7 controversial stories that rocked Ghana in 2023

Source The Ghana Report

2023, like other years, came with controversies and scandals that kept Ghanaians talking for days and even weeks.

The country became enthralled by these stories that made headlines in politics, governance, entertainment, and religion due to their controversial nature and the individuals at the centre of them.

While some bordered on alleged crimes, others were juicy secrets that came to light.

The Ghana Report recaps some of these dramatic stories that occurred in Ghana in 2023.

  • Frimpong Boateng’s galamsey report

A former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng submitted a 37-page report to the Chief of Staff detailing the work of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (ICIM) in April 2023.

The controversial report cited some appointees in the Jubilee House as involved in illegal mining. In other words, the high-fliers were partakers in the illegality.

There was also an allegation that a garden in President Akufo-Addo’s Kyebi home was affected by illegal mining which caused the Minister’s intervention to halt.

This incited several reactions from Ghanaians at a time when discussions on the evils of illegal mining and the way forward were rife.

The report also brought some legal battles to the doorstep of Professor Frimpong Boateng as the names mentioned in the report denied all the claims.

One such person was the Former Member of Parliament (MP) for the Manso Nkwanta constituency, Joseph Albert Qualm, who filed a defamation suit against Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor(OSP) also got involved in the issue after it invited the former Environment Minister, to assist with an investigation into illegal mining activities in the country.

  • Hajia 4Reall romance scam saga

Socialite and social media influencer, Mona Faiz Montrage popularly known as Hajia4Real was extradited from the United Kingdom (UK) to the US for her alleged involvement in romance scams.

Mona, 30, was put before a Manhattan federal court on Monday, May 15, with prosecutors stating that she received over $2 Million in fraud proceeds and pretended to marry one victim to further the fraud scheme.

She was arrested in the UK on November 10, 2022, and was extradited from the UK on May 12, 2023.

Documents released by the United States Attorney’s Office (Southern District of New York), announced a six-count indictment charging Mona Faiz Montrage for her role in a series of romance schemes and for laundering the proceeds of those schemes.

This news set social media tongues wagging as the budding musician often shared inspirational messages and attributed her immense success at a young age to hard work.

  • Agyinasare and Nogokpo impasse

During a summit held at the Perez Chapel headquarters in Accra, in May 2023, Archbishop Charles Agyinasare delivered a sermon on divine protection and the existence of evil forces.

In his sermon, he recounted an incident where his team experienced spiritual attacks while hosting a crusade in the Volta Region.

The Archbishop mentioned passing through Nogokpo, describing it as the demonic headquarters in the Volta Region.

Following the publication of the video online, the church leader faced criticism and backlash from social media users.

Chiefs and people of Nogokpo also issued a 14-day ultimatum to the founder of Perez Chapel International to appear before them. The case went back and forth until the Peace Council intervened.

  • Okudzeto Ablakwa and Kusi Boateng’s dual identity

North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the Secretary to the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral, Rev. Victor Kusi Boateng aka Mr Adu-Gyamfi, over an alleged conflict of interest, including possession of multiple identities and other alleged criminal dealings.

Mr Ablakwa said, that Rev. Kusi Boateng who is also the founder of Power Chapel Worldwide, was the same person as Kwabena Adu Gyamfi who received an amount of GH¢2.6 million from the National Cathedral Board.

He went ahead to sue the MP to restrain him from discussing him.

The court, however, dismissed the case of Rev. Boateng that the two names referred to the same person and held that how the two names had been deployed meant two completely separate identities.

  • ‘I am not Yvonne Nelson’

controversial stories

Popular Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson, released a memoir, ‘I Am Not Yvonne Nelson, in June 2023 which stirred a lot of reactions on social media especially on the issue of her abortion of musician Sarkodie’s pregnancy.

The book also made a lot of controversial revelations about her past romantic relationships and the confusion surrounding her paternity.

Among these, she revealed that her mother told her that her biological father was the late New Patriotic Party (NPP) member Peter Ala Adjetey. As a result, she conducted a DNA test but the results came out negative.

Yvonne Nelson stated in the memoir that she rejected an offer from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to contest the Ayawaso West Wuogon parliamentary seat against her colleague actor John Dumelo who contested the seat on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 elections.

  • Cecilia Dapaah’s stolen money
controversial stories
Cecilia Abena Dapaah

In July 2023, news of the arrest of two housekeepers of the then Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah caused an uproar across the country.

They allegedly stole an amount of $1 million, €300,000, a substantial amount of Ghana cedis, and other valuables, including jewelry and expensive perfumes at the former minister’s residence.

The accused allegedly used the stolen funds to finance various purchases, including renting a three-bedroom apartment and a store in Tamale, buying vehicles, and funding other personal expenses.

The reports sparked various reactions from the public, with many calling for a probe into the source of wealth of the former minister.

Less than 48 hours after the issue went viral, she tendered her resignation letter to President Nana Akufo-Addo.

According to her, she did not want the case “to become a preoccupation of government and a hindrance to the work of government at such a crucial time”.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor later arrested her over suspected corruption and corruption-related offenses, leading to a drawn-out legal battle between the two.

  • Leaked IGP tape


controversial stories

In July 2023, three senior police officers – COP George Alex Mensah, George Asare, and Emmanuel Gyebi, both superintendents, together with Daniel Bugri Naabu, a former Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), were captured in a conversation ostensibly plotting to remove the current IGP before the 2024 general elections due to his reluctance to align the police force’s activities with the interests of the ruling party.

The leaked tape opened a can of worms, with the mystery surrounding activities at the Ghana Police Service and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr George Akufo Dampare unravelled day-by-day.

While Daniel Bugri Naabu confirmed the tape’s contents, COP Alex Mensah and Superintendent George Asare denied the accuracy of the recording, alleging that portions had been “edited” during an ad hoc committee hearing.

COP Mensah contended that the tape had been doctored and did not reflect the original conversation with former NPP Northern Regional Chairman Bugri Naabu.

Additionally, he claimed that IGP George Akuffo Dampare had political affiliations with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), a claim the IGP has described as baseless.


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