The High Court 7 in Kumasi, presided over by Justice E.K.B. Apenkwa, has stated that it will hear a defamation case brought against Bernard Antwi Boasiako aka ‘Wontumi,’ Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) by Ibrahim Mahama, a brother of President John Mahama from May 19-20.
Mr Ibrahim took legal action against the NPP chairman, who he claimed, accused him and President Mahama of siphoning state funds to enrich themselves during a public gathering at Obuasi in 2014.
Lawyers for the defendant and plaintiff in the matter have so far filed all processes in court to pave the way for the hearing of the matter by the court on the said dates.
Justice E.K.B. Apenkwa, announcing the dates for the hearing of the matter on Thursday in court, admonished both parties to try and settle the case amicably.
Atta Adjei, counsel for Wontumi, said several dignitaries, including the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, had intervened in the matter but the case was still in court because the plaintiff was of a different view.
He said the case could be settled amicably if the plaintiff was ready to do so.
Charles Zwennes, counsel for Ibrahim Mahama, stated that nobody should paint the picture that the plaintiff was reluctant to settle the case out of court as being suggested by some influential people in society such as the Asantehene.
According to him, even though his client was ready to amicably settle the matter, the defendant’s actions showed that he was not committed to an out-of-court settlement.
Charles Zwennes stressed that “Ibrahim Mahama’s gates are open to genuine initiatives for settlement of the case,” noting that the defendant should show commitment to out-of-court settlement.
He pointed out that critical steps should be taken by the defendant to settle the case, saying “until such is done we are squarely in court for hearing and settlement.”
Both Ibrahim Mahama and Wontumi were absent in court on Thursday. The NPP chairman was represented by his Programmes Manager, Andy Owusu.
Ibrahim Mahama has filed a writ against the NPP Regional Chairman over a defamation charge claiming GH¢5 million as damages.
Mr. Ibrahim is of the view that the NPP guru defamed him by peddling falsehoods about him in public in April last year, so the court should order Wontumi to compensate him with the staggering GH¢5 million.
The case was originally before Justice Ringo Azumah.