Rockson Bukari resigns over bribery scandal

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Rockson Bukari
Rockson Bukari: "I beg you. I’m kneeling down and begging you. Don’t publish it."

A minister of state at the presidency Rockson Bukari has resigned over an attempt to bribe a journalist to kill an investigative story about a Chinese mining company, Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited, and the most senior judge in the Upper East region, Justice Jacob B. Boon.

Daily Mail GH last week leaked a tape implicating Mr. Bukari in a coordinated plan by people in high places to drop an undercover report carried out by the Starr FM journalist.

A statement from the presidency on Monday, April 29, 2019 said Mr. Bukari has resigned and president Akufo-Addo has accepted his resignation.

“The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Monday, 29th April, 2019, accepted the resignation from office of Hon. Rockson Bukari, Minister of State at the Office of the President.

“This was after Hon. Rockson Bukari submitted his letter of resignation to the President on Monday, 29th April, because he had “taken note of the tape circulating in the media”, and had, therefore, taken the decision to resign “in order not to allow the tape to disrupt the focus of government in delivering on its mandate.”

He further stated, in his letter, that he resigned “as a matter of principle”, having “exercised judgment contrary to what I have known you to stand for and require of your servants in running this country.”

“The President accepted his resignation, and wished him well in his future endeavours,” Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the presidency said in a statement.

The full story

On Monday, Daily Mail GH reported that two fresh tapes have emerged showing that Mr. Bukari, undeniably may have negotiated bribe for Starr News’ Upper East regional correspondent, Edward Adeti, to kill an investigative story about a Chinese mining company, Shaanxi Mining Ghana Limited, and the most senior judge in the Upper East region, Justice Jacob B. Boon.

A special aide to the minister, Suwaid Abdul Mumin, can be heard on one of the fresh tapes narrating how officials of the Chinese company had contacted him to plead with the journalist to drop a story he intended to publish about their secret meetings with the judge. In the other tape, the minister is giving feedback to the journalist about some Gh¢5,000 he had secured from the Chief Executive Officer of the Chinese company and suggesting to the investigative journalist to keep it secret but “feel free and chop” the cash.

Mr. Bukari, in a press release issued on Sunday, had denied attempting to bribe the journalist to conceal the investigative piece from the public, saying he was only negotiating for the reporter to be paid for some work he had done for the Chinese company. But before the fresh tapes emerged at dawn on Monday to prove otherwise, Edward Adeti also had issued a reaction to the minister’s statement, challenging the former Upper East Regional Minister to produce evidence to back his claims. The reporter subsequently dropped a hint on his Facebook wall Sunday night that he would release some of the investigative tapes in his possession to prove the minister wrong.

Below are transcripts of what the special aide and the minister told the journalist on the telephone.

SUWAID: How are you?

EDWARD: I’m fine. How are you, too, Sir?

SUWAID: I’m fine.

EDWARD: Oh great.

SUWAID: I just want to talk to you about something small.

EDWARD: Ah, okay.

SUWAID: I don’t even know how people got to know my relationship with you.

EDWARD: Okay.

SUWAID: Eehn, There is something they came and told me. I said okay I would see how best I can handle it but I’m not assuring them.

EDWARD: Okay, okay.

SUWAID: So, I would find out what it is. It’s about these our Shaanxi people. Do you know that I supply them fuel?

EDWARD: Oh, I didn’t know. You didn’t tell me.

SUWAID: Oh, I am giving them fuel.

EDWARD: Okay.

SUWAID: Even up to now they owe me somewhere almost 1.6, 1.7 million Ghana cedis.

EDWARD: 1.6 billion.

SUWAID: Yeah, 16 billion.

EDWARD: 16?

SUWAID: Yeah.

EDWARD: Hmmm.

SUWAID: That is how we give them fuel.

EDWARD: Okay, okay.

SUWAID: So, normally, when they are doing their [car?] they pay back.

EDWARD: Okay, okay.

SUWAID: Errh, they pay. But there is a problem. Bɛ, you yande want to publish something. You want to disturb them.

EDWARD: Eeehn. I called Maxwell today because I saw him, I don’t know whether he told you.

SUWAID: Eeeehn.

EDWARD: I spoke with him today.

SUWAID: Yes.

EDWARD: That I saw him at the house of the judge

SUWAID: Yes.

EDWARD: The High Court One.

SUWAID: Yes.

EDWARD: That was on the 11th of this month. It was a Sunday, two weeks ago. He actually entered the house of the judge, the High Court One. And he was there for up to three hours, from 3 in the afternoon to around 7 or 6:30. So, he was there. Then, he came out. I explained how everything was. I’m sure he was convinced that yes I saw him because I described what he was wearing, the way the pickup came and left. And again this week, too, they went back to him, to the judge. And I was telling him that I’m aware there is a case between Shaanxi and Cassius and going there what would it mean? He knows the implications. In fact, he knew the implications, that is why the pickup that brought him there, he made driver to go away and he himself walked into the place. And when he was ready to come out, the pickup appeared again, meaning he called the pickup. So, that’s why I told him that by tomorrow afternoon something would be published on that.

SUWAID: Oh. Yeah, it’s true. But, eerh, Eddie.

EDWARD: Yeah.

SUWAID: Eddie.

EDWARD: Yeah.

SUWAID: I’m holding your leg.

EDWARD: Hmmm.

SUWAID: I beg you. It will affect all of us because of our business. Just give me the chance. I will talk with them. I beg you. Just hold this one for me.

EDWARD: Maybe because of where I am.

SUWAID: Since the thing came to my notice and as a friend, I don’t know why people sometimes they talk to me. Yes, it’s true. They confirmed. The guy really confronted me. But I’m just pleading with you not to publish it. I beg you.

EDWARD: He was even trying to deny.

SUWAID: Definitely he would deny. You don’t expect that. So, I’m pleading with you as a friend.

EDWARD: Okay, I’m somewhere now. Maybe, later in the day.

SUWAID: I will work things out. I will see you. We will work things. You know me. You know what I’m capable of doing. We have been together for a long time.

EDWARD: Okay. Okay. Because of where I am. Maybe. I’m not in the office. I’m in town.

SUWAID: I beg you, don’t publish it. I beg you. I know the other one you explained to me and you published. We don’t have problems. I’m pleading with you. I will work things out myself for you. I beg you.

EDWARD: Okay, we’ll talk, we’ll talk. Because of where I am.

SUWAID: But the talking is either yes or no. That is it. But if you keep on saying we will talk we will talk, I know what I’m talking about. I’m in Tamale. I should have even drive to your house to see you or I would have looked for you. I didn’t want us to talk on the phone.

EDWARD: I will hold on for now. When you come.

SUWAID: You hold on. When I come, then we’ll talk about it.Listen to the fresh tape

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

ROCKSON: I want to tell you something, errh?

EDWARD: Yes, Sir.

ROCKSON: You know there is one boy called Charles.

EDWARD: Charles. Yes, Sir.

ROCKSON: Don’t get anything from him.

EDWARD: Okay, Sir.

ROCKSON: Or he has already seen you?

EDWARD: No.

ROCKSON: Haha, good. I went to the people and they are to give you five thousand. I asked them to give it to Suwaid to give it to you.

EDWARD: Okay, Sir.

ROCKSON: But errh, Charles is trying to play a part. He doesn’t want to give the money to Suwaid. So, I’m saying if he comes, say oh you don’t collect money. That’s all.

EDWARD: Okay, Sir.

ROCKSON: Because I don’t want you to have anything directly with him because he… I don’t want any problem. I think you understand what I’m saying.

EDWARD: Yes, Sir.

ROCKSON: Because I had the man himself, the CEO. I say you are my son; so, he said he’s giving you five thousand, if anything at all more will come. I said that’s good. So, I asked them to give it to Suwaid to give it to you. So, this’s what I want you to know. So, if the Charles boy comes, say no, no, no, no, you don’t want anything. That’s all. If he’s to go and give it to Suwaid, then, you can collect it from Suwaid. But from him direct, don’t collect it. This’s what I just wanted to tell you.

EDWARD: Thank you, Honourable.

ROCKSON: But if they give it to Suwaid, collect your money and feel free and chop it. That’s all. But never, never collect from Charles. You know the Charles boy?

EDWARD: I know him.

ROCKSON: Ah, good. Don’t collect from him.

Meanwhile, the Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area, Tongraan Kugbilsong Nanlebegtang, has dissociated himself from the comments made about him by Mr. Bukari in one of the investigative tapes leaked last week. The Paramount Chief issued a disclaimer on those comments in a press release issued at the weekend.

The first leaked audio

Source: Daily Mail GH

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