May 20, 2022

[Ghana]Akufo-Addo’s refund of D.K. Poison’s $45,000 commendable – Rawlings

Former President Rawlings has described as commendable, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s approval to refund a sum of $45,000 that the state owed former World Boxing Champion David Kotei, popularly known as D.K. Poison.

A statement issued by Kobina Andoh Amoakwa from the Communications Directorate of the Office of the former President on Thursday, 8 October 2020, also indicated the President decided to approve the payment after perusing a report of an investigative team that looked into the retired world champion’s petition.

“It is also noteworthy that the President’s decision was informed by the report of an investigative team that looked into the retired world champion’s petition before the payment was approved,” the statement read.

The statement also noted that, “it is gratifying that the President chose to approve the payment on compassionate grounds.”

Mr Rawlings, therefore, urged D.K. Poison to manage the money properly, while admonishing other successful sportsmen to also ‘prepare for rainy days.’

“We have, for decades, observed how some of our outstanding sportsmen have become destitute because of the lack of a steady income.

“The best testament of gratitude D.K. Poison can show to the President and the country, will be to manage the funds judiciously”, adding that: “I take this opportunity to urge our successful sportsmen to endeavour to manage their resources in a prudent manner as they retire relatively younger and have to contend with whatever resources they earned while in active sports.”

“It is also important that our successful sportsmen show graciousness to some of our retired sportsmen who are in need,” the statement further noted.

President Nana Akufo-Addo gave approval for the repayment of the money to Ghana’s first-ever world boxing champion a few days ago.

In a letter signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, President Akufo-Addo directed the Ministry of Finance “to take the necessary action to give effect to this directive”, adding that the payment was being made on “compassionate grounds.”

This follows a petition D.K. Poison and his lawyers presented to the Presidency in September 2019.

In the petition, they sought a refund of the money D.K. Poison loaned to the state of Ghana over four decades ago.

The boxing legend received a total sum of $75,000 for winning his second title defence against Shigefumi Fukuyama in Japan in 1976.

He loaned the full amount to the then-Acheampong-led military government to salvage an economic crisis.

However, Mr Kotei said that out of the amount, GH?34,000, which was equivalent to $30,000 at the time, was transferred to him, leaving outstanding arrears of $45,000.

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