Claim: Social media users share viral video claiming NPP’s Ashanti Regional Chairman has been arrested by police for possession of thumb-printed ballot papers.
Verdict: The video accompanying the claim was of a 2016 incident where some persons were arrested at a hotel in the Ashanti Region for possessing ballot papers.
Series of messages received via WhatsApp say the governing New Patriotic Party’s Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi has been arrested.
The message is accompanied by a 1.16 minutes video with a caption suggesting that Boasiako was arrested because he was found with thumb-printed ballot papers.
“NPP caught with Thump Printed Ballot Papers in a Private Residence… Chairman wontumi caught with ballot papers,” the caption reads.
Similar claims have been sighted on Facebook.
It is an offence to possess a ballot paper or any other election material without due authorization, according to Ghana’s electoral laws.
Listening to commentary by a man who recorded the video, we followed his lead on the location of the said incident as Madison Lodge, TUC in the Ashanti Region.
A simple Google search showed, among other things, a news item by Graphic.com.gh on the retrieval of thumb-printed ballot papers from a hotel room at the same location mentioned by the commentator.
Citifmonline.com also published a related story on December 5, 2020, the same day Graphic.com.gh did its publication.
According to both stories, some individuals were arrested by Police at the hotel and the NPP’s Chairman Wontumi gave the police the tip-off.
While the evidence above by themselves sufficiently show that the video in question is an old video, a statement signed by Andy Owusu, Special Aide to Chairman Wontumi said has also debunked the claim
“Chairman Wontumi has not been arrested neither has he engaged in any printing of ballot papers as being speculated. The fact of the matter is that the said incident being shared on social media by known members of the opposition National Democratic Congress happened in 2016,” Andy Owusu noted in the statement.
The claim that Chairman Wontumi has been arrested with thumb-printed ballot papers is false and the accompanying video is an old clip from a 2016 incident being re-circulated on social media as a recent happening.
The reporter, Jonas Nyabor, produced this fact-check under the auspices of the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship in partnership with Citinewsroom to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and to enhance media literacy in the country.