A now-sacked Ghanaian government minister has admitted that he accepted a cash gift of $40,000 (£33,000) “in order not to offend the sensibility of a potential wealthy investor”, according to an official report into the incident.
Charles Adu Boahen was dismissed as a minister last November after an investigative journalist caught him on camera appearing to accept the money from someone pretending to be a wealthy sheikh who had expressed an interest in investing $500m in the continent including setting up an Islamic Bank in Ghana.
Ghana’s Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), which looks into alleged corruption and corruption-related activities, launched a six-month investigation and released its report on Monday.
The secret filming by media company Tiger Eye PI also showed Mr Adu Boahen asking for “20% of the intended investment as his cut” and a fee of $200,000 for the vice-president,” the OSP report says. The vice-president knew nothing of the arrangement.
In his conclusions, Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng said Mr Adu Boahen “exhibited [a] lack of sound judgment. His claim that he accepted the cash gift to avoid offending the supposed sheikh lies very thinly.”
In addition, Mr Kissi Agyebeng said the former minister was “quite reckless” in bringing up the vice-president.
Despite these conclusions the OSP said that while Mr Adu Boahen’s actions amounted “to trading in influence or influence peddling” they are not criminal offences in Ghanaian law and as a result he cannot be prosecuted.
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