President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is demanding a retraction and an apology from Al Jazeera for their recently aired documentary, “Gold Mafia,” which the Presidency described as “inaccurate” and “unfair” regarding the President’s alleged involvement.
The documentary, produced by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, reveals a series of gold smuggling gangs in Southern Africa that helped suspected criminals launder hundreds of millions of dollars while enriching themselves and exploiting their nations.
In the fourth episode of the documentary, Alistair Mathias, a gold trader who allegedly designs money laundering schemes for African leaders, is introduced. During an undercover meeting with Al Jazeera reporters posing as Chinese businessmen, Mathias claimed to have a relationship with many African leaders, including the President of Ghana.
However, after the documentary was released, Mathias made a U-turn on his statements regarding President Akufo-Addo, denying ever having been awarded any tender by the Ghanaian government or entering into any government contracts in any African country.
President Akufo-Addo in a letter, dated April 25, 2023, indicating that the documentary contained “spurious” and “unsubstantiated allegations” against him and the government of Ghana. The letter further stated that the documentary made baseless claims that the President acted as a lawyer for Mathias and personally benefited unlawfully from an alleged $100 million state infrastructure contract purportedly awarded to Mathias.
The President’s legal counsel responded to Al Jazeera’s letter of April 2, 2023, stating that the President had not been in private practice since 2000 and had no recollection of acting as a lawyer for Mathias or his company, Guldrest Resources.
President Akufo-Addo demanded further information from Al Jazeera, including details of the period for which the President allegedly provided legal representation to Mathias and his company, as well as information on how the President personally benefited unlawfully from the alleged infrastructure contract.
Al Jazeera refused or failed to provide the requested information and went ahead with the broadcast of the documentary, prompting the President to demand a retraction and an apology from the news outlet.
see the President’s letter below: