After 45 years of chasing money loaned to Ghana, a legendary Ghanaian boxer, David Kotei, popularly known as DK Poison, will now breathe a sigh relief following a presidential directive to have the US$45,000 refunded to the world boxing champion.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a letter, has directed the Ministry of Finance to refund the said money to the 69-year-old retired boxer on “compassionate grounds.”
The boxer in 1976 gave a loan of $45,000 to the then General Kutu Acheampong government for the purchase of mackerel (Tinapa), which was in short supply at the time, for distribution in the country.
This was shortly after he had won his world boxing title on September 20, 1975, defeating then champion Reuben Olivares by split points in a 15-round clash in Inglewood, California, USA.
The money, according to the boxer, was given out of his $75,000 gained from his second title defence against Japanese Shig Fukuyama.
Several years after the loan was given to the country, all attempts by the boxing champion to get his money refunded fell on death ears.
Countless appeals were made to successive governments since the overthrow of the Acheampong regime, but all efforts proved futile.
In 2014, the boxer sought audience with former President Mahama, through the Brazil 2014 World Cup Commission, to narrate his ordeal but nothing fruitful came out of it.
Nana Akufo-Addo meeting
Dying slowly from grief, the boxer in October last year met with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to inform him about his predicament.
After the meeting, the retired boxer expressed appreciation to the President for meeting with him after all past Presidents had objected to meeting with him.
President Akufo-Addo, for his part, promised to resolve the issue.
In a letter dated September 28, 2020, signed by the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, President Akufo-Addo has directed that the money should be paid to the legendary DK Poison.
The letter, addressed to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, and copied to the Vice-President, the Chief of Staff, the Minister of Finance, the Director General of National Sports Authority, the Chairman of the Ghana Boxing Authority and David Kotei (D.K. Poison), reads: “With reference to your letter … dated 17th June, 2020, I write to convey the approval of the President of the Republic for an amount of Forty-Five Thousand United States Dollars (US$45,000.00) to be paid to Mr David Kotei (a.k.a. D.K. Poison) on compassionate grounds.
“By a copy of this letter, the Ministry of Finance is requested to take the necessary action to give effect to this directive. Please accept the President’s best wishes.”