The Founder of The Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper, Nana Antwi Darkwah, popularly known as Pakas, has refuted claims that his media house received funding from the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) as captured in the ‘Working with Rawlings’ book authored by Professor Kwamena Ahwoi.
Prof. Ahwoi on page 224 of the book stated that “The repeal of the Newspaper Licensing Law-was a bonanza for Media Practitioners. Led by the trailblazing chronicle newspapers whose establishment ironically was funded by the PNDC.”
The remarks in the book did not go down well with Mr. Darkwah who sought to set the record straight by directing his lawyers to write to Prof. Ahwoi.
“Our instructions are to refute this claim as completely false,” the letter from Mr Darkwah’s lawyers and sighted by citinewsroom.com stated.
“It may interest you to know that for housing the packaging of the newspaper, our client suffered the indignity of his house being the first to be shit-bombed in Accra. We have our client’s instructions to put on record that, no politician assisted him financially to set up the newspaper. Our client certainly did not receive funding from the then Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) led by Jerry John Rawlings, his Excellency former President of Ghana,” the letter added.
The lawyers narrated how Mr. Darkwah founded the Chronicle Newspaper.
“Our client founded Ghanaian Chronicle newspaper, a few years after completing his post-graduate studies at the School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Legon.”
Lawyers of Mr. Darkwah in the letter explained that Mr Darkwah met the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Newspaper, Kofi Coomson, in London, who encouraged their client to go into newspaper publication “due to the dearth of private newspapers at the time, and the fact that our client was coming from a background of a Communication (graduate) studies and also a businessman.”
The letter said, with help from an old senior from Legon Presec, who was working at the Information Services Department at the time, “our client applied for a newspaper licence after incorporating General Portfolio Limited, which was used to secure the licence to publish the Chronicle newspaper.”
Kofi Coomson later came down from London to partner Mr Darkwah after the latter secured the licence for publication.
“Our client, set up the offices of the newspaper, next to his own trading office at Adabraka in Accra. Indeed, for two years after the setting up of the paper, the Chronicle was folded and packaged for distribution from our client’s living room at Dzorwulu in Accra.”
Retract and apologize
Mr Darkwah’s lawyers further urged Prof. Ahwoi to retract the said comments and apologize to their client.
“We trust that you will do the honourable thing by retracting and apologizing to our client about the misinformation in the recently launched book,” the letter added.