Defense Minister Accused of Extorting NABCO Beneficiaries - To Fund His Re-Election But… 

MP for Bimbilla and Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul MP for Bimbilla and Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul, has given one of his constituents, a 7-day ultimatum to retract and apologise for linking him to a scheme to collect monies from beneficiaries of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO).

But his accuser, has refused to issue the apology, insisting that she was ready to be dragged to court over her claim.

The Defense Minister, had insisted that his constituent, Umar Hawah Chentiwuni, had defamed him by speaking against plans hatched by some supporters and sympathizers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to collect money from the NABCO beneficiaries for the Bimbilla MP to fund his re-election.

The NABCO programme is a government initiative to address graduate unemployment to solve social problems, and Miss Hawah, was said to have raised issues against the payment which according to some chats monitored by The Herald, was to financially support Mr Nitiwul in his quest to retain the Bimbilla Constituency seat.

The extracts from a whatsApp platform named Nanumba North NABCO, revealed that a meeting had taken place at Nakpa between some of the NABCO beneficiaries and Finance Officer of the Municipality to mobilize funds for the Defense minister and also galvanize support for him and the President, Nana Akufo-Addo to get them retained in the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

At the meeting it was agreed that each beneficiary was to pay 100 upon receipt of the September and October stipends.

But the decision did not go down well with some of the beneficiaries and they expressed various opinions to register their displeasure.

The decision was eventually leaked and Miss. Hawah took to Facebook, alleging that the Defense Minister had levied NABCO employees to support his campaign in the December election.

The Facebook writer, resulted in the publication captioned"Corruption in NABCO in Bimbilla Constituency under the watch and in the name of the Defense Minister".

An infuriated Nitiwul, quickly got his lawyer; Sulley Sambian of Sambian & Co to write to Miss Hawah, threatening legal actions if the claim was not retracted and an apology issued.

The letter said "First, our client has not, even remotely sanctioned the levying of any NABCO employee for his campaign. What has come to the knowledge of our client since your publication is that a group of women working with NABCC had agreed to make monthly contributions to support our client".

It said, "you must realize that even though there is generally speaking, nothing wrong with a group of people coming together to raise funds to support a cause, our client would certainly have out rightly discouraged such a venture. To conclude that our client masterminded the levying of anyone for his benefit was actuated by malice since a fact check by you would have left you in no doubt that our client was never involved and indeed never even knew about it".

It went on saying, "your unprovoked publication, reckless as it is, was intended in this era of competitive politics to give an urge to his political opponent and lower him in the estimation of right thinking members of society as a public officer, who was not ethically balanced; who exhorted or encouraged the exhortation of money from NABCO employees for personal gain, as irresponsible public officer who could not save enough to fund his campaign, but would rely on poor employees of NABCO to prosecute his campaign".

"You have by your defamatory conduct inflicted incalculable harm to the reputation that our client has painstakingly built over a considerably long period of time. Again, you have by your conduct traumatized our client emotionally, as he has had to contend with calls from friends and relatives explaining his innocence in the matter", it added.

It stated that "In order that you appreciate the enormity of the reputational harm you have terribly inflicted on our client, we wish to remind you that our client has been involved in national politics for the past eighteen years, having first entered parliament in 2002 at the age of 25".

"He was the Deputy Minority leader of the 6th Parliament of the 4th Republic. He has since risen to become a cabinet Minister, serving in the Akufo-Addo's administration as the Minister of Defense".

In this regard, "We have in the light of your conduct been instructed by our client to demand, which we hereby do, a retraction and an unconditional apology from you within seven days upon receipt of this letter, failing which we have the firm instructions from our client to proceed to the law courts to have his rights ventilated without further recourse to you".

Please be reminded that you would certainly be embarking on a suicide mission if we are left with the option of embarking on the tortuous path of litigation".

The lawyer has since told Class News' Nasara Abdul Rahman that: "NaBCo employees in Bimbilla, the ladies decided that they were going to support Nitiwul in his campaign by donating some money GHS100 from October through to November.

"This was done on the blindside of Dominic.

"He didn't even know about it and apparently, the thing got leaked.

"They have a WhatsApp platform. I was told that somebody took screenshots and sent it out to this lady and then she went on social media to say that Nitiwul had masterminded the withdrawals of monies from those ladies to support his campaign.

"Meanwhile, the guy knew nothing about it. So, Nitiwul is very very angry, I must say", the lawyer added.

"He asked me to write to her and ask her to retract and apologise and then we move on".

Mr Nitiwul's lawyer, added that if the lady failed to apologise and retract the statement, his client would sue her.

"I have his firm instruction to sue her," he stated.