National Youth Organizer of the New Patriotic Party, Henry Nana Boakye popularly known as Nana B, wants the Executive Director of Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson, "arrested immediately".
To him, the leader of the anti-corruption and civil society advocacy group, has a "penchant of spewing outright lies and false allegations ostensibly to incite the public and endanger lives".
Presidential Jet On X'mas Shopping Trip
Mensah Thompson had alleged that the Presidential aircraft of the Ghana Air Force was used by relatives of President Akufo-Addo for a shopping trip to the United Kingdom between 20th and 30th of December 2021.
According to him, during the said 10-day shopping trip, children of the relative of the president did not go on the fun-filled trip alone, but in the company of their friends.
"So between the 20th and 30th of December, 2021..during the Christmas, the children of a close relative of the President took Ghana’s Presidential Jet the Falcon EX jet on a trip to the UK just for Christmas shopping. They didn't go alone, they went with their friends and partied in the sky all through the trip, taking snap videos and flaunting their lucky adventure," Mensah Thompson wrote on Facebook.
He urged state institutions such as the National Security Ministry, Ghana Air Force, and the Defense Ministry to provide answers to why the presidential jet was put at the disposal of these "spoilt youngsters."
GAF Rebuts, Asks IGP To Investigate
Hours after his claims, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) issued a statement dismissing the report saying they are only a figment of the author’s imagination.
In a statement released on Sunday, signed by the Acting Director, Public Relations, Commander Andy La-Anyane, GAF, said the claims are frivolous and without any basis, and added that the Falcon EX jet has not been to Europe for a very long time.
“We believe that this unfortunate publication, which has been circulated widely, is a calculated effort to undermine the image of the Ghana Armed Forces in the eyes of the general public,” partion of the statement read.
The Ghana Armed Forces further stated that allegation can easily be verified “since there is always a task order for the movement of all Ghana Air Force platforms.”
Whiles calling on Ghanaians, especially politicians, not to drag them into any partisan politics, the Ghana Armed Forces pointed out that details about the presidential jet can easily be verified “since there is always a task order for the movement of all Ghana Air Force platforms.”
It further referred the matter to the Police for investigation.
“In view of the seriousness we attach to such malicious publications, the issue has been referred to the Inspector General of Police for further investigations,” GAF hinted.
But in a dramatic volte-face, the ASEPA boss has issued a groveling apology peddling falsehoods. His apology on Facebook - the same medium he used to make his earlier assertions - was before the GAF issued a statement denying his claim.
“I have had extensive conversations this morning with the PRO of the Ghana Armed Forces pursuant to the usage of the Presidential jet by the children of the relatives of the President.
“In the same medium I made the earlier publication, I withdraw the publication pending an official response from the GCAA. I unreservedly apologise to the Ghana Armed Forces if their image was in anyway affected by my publication. We shall put out for your consumption the response to our request from the GCAA records of the Falcon 900-EX.”
Penchant For Lies, Arrest Him!
Notwithstanding the apology, the NPP stalwart still wants the ASEPA boss arrested and possibly prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others. In a facebook post, Nana B cited relevant provisions of law to back his call.
"It does appear that Mr. Thompson from ASEPA has the penchant of spewing outright lies and false allegations ostensibly to incite the public and endanger lives. He persist in doing that, brazenly, because he always get away with it regardless of the magnitude of such evil lies he peddle.
On this current issue, he must be subjected to the full rigors of the law to deter him from hiding behind social media to create confusion in the system. We can't look on for him to always peddle brazen and wicked falsehood and later turn around to say "I am sorry, I apologise for peddling falsehood". There are laws in this country and he must face it squarely. He must be arrested immediately.
Section 76, Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775):
(1) A person who by means of electronic communications service, knowingly sends a communication which is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life saving service or to endanger the safety of any person, … commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than [thirty six thousand Ghana Cedis] or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or both.
(2) A person is taken to know that a communication is false or misleading if that person did not take reasonable steps to find out whether the communication was false, misleading, reckless or fraudulent.