Without mentioning names, Manasseh said the approach was made with the reason that if he went ahead, the Mahama re-election campaign was going to fail.
He was speaking on the wider subject of bribery approaches that he has received in the line of his work when he appeared on the TV talk programme Moomen Tonight on the state broadcaster, GTV, on Wednesday evening.
Stressing that he had received bribery overtures but never once collected a bribe, GhanaWeb monitored further comments on the approach to drop the Ford bribery scandal against the person of John Dramani Mahama.
“…if you read the Fourth John, I stated at a place that before I came out with the Ford Scandal, I met a friend from the presidency at the time who said, ‘we have done our calculations and we know that if this story should break at this time, we are not going to survive this election.’
“But if it were any other journalist, we wouldn’t have issues because how much would they demand that we cannot pay? But for you, we know that there is no amount of money that you will take so we are pleading with you.”
He added that a request was then tabled that he fetches some dirt on the then main opposition leader and current president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to allow the National Democratic Congress to hit back at the New Patriotic Party if they attacked the then-president over the Ford saga on the campaign trail.
He continued: “(my acquaintance added that) we know Akufo-Addo also goes to Nigeria for campaign money so why don’t you add it so that when you do the story, when they are attacking us we can also attack them”, but Manasseh rejected what he said amounted to false equivalence.
“So as for those (bribe) attempts, they have been made severally, but I can tell you that since I started investigations, GYEEDA till now, I have never taken a pesewa to drop any story,” he emphasized.
Mahama eventually went on to lose the 2016 elections to Akufo-Addo even though a state body, CHRAJ, had cleared him of any wrongdoing in the issue.
He maintained in a late 2020 interview that the allegation was untrue.