Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Kwame Owusu has revealed that his refusal to give in to a blackmail caused his predicament which eventually led to his resignation from the Authority.
Mr Owusu who was recently appointed Board Chair of the Ghana Revenue Authority was accused of superintending over questionable expenditure at the Ghana Maritime Authority, including spending a million cedis to renovate his official residence and requesting approval for payment of GH?135,125 in one night, on food, drinks and music, for an end-of-year dinner party on December 22, 2017.
But speaking in an interview with Paul Adom Ochere on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana monitored by MyNewsGh.com, the now GRA Board Chair disclosed that some unidentified persons requested for money from him while threatening to publish some information about him renovating his official residence if he failed to meet their request.
According to him, he received several phone calls and WhatsApp messages from the unidentified persons asking him to negotiate with them in order for them not to make the publication.
“It took about 3 months. I had no idea who they were. All I knew was that the message would come and we will respond. At one point in time I was sitting with Hon. Kennedy Agyapong and my Chairman Mr Robert Kutin and a phone call came, when I picked up the fellow said so Mr Owusu you don’t want to negotiate? I put it on speaker phone and said why I will negotiate. He[blackmailer] wanted me to bribe him over something,” he revealed.
When asked by the host what the blackmailer was giving in return for money, he retorted “So that he doesn’t publish. That he will release some information that has to do with some building. I told him am not corrupt and that he can go ahead and publish”.
Mr Owusu further reaffirmed his belief that his woes were instigated by persons within and added that the police had made attempts to track the identity of the person using the phone number but that has not yielded any results.
Controversial musician cum politician, Kwame A-Plus, in October 2018, posted on Facebook, documents requesting approval for payment of GH?135,125 in one night, on food, drinks and music, for an end-of-year dinner party on December 22, 2017.
The amount, according to A-Plus, was paid to Luxe Suites Hotel where CEO of the GMA, Mr. Kwame Owusu, also holds the position of Group Chairman raising concerns of a possible conflict of interest.
On a separate occasion, a request was made by the Director, Administration, for the payment of GH?10,652 to the same Luxe Suites Hotel for food and drinks for eight people at a meeting.
The Transport Minister subsequently instituted investigations into the incident.