The office of embattled House Speaker Alex Tyler has denied unconfirmed report here, that the indicted speaker was arrested or held for questioning at the Ghanaian Kotoka International Airport in Accra last Wednesday.
This paper received unconfirmed reports from the Ghanaian capital, on Wednesday, September 21, indicating that Tyler, who is smarting under criminal charges here, had been arrested for money laundering and was being held for questioning.
Tyler was alleged to have been traveling with huge cash from Burkinafaso through the Accra Kotoka International Airport when local airport security officers busted him on Wednesday September 21, the report said.
A foreign ministry official who spoke on the condition of anonymity confided in this writer Wednesday evening that rumors of the embattled speaker’s arrest had filtered into the ministry but there had been no official confirmation yet.
In a release following the publication of the story on Friday September 22, the office of Speaker Tyler denied he (Tyler) was neither arrested nor was he held for questioning. Tyler’s office insists that he (Tyler did not visit Burkinafaso as the report indicated.
“The office of the Speaker wants to state that the story is unbalanced and denies that the Speaker Tyler (sic) was ever arrested nor was he held for questioning,” the release said adding, “In fact, the Speaker is in constant contact with his office through his Chief of Staff, Mr. Edwin J. Clark, Jr., several times during the day on a daily basis. A simple call to his office would have put the New Dawn in direct contact with the Speaker.”
The speaker’s office opined that reports about the speaker’s unconfirmed arrest were an attempt by his enemies to damage his image.“This is clearly seen by the malicious manner in which this entity (sic) along with others report stories that are false and misleading, thus giving the public the misrepresentation of the facts,” it said.
“We are aware that the Ambassador in Accra, Mrs. Musus Rhule was indeed contacted by the New Dawn,” the release admitted but erroneously said that Mrs. Rhule confirmed receiving the speaker, an assertion, this paper finds difficult to believe because such further information was never divulged to this paper except for the fact that the embassy indicated that it had not received any such report about his arrest.
This writer followed up with a call at the Liberian Embassy in Ghana when it received the unconfirmed reports about Tyler’s arrest, but was told by the Charge’ D’affaires that the embassy was yet to receive any report about the speaker’s arrest.
Tyler who faces bribery charges here at the criminal court in connection with a Global Witness report in which several past and current government officials allegedly received bribes totally USD950, 000 to change a concession law in favor of a British company-Sable Mining, had been entangled with barrage of allegations.
He was forced by his colleagues to recuse himself from presiding over session after nearly two months of stand-off which impeded legislative functions at the lower house. Tyler wrote the House’s Presiding officer to seek treatment abroad for some unknown ailment days after he recused himself before his departure from the country.
It was also reported here that he was denied an official passport by the Foreign Ministry’s passport division, a report subsequently denied by his aide before his recent travel. Investigations continue.