Akufo Addo repays $45,000 borrowed from DK Poison in 1976 after many years of being unable to retrieve the money.
David Kotey was a world featherweight boxing champion between 1975 and 1976 and was also the first Ghanaian professional boxer to win a world title. He was popularly called “D.K. Poison”.
It is believed that he loaned the government in 1976 an amount of US$ 45,000to help reduce the hardship of the country by importing mackerel.
Although no records are available to prove that the boxer loaned the state money as he claimed, those familiar to the events of the time say it did happen and the lack of documentation was because of the love and trust that D.K Poison had for the state during a time of crisis at the time.
According to various accounts, having won his second title defense against Shigefumi Fukuyama in Japan in 1976, D.K Poison was asked by the then Military government led by General Kutu Acheampong to loan his fight purse to the state to enable it purchase mackerel during an economic crisis period.
“Ï write to convey the approval of the President of the Republic for an amount of forty-five Thousand United States Dollars (US$ 45,000) to be paid to Mr. David Kotei (a.k.a DK Poison) on compassionate grounds.
By a copy of this letter, the Ministry of Finance is requested to take the necessary action to give effect to this directive,” the letter from the presidency said.
D.K Poison who is now 68 years old, loaned the Ignatius Kutu Acheampong led administration an amount of $45,000 which is equivalent to $232,231.50 today and the cedi value of GHC 1,120,361.
On September 20, 1975, David Kotei, better known as “DK Poison,” became Ghana’s first ever world champion, capturing the WBC World featherweight title with a 15-round split decision win over Ruben Olivares at the forum in Inglewood, California.
The Ghanaian defended the belt three times – he defeated David Sotelo, Flipper Uehara and Shig FukuYama.
The $45,000 money was the cash award he earned after defeating Fuku Yama.
The government of Ghana was so broke at the time that they had to borrow his money to purchase canned mackerel to mitigate the harsh conditions the country was facing then.
Unfortunately for him, shortly after the canned mackerels arrived in Ghana, Acheampong’s regime was overthrown by the Jerry Rawlings’ coup. Acheampong was subsequently executed by the new military regime, and since then, the boxing legend has been chasing his money.
After the coup, D.K Poison said he went to see “Chairman Rawlings” about the cash and was referred to one Nathan Kwao who incidentally was also in government during Acheampong’s time, but Nathan Kwao told D.K Poison that he thought the canned mackerels were ‘D.K Poison’s gift’ to the state.
D.K Poison after meeting with Nathan Kwao didn’t give up on the chase for his money. He petitioned the late former president John Evans Atta Mills (during his presidency) about the same issue, but unfortunately, steps initiated by the late president could not be completed before he passed on. John Mahama also ignored him.