Former Youth and Sports Minister, Mallam Ali Yusif Issah is up in arms against the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Kojo Bonsu, for claiming that he (former minister) stole $46,000 belonging to the state.
Kojo Bonsu claimed on Accra-based Starr FM on Wednesday that Mallam Issah kept the $46,000 which was to be used to pay the winning bonuses of the senior national team, the Black Stars, after a match in Sudan in 2001 but turned around to pretend that the huge sum of money had been stolen.
The utterance, which caught Mallam Issah flat-footed, has pitched the two NDC chieftains to lock horns in an acrimonious battle about to start.
The Kumasi mayor, who was a representative of Adidas, then kit sponsors of the Black Stars, and member of the delegation that took the team to Sudan where Ghana lost 1:0, said when it was time for the players to receive their bonuses, Mallam Issah kept changing his story about where the money was.
When we asked him (Mallam Issah), he said he left the money on his wife’s table...So every minute he would change the story... At one time he told me, Cudjoe Fianoo and the late Mr Owusu Ansah that the money was in Ghana and there was no cause for alarm," he claimed.
Mr Kojo Bonsu averred, "But unfortunately, his suitcase never came and so he didn’t have any clothes and I took my credit card and I took him out and shopped for him.. !but the man was not telling us the truth. One minute he says it is there, another minute he says it was in his suitcase...and I found it very strange."
"I think that the money was with him...; the money was with him. Wherever the money went he knows it but I don’t think it was a set-up or a plan. He had the money so he knows better than anybody."
Kojo Bonsu's assertion has incensed Mallam Issah, who was brought from the People's National Convention (PNC) by President John Agyekum Kufuor to hold a ministerial position. He has vowed to sue the mayor for defamation.
Mallam Issah has since defected to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and even contested the NDC parliamentary primary at the Adentan Constituency. He reacted angrily, describing Kojo Bonsu’s claim as "shocking" and a "fabrication."
He is even calling on President Mahama to immediately dismiss the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive for contradicting his statement in court 15 years ago.
"I am at a loss. Kojo Bonsu has added a typical lie to it. There was no time that my wife was called and asked that I said I had left the money in the house."
"What Kojo Bonsu is telling Ghanaians and everybody is that he is a liar... because he is giving a different account. I want him sacked because a mayor is equivalent to a deputy minister and he must be sacked for lying," he said.
Mallam Issah received a four-year jail term in 2001 for stealing and was granted a presidential pardon in July 2003 on grounds of failing health.
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