-Julius Debrah breaks silence as he parries wild allegation against him
Former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, has broken his silence on a wild allegation that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has made against him.
In response to claims that, while in office, he had used his position to procure visas for National Democratic Congress (NDC) members to help them illegally sojourn in foreign countries, the former CoS has pointed out that the allegation is discordant with standards of practice.
“The Chief of Staff does not apply for visas for government delegation when traveling. It’s the office of the Director of State Protocol that has that responsibility,” Mr. Debrah pointed out in a written response to the allegation.
He also made it clear, that he personally never applied for visa for anybody in his entire working life at the Presidency.
“And throughout my tenure of office as Chief of Staff, I personally never applied for visa for anybody. And never do I recall ever sending or facilitating the traveling of party supporters with the motive as sojourners. I have never used the office of President to acquire a visa for anybody not a single person because I never got involved with matters of visas acquisition.”
Mr. Debrah’s write-up was in response to claims by pro-NPP media that, while he was the Chief of Staff, he had used his position to acquire visas for NDC members to enable them to steal into the US and other countries.
According to the same story, Mr. Debrah, a highly respected politician and widely regarded as a Presidential material, has consequently been banned by the US and six other countries.
Supposedly, while the US has banned the immediate past Chief of Staff for life, European countries, including the UK, Germany and Spain, have banned him for 10 years.
“Even known drug dealers are not banned from 7 countries, let alone a former Chief of Staff to the President?” Mr. Debrah asked rhetorically.
As has already been reported by The Republic, the claims against the former Chief of Staff curiously emerged at the time that the ruling NPP was taking a lot of flak over a disgraceful spectacle that President Akufo-Addo’s trip to the US to address the 72nd General Assembly had turned out to be.
Mr. Akufo-Addo had been demonstrated against by angry Ghanaians in the US who said they were fed up with endemic corruption in his government.
The President himself had also given a lackluster speech that was condemned for its generic and perfunctory tone.
Then later, it had emerged that President Akufo-Addo had traveled with a retinue of 196 people, 114 of which were party members and supporters, most of whom had not returned.
It was as the scandal engaged the attention of Ghanaians that the story about Mr. Julius Debrah suddenly emerged from the blue, given the impression that it had been concocted to divert attention from the President’s scandalous first trip to the UN.
The Republic has since been finding out that the story is not factual. Indeed, it appears to be a piece based on deliberately twisted facts to create the impression that, in the matter of using Presidential trips to smuggle party supporters into foreign countries, both the NPP and the NDC are equally guilty.
This paper has also found out that the website that was used to publish the story ghananewsreporters.com – is directly linked to the Flagstaff House.
It was the website that published the story claiming that the US, UK and other five European countries have banned Mr. Julius Debrah from their lands, with the US banning him for life.
Italy, Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands, according to the story, are the other European countries which have placed a 10-year ban on Mr. Debrah, together with the UK.
According to the website, the US Embassy banned Julius Debrah for life from entering the US for his role in facilitating the entry of 48 supporters of the then ruling National Democratic Congress government (NDC) into the US, masking them as part of government’s delegation to the 2016 United Nations General Assembly.
These 48 supporters, upon entry into the US, ran away into several parts of the US, and have still not returned to Ghana till date, the story claimed.
The website quoted a supposed source at the US Embassy, who said that “the 2016 incident was not the first time that Julius Debrah used and abused his position to facilitate entry into the USA of so-called members of Ghana’s delegation to the UN General Assembly.
“In 2014, 72 members of the President Mahama’s delegation did not return to Ghana after being granted entry into the US. In 2015, 34 members of the delegation did not return to Ghana. A decision was then taken to ban him for life. So as we speak, Julius Debrah cannot enter the United States of America under any circumstance,” it claimed.
“The source added further that “this is not something Julius Debrah can deny. If he denies and says the story is false, then the US Embassy will have no choice but to come out with a formal statement, because it will be his credibility against the credibility of the United States of America,” the website added.
Quite apart from the timing of the story – coming in the wake of President Akufo-Addo’s alleged use of his trip to get some 114 members of the NPP into the US – recent events surrounding high profile visa fraud in diplomatic circles, expose the story as nothing but hooey.
In April this year, the UK barred four Ghanaian MPs for visa fraud. A letter to this effect written to the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Mike Oquaye, listed the MPs as Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East in the Western Region; Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Asutifi North in the Brong Ahafo Region; Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West, in the Ashanti Region, and George Boakye, former MP for Asunafo South in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Curiously, this letter never mentioned Julius Debrah. It is strange that ghananewsreporters.com, citing a so-called anonymous source, claims that the same UK High Commission has banned Julius Debrah for 10 years, when just a couple of months ago it listed high profile government people as visa fraudsters without mentioning the former Chief of Staff.
Again, in the beginning of the year, the media hit frenzies several times over President Donald Trump’s decision to deport some 7,000 Ghanaians from the US.
Some 1,968 have since been sent back home, some arriving at Kotoka in chains to the chagrin of Ghanaians. Not a single one of them was linked to Julius Debrah.
How the United States and the UK, which have been very upfront about illegal migrations from Ghana, have not been able to specifically mention Julius Debrah as a perpetrator of such illegal migration, but will only turn round to whisper Julius Debrah as a perpetrator to an obscure website, called ghananewsreporters.com, has left scorn in the air.
Meanwhile, The Republic has traced this website to a Presidential Staffer – Eugene Arhin. The story that ghananewsreporters.com has published is set to be picked up by pro-NPP media, including Daily Guide.
Facts assembled show that the story had been deliberately cooked, in the throes of the outpouring of scorn on President Akufo-Addo and the NPP government for allegedly using the President’s trip to the UN to smuggle some 114 party supporters into the US.
The media fakery is apparently aimed at creating the impression that in the sin of stealing party supporters into countries, both the NPP and NDC are culprits.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Fiifi Samuels