Allotey Jacobs not arrested in London — British High Commissioner

The British High Commission has discredited a rumour making the rounds on social media that the Central Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Ben Allotey Jacobs, has been arrested in the United Kingdom for drug-related offences. 
In several tweets in response to public inquiries, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Jon Benjamin, described the rumour as false.

“Whoever started the false rumour about the supposed arrest of a Ghanaian party official at Heathrow today - thanks for messing up my Sunday!

“I can confirm that the rumour about Mr Jacobs is definitely not true. Who starts these rumours and why?

“No, the story is not true. Mr Allotey Jacobs transited Heathrow this morning without incident,” he responded to tweets from the public."

Social media rumours 
The rumour comes on the heels of another that made the rounds last Friday alleging that the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had been detained in France for money laundering.

It also comes at a time when the police are contemplating a shutdown of social media on election day to prevent the spread of rumours that have the tendency to compromise national security.

According to the rumour which the Daily Graphic culled from the Facebook wall of one Hopeson Yaovi Adorye, Mr Jacobs was busted early Sunday morning in “a British Airways Flight at Heathrow Airport by armed officers of the National Crime Agency  (NCA), the UK's equivalent of the US's FBI”.

“Allotey Jacobs was escorted off the plane, his wife in tow, under heavy security and is still being held by the NCA,” it said.

But the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and Mr Jacob’s personal assistant, Mr Nurideen Kobina Essah, denied the rumour.

Mr Jacobs is said to have travelled to Dallas on a national assignment as a board member of the NPA, where he chairs the Consumer Service Committee.

BA flight at 11.15 p.m. on Sunday 
Daily Graphic checks also indicated that the British Airways flight Mr Jacobs is alleged to have boarded — BA0078 — was expected to depart from the Kotoka International Airport at 11.15 p.m. yesterday and arrive at the Heathrow Airport in London at 6.50 a.m.

The Facebook post was made at almost 10 a.m., more than 13 hours before the flight departed from Ghana.

Malicious ploy?  

 Mr Essah described the information as crude and a malicious ploy by opponents of the NDC to divert attention from the inauguration of the Komenda Sugar Factory today.

He denied the rumour, saying, “My boss has not been arrested. He is in the US attending a programme.”
According to him,Mr Jacobs left Accra on Saturday evening and was expected to reach his destination in the US yesterday.
Mr Allotey Jacobs
The NDC's Central Regional Minister, Mr Ben Allotey Jacobs, in the eye of a social media rumour that he has been arrested for  drug-related offence which turned to be false

To further ward off the rumour, he said: “Mr Jacobs is somebody who frowns on smoking, let alone drugs. As we speak, the wife who is alleged to have been arrested is right here in Cape Coast.

“She is Irene Allotey Jacobs and works at the Central Regional Hospital, where she is the Head of the Dialysis Unit, so everybody knows her. All those who want to see her should come to the hospital to see for themselves,” Mr Essah added.

NPA speaks 
The Public Relations Officer of the NPA, Mr Yaro Kasambata, also said the rumour was completely false, adding that “no such incident has occurred. All our checks indicate that it is totally false”.
“He is in Dallas on official assignment on fuel quality as the Chairman of the Consumer Service Committee,” he said.


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