The host of Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV, Paul Adom-Otchere has responded to the challenge thrown to him by Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV to back his claims that he attended lesser Council of State meetings but received monthly salaries with evidence.
Mr. Adom-Otchere picked on the immediate past President of the National House of Chiefs for returning GH¢365,392.67 paid him as ex-gratia while hosting his show on Tuesday, June 7.
He mentioned that per the Council of State work and record, Togbe did not attend an overwhelming majority of the meetings within the 4 years he was a member.
He strongly believes that the Accountant General should return the money to Togbe.
The journalist after his allegations, received backlash from a section of the public especially supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who believe that what the traditional ruler did was in the right direction and also those who believe that Mr. Adom-Otchere used his show to disrespect the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State.
Subsequently, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State challenged Mr. Adom-Otchere to substantiate the allegations made against him over his recent rejection of an ex gratia paid him for serving on the Council of State.
In a press release issued by his Special Aide, Elikplim Kwabla Apetorgbor, Togbe Afede XIV said he has never stooped that low and gone that “cheap level” to receive travelling allowances from Ho while a member of the Council as alleged by the TV host on his show.
He described Mr Adom-Otchere as “unethical and ignorant”.
The royal insists that the car loan he is accused of receiving was from SG-Bank under the Council of State and not government.
“Meanwhile, he has paid his loan,” the press release clarified.
It also evinced that as the Chairman of the Economic Committee of the Council of State, Togbe Afede was one of the most committed and regular members in attendance at meetings.
“The minutes of the meeting attendance are available for verification.”
The Paramount Chief of the Asogli State had returned the ex gratia with the general reason that he abhors payment of such monies for a job he considers part-time.
“We are not in good times. I urge the good people of Ghana to expose all evil conspiracies and corruption in order to rescue the nation and its resources from further decadence,” the press release from his Special Aide indicated.
Speaking during the ‘touchscreen’ segment on the Thursday edition of Good Evening Ghana, Mr. Adom-Otchere alluded to the fact that he has respect for tradition and traditional rulers at large.
According to him, Togbe Afede in a WhatsApp conversation had challenged him to provide evidence of the Council of State sitting during the time that he was a member of the Council.
Mr. Adom-Otchere mentioned that he has therefore invoked the RTI Act, 2019, (Act 989) to demand a copy of the attendance of meetings of the Council of State from 2017 to 2022.
In a response to Adom-Otchere’s request in a letter signed by Stephen Blay, Director, Finance and Administration furnished him with details of the attendance of the various meetings by the Council from February 2017 to December 2020.
Displaying the evidence on screen regarding the attendance of meetings by members of the Council of State, including Togbe Afede, he said, “I have to restate from the records that he [Togbe Afede] attended 16 percent of the meetings [by the Council of State]…I am not in this job for whatever people will say. I have been doing this job for 20 years and will not come and talk about something from top of my head.”
“I have been leading for the past 20 years, so, when I come and say something and people say it is not true, I just don’t understand what that means,” he added.
Per the evidence of the meetings by some of the committees that Togbe Afede was the chair, records presented by Paul Adom-Otchere showed that the ‘Economy and Sustainable Development Initiatives Committee’ (ESDIC) had only eleven meetings for the four years that Togbe Afede was the chairman.
For instance, in the year 2020 Togbe’s Committee held a single meeting the whole after holding 4 meetings in 2017 and 2018 before 2 two meetings in 2019 totaling 11 meetings.
“In the period [of four years], Togbe’s Committee – ESDIC – had abysmal eleven meetings thus, four meetings in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and one meeting in 2020. That is the record.
“Why did his committee hold far lesser meetings than the rest?” he asked.
Below are records of the Council of State meetings showed by Mr. Adom-Otchere.