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All you need to know about Paul Adom Otchere and Manasseh Azure’s fight

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Broadcast Journalist and host of Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom Otchere on Tuesday fired shots at Multimedia’s investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni following a Facebook post by the latter which questioned why the former was sending a press release issued by Ghana Journalist Association to media houses.

The GJA press statement

The GJA, in a statement, signed by its President, Affail Monney urged the media to exhibit some restraint in its investigative and anti-corruption reportage. It said journalists engaging in investigative reporting must be “strictly guided by ethical values and especially the GJA code of Ethics.”

It further said: “We should also be mindful of using the media to wage a smear campaign against individuals, especially local businesses and personalities who have made a substantial contribution to the growth of the economy…”

Why the statement was issued

The statement was released in the wake of the Jospong Group, owners of, Zoomlion and other subsidiaries, having to deny claims that it inflated the cost of a contract it had with the Mahama government to supply waste bins.

The $74m contract

A report on Joy FM [an investigative piece by Manasseh] indicated that Universal Plastic Product and Recycling Ltd, a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies, and four other firms all belonging to the Jospong group, had overpriced a contract to supply 1 million waste bins and 900,000 packs of disposable bin liners to the country by about Ghc130 million.

The report said the company sold each of the 240litre bin to the state at GH¢258 when an invoice from the same company showed that the actual price was GH¢135.

Manasseh’s post which led to the jab

“Why is Paul Adom Otchere sending the GJA press statement to media houses? I know his closeness with Jospong, but not the GJA!” the Facebook post read.

Implication of the post

The post appears to suggest that Paul Adom Otchere was distributing the GJA press release not necessarily because he is a member of the association but because he is very close to Joseph Siaw Agyepong, CEO of Jospong Group of Companies.

Adom Otchere’s responds

Paul Adom Otchere spent close to 40 minutes of his show reacting to Manasseh’s post. Aside indicating that he sent a copy of the release to a media house, Adom Otchere who seemed to have been angered by the post threw shots at Manasseh. He explained that his closeness to Jospong was as a result of the fact that the business mogul wows him with incredible ideas.

1. “I’m a member of the GJA and you are asking that you don’t know my closeness with the GJA? What’s the meaning of that? What kind of desperation is that? This is contradiction in terms. This is what happens when people are motivated in the wrong way to deal with matters that they should be dealing in the public interest with a very level head.

2. “I want to tell you, mister man, that this brand that you are carrying is a very important brand so don’t debase it. This is a brand that has been built by many people. Don’t debase it and put statement like this on your Facebook page that has contradictory intent.

3. “You have talent; you have zeal but, when you are motivated by wrong energies that is what you’ll do. You will expose your cerebral limitations and cerebral weaknesses in this way.

4. “When you want to be an investigative journalist, you have to engage with the literature. Lift the flag high. Don’t be writing things as if you have a problem with content analysis.

5. “Journalism is not about catching people and hiding recorders. It’s about taking the document and exposing the intellectual capital. It’s not about putting out something you can’t defend. The investigative journalism we are used to is high quality.

6. “Me and GJA, do you know how far we go? GJA gave me an award 16 years ago… and you are asking that what is my closeness with the GJA? Are you alright? The same name you wrote and said you don’t know his closeness with the GJA, is the same name that was receiving an award 16 years ago from the GJA. Are you okay?

7. “You say that the guy [Joseph Siaw Agyepong] owes the state 140 million. The state hasn’t said the guy owe him; you said it. I don’t know whether you were the accountant of the GYEEDA committee. You can’t show it in the GYEEDA report… Where is the evidence of what you have propagated consistently amidst insults…? You think it is pedestrian matters that we do?

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