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Al Jazeera Never Said Akufo-Addo Is A Good Friend of Alistair – Amidu Reacts to President’s Letter



The former Special Prosecutor of Ghana, Martin Amidu, has expressed shock and disappointment in an attempt by the Office of the President to make it seem like the contents of an Al Jazeera documentary, where President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was named as a friend of a gold smuggler, were misleading.

According to the anti-corruption crusader and veteran lawyer, the contents of the April 25, 2023, letter penned under the name of Nana Bediatuo Asante, the executive secretary to the president, only show that they were shooting themselves in the foot.

For instance, Martin Amidu said in his latest epistle that the demands of the president’s office for Al Jazeera to apologise to Nana Akufo-Addo, are misdirected because the media outlet is not the one they should be demanding that from.

Martin Amidu also stated that he finds it difficult to understand how it is that the letter from the president’s office does not categorically deny Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s relationship with the Canadian smuggler, Alistair Mathias, who is one of the main characters of the Al Jazeera documentary, titled Gold Mafia.

“The alleged defamatory statements made against all the African Presidents including the President of Ghana were made by members of the Gold Mafia and their operatives who bear prime responsibility for those alleged defamatory statements. As I stated in my discourse dated 24 April 2023, I am yet to read a categorical denial that the President is not a good friend of Alistair Mathias or that he does not know Mr. Mathias and has never met him. Paul Adom-Otchere’s attempted Goebbels-like propaganda on behalf of the President, which roped in his protégée on the Supreme Court, leaves a lot of unanswered questions as to the friendship of the President with Mr. Mathias. That explains my characterization of the Paul Adom-Otchere’s propaganda on Metro TV Good Evening Ghana on 18 April 2023 as pernicious in the circumstances.

“Al Jazeera never said that the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a good friend of Alistair Mathias. Mr. Mathias volunteered that information to the undercover investigators. Whatever other alleged defamatory statements that are on the documentary touching, affecting, and concerning any African President, including the President of Ghana, were made by the members of the Gold Mafia and their operatives to the undercover investigators. With the publication of the fourth series of the documentary, – providing the further and better particulars demand by the President – why is the President not directing his threats to exact consequences for alleged defamation to his good friend Alistair Mathias first instead of Al Jazeera? Scare Al Jazeera or mere propaganda?” he wrote.

Martin Amidu further stated that he even finds it more worrying that President Akufo-Addo would want to question the principles used in the documentary when he was the same person who, before becoming president, severally approved of the ‘Anas Principle.’

“The attempt by the Government to escape an investigation for suspected corruption arising from the confessions of Alistair Mathias, the President’s good friend, contained in the Al Jazeera Gold Mafia documentary through the side door of a purported threat of an action for defamation is arbitrary, lacks candor, and constitutes a blatant abuse of the powers of Government under the Constitution.

“It is too late in the day for the President to be allowed to run away from the consequences of his own endorsement of the ‘Anas Principle.’ What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Nana Addo is reaping what he sowed by championing the “Anas Principle”: he must with exemplary dignity and integrity submit his Government to an anti- corruption investigation first. Patriotic Ghanaians, let all of us across political party divides, defend the 1992 Constitution by making our voices heard,” he added.


On Thursday, April 27, 2023, GhanaWeb reported that the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has demanded an immediate retraction and apology from Al Jazeera Media Network over one of its recent documentaries that named him as having been involved, in a way or another, in some illegal activities.

The documentary, Gold Mafia, which was serialised in four different episodes, had one of the main characters in it, Alistair Mathias, mention in one of them that the president of Ghana was his lawyer.

Alistair had also claimed that he had very close relations with the president, plus other African Heads of State, but this is something the presidency has denied.

In this latest letter, penned under the name of the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, the contents of the documentary that mention Akufo-Addo are baseless and defamatory.

“I am instructed by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to deman formally that Al Jazeera Media Network (“Al Jazeera”) retract immediately and apologise for airing an inaccurate and unfair documentary that contained spurious and unsubstantiated allegations against the President and the Government of Ghana.

“The documentary in question made baseless claims that the President acted as lawyer for one Mr. Alistair Mathias and implied that the President personally benefitted unlawfully from an alleged $100m state infrastructure contract purportedly awarded to Mr. Mathias.

“In his letter dated 11th April, 2023, responding to AL Jazeera’s letter of 2nd April, 2023, which was received on 6th April, 2023, containing these vague and defamatory allegations, the Legal Counsel to the President, Mr. Kow Abaka Essuman, acting on the instructions of the President, informed Al Jazeera that the President had not been in private practice since the year 2000 and that the President had no recollection of acting as a lawyer, either personally or through his law firm, Messrs. Akufo-Addo, Prempeh and Co, for a Mr. Alistair Mathias or his company, Guldrest Resources,” the statement said.

The letter further demanded that Al Jazeera acts within the next seven days after it receives the letter.

“It is impetrative to that you act act forthwith on this request within seven days from the date of receipt of this letter.”

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