Andrea Pizziconi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Africa Integras — who created the impression on social media that Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University of Ghana (UG), sexually abused her — has made a U-turn.
She is now claiming that she was misunderstood by the Ghanaian media.
In the aftermath of the BBC’s documentary that appeared to have exposed what it calls ‘Sex for Grades’ in West African top universities, Ms. Pizziconi took to social media platform, Twitter, to say that the respected Vice Chancellor of UG embarked on a ‘vitriolic campaign’ against her when she was executing a project at Ghana’s premier.
According to her, Africa Integras led a $64 million infrastructure investment at UG, which Prof. Owusu has failed to endorse.
“I have remained mostly quiet despite the battery of attacks by Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu on my dignity. I was advised not to make waves and definitely not to raise the #metoo flag if I wanted to put the project back on track, which I do. Now I feel compelled to speak up and draw a direct line between this sex scandal and our derailed project,” she wrote on Twitter.
She noted that Prof. Owusu made her uncomfortable when he refused to work with her to save the project, to the extent that he once said she was “far too pretty” to worry her little head over a contract.
Reacting to the allegation on Accra-based OK FM, the Vice Chancellor said, “I, Owusu Aduonu, have done nothing wrong. I want to use your platform to categorically deny any such allegations on my person. There was no way I could have hugged her because the business she called for was a serious one.
“If she has been able to come out with such a charge just to tarnish the image of the university and myself, then it means, seriously, this lady does not fear God. Anyway, I pray God to forgive all her sins.”
“Those who know my character know that such a thing cannot happen. I always speak for the truth and ensure that the right thing is done. I, therefore, see this publication as coming from a desperate, frustrated and bitter woman,” he added.
In an interesting twist, Ms. Pizziconi appears to withdraw the sexual harassment charge against the Vice Chancellor in another tweet, blaming it on ‘different headline.’
Her statement yesterday read, “I agree that you never harassed me. Nor did I ever say as much. Surely, you are aware of the difference of headlines and the article’s substance, the latter of which accurately reflects my previous statement.”
She continued, “Of course, I requested that we meet alone to discuss the project at least once during the various stages of the two years when we tried to help you remedy your willful default on the project.
“We are business people. I expect, as business pad-nets, it is quite the common protocol for the two highest decision makers to meet and have a straight talk about the issues on the table.”
She continued, “It seems you may have thought that I wanted to meet you alone for the devilish reasons that you suggested and that you implied that day in the council meeting (with the former VC present rather than myself) when you suggested that I used my womanly prowess rather than my brain and unique expertise in university development to close this monumental project.
“Indeed, you have passionately and bizarrely insinuated these allegations (despite my cordial silence) through your many blasphemous press releases and meetings focused almost exclusively on questioning my credibility including embarking on an EOCO investigation against myself and the former VC to attempt to prove that anything other than the merits of the project’s vast benefits were at the heart of the decision to advance the project into construction.”
She added, “These efforts have yielded not a shred of evidence that any stakeholder has acted in any untoward way to execute the project. There is, however, the obvious fact of my credibility that the buildings (and the tens of millions of dollars in investment they represent) are there on the ground for anyone to inspect. In short, I delivered on my obligations for the project. It was you who did not.”
“Furthermore, if that is your thinking, to imply that I had some desire to influence you in any other way than with merits of the facts of the project’s benefits, this is precisely why I made my statement. The issues of sex for grades and the dismissal of a significant development partner because the company happens to be led by a “far-too-pretty-CEO”, is related,” Ms. Pizziconi stressed.