General News of Monday, 6 February 2017
The Minister-designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Afeku, who was probed by the presidency for an alleged fraud case, has maintained that she, together with her husband, has never been a defendant in a case of fraud.
When she appeared before the Parliament’s Appointments Committee, Monday, the nominee said the pending court case was purely a business “gone bad”. Mrs. Afeku who is also the MP for Evalue-Gwira Constituency in the Western Region also maintained that she has also not been convicted by any court for fraud or any other criminal offence.
The minister-designate told the committee that her business partners who are American couple filed a civil suit against her in 2005 and judgment was given by a High Court in 2007. She was therefore asked to pay the couple $217,000.
“I have never been charged with fraud neither have I ever had any criminal background. But in 2007, I had the opportunity to do business with some American partners and it is a simple business relationship that went sour,” she explained.
Mrs. Afeku said although she and the husband were not in favour of the judgment they made arrangement to pay the money and US$117,000 was paid to the couple. However, she said, a video recording of the partners’ son emerged later “confessing that the entire suit was built on a conspiracy between my business partners and a native of Axim, an elderly man.”
“So in that video, based on the evidence we instructed our lawyer, Godfred Dame Yeboah to take it back to Court. So we filed an appeal and a suit. 2014 the suit was ruled in our favour and an injunction was placed on the earlier judgement. Throughout this court case there was never any findings of fraud.
There was never any findings of criminality. It was purely a civil matter of a business relationship gone bad,” she stated.
“As we sit here today, the judgement is that it has been ruled in my favour, every property seized, of ours, has been returned and we are awaiting our day in court to show the fresh evidence of the video recording and the court will decide.”