoe because of the position he holds as head of a Think Tank.
He was amused that someone of Franklin Cudjoe’s calibre will stoop so low to make comments indicative of possible wrongdoing without verifying available facts.
Following his appointment as Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority by the President in July, Franklin Cudjoe posted on his social media pages, “Ghana Revenue Authority just received a big boost in the appointment of a really good spending man as board chair. He will raise more revenue from taxing every one especially sellers of air conditioners. I am comforted that he will at least direct GRA’s revenue expansion program”.
“We need to support him with more air conditioners to enable him achieve all our revenue targets. If he fails eh…we will simply lock him up in the office with 39 air conditioners until he can’t move and speak his affected American accent,” the post, later described as a sarcastic one by the IMANI Africa boss read.
The Former Maritime DG stressed, “…a comedian who makes comments like this is an acceptable norm.”
“For somebody of such a repute, IMANI Ghana, a Think Tank, after 7 hours, he then put up that it was sarcastic. So at what point will Ghanaians know, the man who happens to be a Think Tank President is either joking or being sarcastic, or being real? I think that the good people of Ghana including myself deserve an apology from Mr IMANI because we don’t know when to take him serious and when you are going to comment people will say you are arrogant. I thought that the press will attack him to resign…”
“I want Franklin to apologise to the good people of Ghana because if we are going to respect him, we must know if he is a serious person or he uses sarcasm to criticise government and government officials,” Kwame Owusu said in the interview with Paul Adom-Otchere.
The former Ghana Maritime Authority Director General maintains he did no wrong while serving as the boss of the Authority.
He is urging any institution probing his actions during his time as the GMA boss to release in detail, a report on his actions with corresponding judgement of whether or not he erred in the discharge of his mandate.
He told Paul Adom Otchere, “It [report] has been completed I understand it was done in March, I’ve consistently called the Minister to release the report or speak to the report. People, as I’ve come here, will say the issue is dead, no, I don’t want to be called a killer; I have a family. I want the news to be current, I want to resolve the issue. I want the average Ghanaian to know that Kwame Owusu is not corrupt so I want the Minister to release the report.”