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Ben Ephson benefitted from NPP largesse – Karbo


Ben Ephson benefitted from NPP largesse – Karbo

The National Youth Organiser of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Anthony Karbo says claims by the Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper, Ben Ephson that he did not receive money from the New Patriotic Party to alter results of a poll he conducted ahead of the 2008 elections to favour the party are false.

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Leaked US diplomatic cables by wikileaks indicate that Mr. Ephson was approached by the then ruling NPP to skew his poll results in favour of the party.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Monday, Mr. Ephson admitted to the wikileaks report that the NPP had offered him 20,000 dollars to conduct an opinion poll and skew it in its favour with the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko said to be the one who proposed the amount to influence his work. Mr. Asare-Darko has however denied making the offer.

But Speaking on Multi TV’s current affairs show, pm: EXPRESS via phone, the NPP’s National Youth Organizer revealed that Mr. Ephson did indeed receive monies from some members of the NPP.

“I had knowledge about the fact that some monies had gone to Mr. Ben Ephson in connection with these issues and indeed he’s stated clearly in the wikileaks [if you look at the document that I have before me], he in fact told the Embassy that an attempt was made to him but he declined receiving the money but my information is that he in fact received money to that effect”.

According to Mr. Karbo, “I’m aware that many leading members of the NPP were approached by Ben Ephson in the run up to the 2007 primaries where he in fact demanded money to conduct polls for them and for me I’m surprised if he tells the Embassy that he did not receive any money from the NPP or functionaries of the NPP in the run up to that particular 2007 primaries... I think that he presented himself to the Embassy as though someone who is not corruptible or somebody who was offered money and he rejected which is totally false. I will challenge Ben Ephson on that any day, anytime, anywhere”.

Asked if officials of the NPP gave Ben Ephson money to conduct the polls, Mr. Karbo said “well I am saying that it is false if Ben Ephson tells the Embassy that members of the NPP attempted to give him money which he refused and that’s what I’m worried about because that’s absolute false.”

He maintained that Mr. Ephson contacted at least 4 or 5 of the 17 candidates who contested the NPP’s 2007 primaries for support to conduct polls for them.

Although he would not say how much money Mr. Ephson received from the NPP’s presidential aspirants at the time, Anthony Karbo noted that “I do know that Ben Ephson contacted Arthur Kennedy and it’s in the public domain. Arthur Kennedy hasn’t denied this matter and so I’m surprised that people are making it look like this is the first time Karbo is making these allegations.”

“But why would Ben Ephson go to the Embassy and say to the Embassy that he did not receive any cash from the NPP or he did not request money?” he asked. He added that “in fact, if you listen to what he said in the cable to the Embassy it created the impression that he was given money to do these things and he declined and I’m saying that he did not decline that”.

The NPP National Youth Organizer also noted that “this whole wikileaks issue is a can of worms and people must be very honest and truthful to the people of this country. You don’t go and say things to the Embassy and when you’re pushed to the corner, you say you were not offered any money or you were offered money which you refused”.

He dared Mr. Ephson to challenge the information he has put out “and I will state those facts”.

The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko who was on the show, maintained his stance that the pollster approached him for financial assistance to finish working on his opinion poll.

“Ben Ephson is a friend, he approached me. I have a graphic memory of what happened” he told show host Nii Arday Clegg.

He recounted what happened on the day he met with the Daily Dispatch Editor.

“He went into his car [boot] brought out a box with questionnaires that had been filled, showed them to me and [said] that his people were still on the field and he’s stuck because he needs to complete this exercise. So the exercise, I knew nothing about the exercise being done. And this is a friend who is doing – as I saw it – his work and had difficulties and he at least knew that I could have some interest in it, because as you know, whichever way you look at it, nobody doubts my connection – with as it’s put there – my cousin Akufo-Addo, and from what he showed me clearly Akufo-Addo was doing well and he needed some support. We didn’t have any agreement” Gabby noted.

According to him, Mr. Ephson needed some 50 million old cedis to conduct his poll and even though he could not give him all the money, he managed to personally raise half of the amount for him.

“I’m sure he knew it [poll result] was favourable to my candidate and that’s why he approached me...and the thing is maybe not just me he approached, because at the end of the day he needed 50 million [old cedis]. I managed to give half of that so I’m sure he got the other half from somewhere else. But really, there was nothing pre-arranged and when he published the poll which had Akufo-Addo fourth, I never went back to him to say Ben Ephson why is Akufo-Addo at fourth or third” he explained.

Source: Nii Akrofi Smart-Abbey/ Multi TV



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