Claim: A leading Ghanaian newspaper, Daily Guide, reported in its May 31, 2023 edition that the country’s Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, flew a private jet to Monaco to celebrate his 55th birthday.
Verdict: False. The spokesperson for the Energy Minister, Kofi Abrefa Afena, has disputed the report, labelling it an “affront to the concept of believability quotient in journalism.” Also, the Daily Guide newspaper retracted the story after being confronted with the full facts.
The report came at a time when the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has banned foreign travel by public officials except for the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.
The report enraged a section of Ghanaians on social media, with many describing the country’s governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) as a walking contradiction.
DUBAWA investigated the claim because of the interest it has generated on social media in Ghana.
The office of Ghana’s Minister of Energy has disputed the report produced by the Daily Guide newspaper.
“The general public is kindly asked to completely disregard the publication, which is a total affront to the concept of believability quotient in journalism,” in the statement dated May 31, 2023.
“On the 23rd of May 2023, which marked the 55th birthday of Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, he was in Ghana and attended a meeting of the Economic Management Team (EMT)
“On the same day, 23rd May, Dr Prempeh also attended a Board meeting of the Governing Board of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC),” the statement read.
However, Mr Abrefa Afena said the Minister travelled via a KLM flight to Athens for a brief holiday after seeking the necessary clearance from the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President.
Also, when confronted with the full facts, the Daily Guide newspaper duly apologised to the Minister for its report.
The newspaper admitted that “upon a careful examination, we discovered that our initial report contained certain factual inaccuracies.”
A further search by DUBAWA showed that some of the online news portals that republished the story from Daily Guide have since deleted their publications. See here.
The news report that Ghana’s Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, flew a private jet to Monaco to spend his 55th birthday in the European country is inaccurate.
The Office of the Minister has denied the report, and the originator of the claim, the Daily Guide newspaper, has duly apologised for the report, admitting the story contained “certain factual inaccuracies.”