Journalist accused of extortion

A REPORTER of the New Independent newspaper, Kofi Adzivor has appeared before a disciplinary committee of the Volta Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) committee in Ho last Thursday.

This follows a petition to the GJA by the chief of Hoviefe, Togbe Agbi III and the PTA chairman of the Hoviefe MA Junior High School, Mr David Tsigbe, who accused him of blackmailing the headmistress.

The  reporter also known as Christopher Selorm Adzivor, who allegedly extorted money from the headmistress of  Hoviefe MA JHS, after falsely accusing her of financial impropriety, has admitted collecting cash from her, but said that he was gathering evidence for the police.

He told a disciplinary committee of the Volta Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) that he had presented the amount, GH₵ 700.00 to the police.

Adzivor, however, denied posing as a National Security operative to hold Madam Precious Adade, a physically challenged person hostage in her office, and also intimidating her with vile threats before taking the money from her.

In the petition, they said that Adzivor turned up at the school in the company of his friend who is a carpenter on January 12, this year, to interrogate the headmistress over examination registration fees she collected from the third year students in 2017.

The headmistress told them that she collected GH₵100 from each of the students ahead of their BECE examinations to ensure that no child was prevented from sitting for the examination for late payment.

She, however, explained that after the collection of the fees, the Ghana Education Service issued a directive to all schools to refund the registration fees to the students as government had decided to absorb the fees.

According to the petitioners, the headmistress immediately called a PTA meeting to inform the members of government’s decision to absorb the registration fees and the instruction by the GES to the schools to refunds the fees.

It was at the meeting that eight of the 10 members of the PTA who were present agreed that headmistress should keep the monies collected in the interim for other projects and commitments of PTA, the petitioners added.

Despite that explanation, the petitioners said that Adzivor and his friend still insisted that the headmistress went against government’s policy and that they would expose her in the newspapers.

According to the petitioners, when the physically challenged woman tried to move out of her office and call other staff members to the office, Adzivor and his friend prevented her by shutting the door.

Terrified and helpless the headmistress fell onto her knees and pleaded with the two men to have mercy on her, because she assumed duty as headmistress just a few months ago.

Later, the petitioners said that Adzivor left the office and instructed a carpenter, whose name they revealed as Philip Agbonuglah to speak to her.

The carpenter then assured the headmistress that they would not publish the story but asked her to provide some money for them to fuel their vehicle and return to Accra, according to the petitioners.

“Under duress and intimidation the headmistress gave the money to Adzivor and Agbonuglah,” stated the petitioners.

When contacted, the Volta Police Commander, DCOP Nana Asomah Hinneh said that Adzivor brought the money to the police to report the headmistress of financial misconduct but that was after the headmistress had lodged a complaint of blackmail against him.

According to the regional police commander, a docket on the matter was being prepared to be sent to the Attorney General’s Office for the advice.

Meanwhile, the acting Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service, Mr John Kodzo Teku, has said that the headmistress had done absolutely nothing untoward by collecting the registration fees from the students well ahead of time, as the purpose was to ensure that every candidate sat for the papers.

On his part, Mr Anthony Bells Kafui Kanyi, chairman of the Volta GJA said that the allegations levelled against the reporter were matters of criminality and, therefore, advised the two parties to succumb to police investigations.

 

 

From Alberto Mario Noretti, Ho

 

 

 

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