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Press Releases of Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Source: Ghanaians Abroad Against Corruption UK

British High Commissioner is undermining the fight against corruption


Our attention has been drawn to comments by Mr. Jon Benjamin, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, making comments on social media that Mr. Allotey Jacobs , the Central Regional Chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress was not arrested at Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom.

Mr Jon Benjamin says the reports are untrue and took the opportunity to rail on twitter that his peaceful Sunday has been disrupted.

We find his comments not only strange but also extremely disappointing. It is a fact that an incident took place at the Heathrow Airport but as good Ghanaian citizens living in the UK ,respecting the laws of the United Kingdom and the confidentiality of the security agencies who are carrying out investigations regarding Data Protection, we reserve further comment.

First of all, we will like to state clearly that Mr Jon Benjamin is not the Ghana Ambassador to the UK .The alleged incident took place on UK soil involving a Ghanaian citizen and a close confidante of the President of Ghana.

Forty Eight hours after the incident was exposed in the media, the Ghanaian High Commissioner, Victor Smith strangely kept his mouth shut. Mr Allotey Jacobs, who is at the centre of this brouhaha, with allegations that he was carrying 500,000 pounds on his person kept quiet and only found his voice after the British High commissioner intervened and made his comments on social media through twitter .

We learn with disquiet, that, Mr Jacobs has since granted interviews to some radio stations in Accra; making vile threats to visit mayhem on Ghanaians and the media if and whenever he returns to Ghana. What does Mr Jon Benjamin have to say about this?

British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, recently at an Anti-Corruption summit in London pledged to do more to fight corruption-especially in Africa, where some African leaders, including Ghanaians,steal the wealth of their nations ,board airlines and come to the UK to deposit monies in UK bank accounts.

We share Mr Cameron’s vision .

We are unsure whether Mr. Jon Benjamin, the British High Commissioner to Ghana shares this vision of the British government even though he represents their interests in Ghana.

Isn’t his maverick posture undermining the fight against corruption when Ghanaians resident in Ghana and in the UK are making a concerted effort to support his own Prime Ministers drive to root out corruption especially in our country?

We call for an independent enquiry and investigation into these allegations, and why it took so long for our Foreign Minister, Madam Hannah Tetteh, Ghana High Commissioner, Mr Victor Smith and the President John Mahama to respond.

We would like to believe that foreign diplomats in Ghana know their boundaries of maintaining neutrality, not interfering in the internal politics of the countries they serve, and not using their positions to stifle the truth, influence debate and public opinion.

Edward Nii Boye Ashong, Chairman -07956381123 George Sackey Deputy Chairman-07825467880 Abraham Osei Mintah , Director of operations -07448496845 Nana Kwaku Ansah, Spokesperson -07411461007

cc- The Minister for Africa, The Foreign Office ,King Charles Street SW1 The commonwealth Secretariat, London The office of the Prime Minister, No 10 Downing Street, London SW1 The Ghana High Commission, Belgrave Square London SW1