Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has denied ever having sexual relations with his sister-in-law as reported several years ago.

“No, it’s not true,” he told Bola Ray on Accra-based Starr FM when the question was directly put to him.

The Weekend Crusading Guide first broke the story on September 17, 2004 but did not mention anybody’s name. A follow-up done by Daily Guide, however, named Mr Bagbin.

According to the story, Mr Bagbin, while having issues with his wife as far back as 1989, resorted to having sex with his 17-year-old sister-in-law at the time, with whom they stayed in the same house. The story claimed Mr Bagbin impregnated the teenager and subsequently rented a separate apartment for her.

Mr Bagbin, however, said the allegation was aimed at smearing him. “You know, we were getting into elections and my opponents came at me and that time I had some disagreement with my very good senior Freddie Blay and I think all worked [for] their paper, and so it was Daily Guide that published it. It’s not true that,” he told Bola Ray.

The Nadowli-Kaleo MP said even though he took the Daily Guide on at the time, “I mean you don’t stop and throw stones at any dog that barks at you when you are moving. If you do that you will never reach your destination. I was focused on winning my elections, so, I went to campaign.”

He, however, explained that it is not a taboo within his tradition to have sexual relations with his sister-in-law.

“In any case, in my area, it’s a norm, it’s accepted. Traditionally [it is accepted] because we are paternal. But no, I never did that,” he emphasised.

He believed the confusion came about due to people’s interpretation of his response to certain aspects of the allegation during an interview with Accra-based Joy FM.

“When I was asked a question on Joy FM about it, I told Joy FM that there was a time that we had to discuss the possibility of me marrying her and they asked whether we had intimacy and I tried to know what that meant. Then I said yes, so, because of that answer, people just read into it and said [I had slept with my sister-in-law]. This was in 1990,” the veteran MP said.

Asked by Bola Ray to clarify his version of “intimacy”, Mr Bagbin said: “No, I never impregnated her, I didn’t have a child by her. … You know she actually grew up in our hands from a very tender age. My wife picked her up and then we brought her up, but when we left for Libya she was left in the hands of other people and then she dropped out of school and so on returning from Libya we had to go back and take her and try to educate her and salvage her, we worked hard at her, she is still in Accra working and taking care of herself. But that was politics for you and I told my class in GIMPA about this and they were all shocked because they all believed it …”