Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the popular cousin of President Nana Akufo-Addo who is believed to have allegedly set up a bribe-taking scheme at the Flagstaff House, last week found out the hard way that a good name is indeed better than riches.
For allegedly fleecing prospective investors of $20,000 per turn as precondition for meeting with his cousin, the President, Gabby, as he is popularly called, was publicly humiliated by some angry Ghanaians living in the US.
Over the weekend, dismayed Americans watched on, as a stroll that Gabby had picked on the streets of New York was dogged by a hooting group of angry Ghanaians who kept proclaiming him as the poster boy for bribery in the Akufo-Addo government.
Anybody who cared to listen was told about how Gabby acted high and mighty back home in Ghana and used his family connection to the President to operate a bribe-taking desk at the seat of government, Flagstaff House.
As part of the downpour of scorn, some of the angry Ghanaians had heckled and shooed the man, who is believed to be the de facto Chief of Staff of the NPP government, in spite of substantive Chief of Staff, Frema Osei-Opare.
A video footage capturing the international disgrace shows a shamefaced Gabby in a grayish suit, mostly bowing his head in embarrassment and plodding on in a clear attempt to escape the onslaught of contempt.
As part of the escapist antics, Gabby is seen, at a point, placing what looked like phantom calls on his mobile phone.
The video, which has since gone viral on social media, also shows Samuel Atta-Mensah, the Chief Executive Officer of Accra-based Citi FM, reacting to the heckles, as he followed Gabby about in New York, like an errand boy.
In one of his responses, Atta-Mensah, who is said to have been appointed by President Akufo-Addo as the CEO for the Coastal Development Authority, snapped uncouthly, telling the angry Ghanaians to go and burn the sea.
Mr. Atta-Mensah and Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko were among the outrageous entourage of 197 people that President Akufo-Addo had traveled to New York with in his maiden call-up to address the UN General Assembly.
Prior to the video of Gabby’s disgrace hitting social media, a picture of him sitting among the Ghanaian entourage in the UN building, as President Akufo-Addo addressed the General Assembly had emerged.
That picture had invoked many questions as to what locus had made Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko a member of the President’s entourage to the UN, when he is not an official appointee of government.
As members of the President’s entourage are said to earn at least $2,000 as per diem on trips, Ghanaians were angered by the presence of Gabby at the UN as it perceivably qualified him for the hefty per diem, even though he is not a government actor.
Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a popular cousin of President Akufo-Addo, has allegedly acted in unofficial capacity in the Akufo-Addo government, operating from the shadows ever since Nana became President.
Among others, Gabby is said to be the de facto Chief of Staff, in spite of Frema Osei-Opare, and that appointees of the President only get the job after Gabby has approved.
In August, this year, the ruling NPP’s firebrand Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Ken Agyapong, revealed that Gabby uses his huge influence at the Flagstaff House to demand bribes.
According to the allegation, Gabby demands $20,000 from prospective investors as precondition for meeting with the President.
The revelation had come in the form of an adlib to earlier allegations by Hip-Life musician, Kwame Asare Obeng, alias A Plus, that two Deputy Chiefs of Staff – Samuel Abu Jinapor and Francis Asenso Boakye – were corrupt.
Affirming that indeed, A Plus’ allegation was true, Ken Agyapong had said on Accra-based Adom TV that, “When I started complaining about the President being surrounded by sycophants and corrupt people I had people calling me to stop making those allegations.
“I was there and these same people called me back to tell me that they wanted to have access to the President and they were asked to pay $20,000 there about before a meeting can be arranged between them and the president, why should it be so?”
Gabby would later reply in a Facebook post that he does not hang around the President, let alone use his influence to demand bribes.
Interestingly, this is the same Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko who was flown with tax payer’s money to the UN as a member of the 197-member entourage of the President, even though he is not an official appointee of government.