General News of Friday, 8 August 2014
Source: Daily Guide
“The Anti-Corruption Squad tracked Anita. I don’t know what information they gathered on her, but they flagged her when, instead of going for a conference in New York, she went to California. The conference was for a week, but she never made an appearance at the conference,” Michelle McGowan, the woman at the centre of the Anita De Sooso US Ban told Adom Fm yesterday.
Michelle McGowan, the United States citizen whose life was allegedly threatened by Deputy National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Anita De Sooso, for which reason she was banned from entering the United States, has been explaining what might have accounted for the sudden ban of the NDC Women’s Organiser.
With that decision, Anita becomes the first Ghanaian official to be denied entry to the United States as a result of the new American policy of preventing corrupt African politicians from entering the United States.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, Robert Jackson, told Citi Fm that America would not issue visas to corrupt government officials in Africa.
“We are not giving visas to them anymore,” he said.
Anita met her nemesis when she engaged Michelle in a standoff over some Ghanaian children with skin problems locally referred to as ‘Alligator children,' who Michelle wanted to help get some medical treatment by raising funds to purchase the medication.
The National Women’s Organiser of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) suffered humiliation at the Kotoka International Airport on Monday August 4, 2014 when she was prevented from boarding a Delta Airlines flight to New York ostensibly to join President John Mahama.
In an interview on Adom Fm yesterday, Michelle McGowan denied being directly responsibility for the cancellation of Anita’s visa, but added that the decision had a connection with the complaint she lodged with the State Department as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) over a threat on her life.
She indicated that the report she made to the US authorities led to Anita’s movement being monitored and curtailed, saying, “I believe that the threat that she made to me was the catalyst for the investigations, but the threat alone is not the reason why she had her visa cancelled.”
Michelle gave a clue as to what might have possibly led US authorities to ban the loquacious NDC Women’s Organiser from entering the US.
At the time she reported the incident to the authorities, Michelle said Anita was in the US to attend a UN meeting in New York, but she was seen in California in the company of a yet-to-be-identified gentleman.
This, according to her, raised suspicions and caught the attention of the authorities, since she failed to attend the event for which she was issued a visa.
“Using taxpayers dollars to come to the United States on official business as a Director of NADMO and she does not serve in that capacity… You know she didn’t do what she was supposed to do, and that’s what flagged the Anti-Corruption Squad,” she told programme host, Captain Smart.
Michelle further narrated: “From what I have been told, the Anti-Corruption Squad of the US State Department has detected her and cancelled her visa.”
Michelle, a professional nurse and a philanthropist, told of how she was compelled to leave Ghana for fear of her life after Anita issued the following threat over the phone: “Hello Michelle, this is Anita again; I was expecting you at the police station, you were not there. So please I’m giving your number to a man working at the Flagstaff House (Presidency), and he will like you to show us the Frances Gyimah that you claim she works here. Thank you. And if you dare not call, we will look for you everywhere that you are because we will not allow you to destroy our dear President’s name; thank you. This is Anita De Sooso."
According to her, she had no choice but to report the incident to the FBI and to the State Department when she returned home from Ghana, for which reason they requested and took the audio to conduct investigations into the issue.
Michelle was asked how the name of President Mahama got dragged in the matter for which reason Anita threatened not to allow her destroy his (the President’s) name.
According to her, the only time President Mahama’s name came up was when he (the President) made a phone call to the regional police commander for her to be released on bail immediately when she was arrested on the order of Anita and the Gender Minister, Nana Oye Lithur.
She recalled visiting the Flagstaff House twice while in Ghana in the company of a person she described as a companion, but declined to say whether it was on invitation or she went there personally. Also, she refused to disclose what transpired there.
“I have no problem with anyone at the Flagstaff House or the President himself; he tried to help me, he did help me and what I did there is irrelevant at this point.”
At the time, she feared for her life and was therefore happy to have found her way out of the country.
The NDC Women’s Organiser had since refused to talk, playing the waiting game.