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Lawyer refutes claims connecting Akufo-Addo to notorious gold smuggler, clarifies he has not been in private practice since 2000

Lawyer Kow Essuman, who represents Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has denied allegations made by Canadian gold smuggler Alistair Mathias that the president is his friend and lawyer. In a tweet on April 16, 2023, Essuman clarified that the president has not been involved in private legal practice for the past 23 years and that his law firm, Akufo-Addo, Prempeh and Co, has not represented Mathias or his company, Guldrest, as claimed in an Al Jazeera investigative film.

Essuman went on to state that President Akufo-Addo does not personally know Mathias or have any connection to him. He dismissed Mathias’s allegations as “spurious” and urged the public to ignore them.

The Al Jazeera film in question, titled “Ghana’s Gold Wars,” alleged that Mathias and his associates smuggled over $500 million worth of gold out of Ghana with the help of corrupt officials and lawyers, including the president’s law firm. The film also claimed that Mathias had a close relationship with President Akufo-Addo and had named him as his lawyer in court documents related to his ongoing legal battles in Ghana.

However, Essuman’s statement contradicts these allegations and asserts that the president and his law firm have no involvement in Mathias’s affairs. It remains to be seen how this dispute will play out in the Ghanaian and international media.

What Alistair Mathias said about Akufo-Addo:

Alistair Mathias, who smuggles $40 million worth of gold from Ghana every month, disclosed the kind of close relationship he has with Ghana’s president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. 

Alistair Mathias, who is a gold trader with expertise in designing money laundering schemes for Africans, said that his work has given him access to every president or head of state on the continent. 

Speaking in the final episode of the undercover investigations of gold smuggling in Africa by the Investigative Unit of Al Jazeera, Alistair Mathis, who is one of the main characters in the video, boasted about his relationship with the Ghanaian president.

He (described as a financial architect) told the undercover reporters, who had posed as Chinese criminals seeking to launder dirty money from Africa, that his relationship with Akufo-Addo is a close one. 

He also claims that the Ghanaian president is his lawyer.

“There’s no head of state or president that either of us can’t get to on this continent. Next door in Swaziland, the king is a close friend of mine. Zambia’s president is a close friend of my friend. DRC Congo, the president has invited me several times to come and build a refinery.

“Ghana’s president is a good friend of mine. In fact, he was my lawyer. Cyril Ramaphosa here; I know him. I know his kids,” he bragged.

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