The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts-nominee, Catherine Afeku says reports suggesting that she had defrauded some American business partners was a conspiracy against her.
Following her nomination for the portfolio, a group calling itself the Truth and Accountable Governance (TAG), petitioned Parliament’s Appointments Committee to reject her because she was once found guilty of fraud in some investment deal with an American couple in a hotel, the Hotel Paradise Africa.
But speaking to the issue before the Appointments Committee, Mrs. Afeku maintained that she had never been charged with fraud nor did she have any criminal background.
Her lawyers have already explained that she and her husband, were involved in a court case in 2007, but it was a civil lawsuit filed by the Americans she was alleged to have defrauded in the hotel investment.
Mrs Afeku further revealed that in 2013, she came by fresh evidence in the form of a video recording of the son of one of her business partners “professing and confessing that the entire suit was built on a conspiracy between my business partners and a native of Axim.”
On this basis, she filed an appeal and “in 2014, the suit was ruled in our favour and an injunction was placed on the earlier judgement.”
She reiterated that “throughout this court case, there were never any finding of fraud, there were never any findings of criminality. It was purely a civil matter of a business relationship gone bad.”
“As we sit here today, the judgment has been ruled in my favour. Every property seized of ours has been returned and we are awaiting our day in court to shout the fresh evidence of the video recording and the court will decide,” Mrs. Afeku stated.
Shedding some light on the business venture, she explained that Hotel Paradise Africa was envisioned as a retirement home by her and some friends from Los Angeles, US, as they had wanted to establish a hotel in the Nzema area, where retired African Americans could come in and stay.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana