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General News of Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Source: The Herald

BoG dead silent on new cedi notes video as man captured in footage dies mysteriously

A video containing huge bundles of the newly printed GH¢100 and GH¢200 notes believed to be amounting to billions of Ghana cedis, has hit the internet igniting wild speculations among social media users and political party fanatics, as to who owns it and what it was meant for.

The amount seen in the footage, could only have come from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), as the commercial banks could not be allowed to harbour such.

The video, which has been making the rounds for some days now, has raised eyebrows, but the BoG is yet to provide answers on ownership of the money estimated to be in the region of GH¢4.5 billion or GH¢5 billion, and for what purpose, although the video and pictures have been in circulation for some days now.

However, the lack of answers is not even the interesting part. The only man, whose face was shown in the video identified as Richard Baah Appiah alias "Abrokyire", The Herald gathered, has suddenly died, fueling fresh speculation that, he might have been murdered by some element among his circles for filming and releasing the footage on the cash.

He is said to be a card bearing member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Richard is said to have died three days after the video and a picture which was taken of him sitting on the huge cash. He wasn't sick, The Herald gathered, he just died, while the whereabouts of the person, whose home the said the money was packed continue to be a mystery.

It is speculated that, Richard was flushed out because those behind the money don't want it to be in the public domain, since he was the only one whose face was in the picture and could be the only credible source for investigation.

Other views are that, Richard, might have attempted blackmailing the owners of the cash, hence got killed to silence him.

Richard is alleged to be the relation or close to an unnamed minister in the Akufo-Addo government whose home the monies were packed.

The picture of Richard sitting on the arranged bundle of cash, hit the internet at the same time the death of the former General Secretary of the governing NPP and Executive Secretary of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka "Sir John" was reported last Wednesday night.

Richard, who sat comfortably with his facemask hanged under his chin with another unidentified man behind him at a distance, wore a long sleeve shirt and trousers.

Minutes after the picture hit social media, a poster showing his one-week celebration also emerged from nowhere revealing the event was marked on Sunday, June 7, 2020, at Akim Manso in the Birim Central Municipality of Eastern Region. It also falls under the Asene Akroso-Manso Constituency where George Kwame Aboagye is the NPP Member of Parliament.

Akim-Manso, is said to be a community with a population of about 7000 people.

The town has a presence on Facebook. Indeed, on Saturday, June 6 this year, at 10:58 am a notice was posted from Akim Oda, announcing his week funeral event which took place on Sunday, June 7, 2020, at the "forecourt of the family house" at 8 am.

It read "Tomorrow is the one-week Celebration of our late brother and a friend, Richard Nana Baah... It will take place tomorrow Sunday, June 7 at Akim-Manso... All have to be there to show our condolences to the bereaved family members..."

Attached to the message, was black, white and gold electronic poster bearing Richard's picture. The notice shows he is known within the Akim-Manso community.

Although details of the 35-year-old were not readily available, a social media user, claimed she knew him from Tema and that she was even at his one-week celebration last month.

"I know him, he's late was at his one week just last Saturday. He spent much of his young life in Tema and moved to Accra later but his aunty and family are still in Tema", Akorfa Adzo Adanuvor said.

According to Akorfa, Richard spent most of his young life at Tema, but later moved to Accra, while the rest of his family still remained. Another also claimed he knew him and that in Accra; he was based at Asylum Down.

It is unclear why the one-week event happened in Akim-Manson and not Tema, where he was said to have spent his childhood and where his parents were said to reside.

It is also unclear, why the event was not held in Asylum Down, where he was said to have relocated after leaving Tema.

Meanwhile, people continue to speculate on the death of the 35-year-old, saying it might be politically motivated. According to them, Richard might have been killed by people within his political circles, having being captured sitting on the money.

Before the picture of the deceased surfaced on the internet, a video of the cash had first hit the internet around June 30, 2020, with some faceless youth numbering about four, arranging at one side of what appears to be the hall of a very rich person.

The leakage of the pictures and video 23 days after the one-week event at Akim-Manso, therefore, suggests someone has had access to the information either from Richard before his death or got it after his death, and decided to release them.

While the young men, who spoke Akan, fantasized about the bundles of money, legendry Daddy Lumba's onetime hit, Theresa Abebreseh, was played at the background.

In the hall where the money was arranged, a framed photograph of the owner of the house was captured in the footage, however, it was not clear enough to identify the person.

Though none of the young men's face was shown, one of them who took the video was encouraged by the rest to go ahead and take it, while another indicated that after they were done arranging them; he will also take a shot of it for future use.

"Yes, I will also take a shot for future use", he said while they arrange the money in excitement.

Another teased the other, saying "You, the company you work for have they seen such huge money before"?

Some party fanatics of both the governing NPP and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), have accused each other of being the owners of the money, claiming it is for the December 7 election campaign.

What has not been identified since the video went viral, is who exactly is keeping these huge monies in his home at where and for what purpose.

It is not clear, if Richard, has been buried yet and whether an autopsy had been done on him to know the cause of his death.

It is also unclear if anything has happened to the rest of the young men, whose voices were heard in the video.