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Wontumi Runs From Ibrahim Mahama   
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After bragging on radio and beating his chest at NPP rallies that he was ready to square off with Chief Executive of Engineers and Planners, Ibrahim Mahama in the GHC5 million defamation suit, Ashanti regional chairman of the biggest opposition party, Benard Antwi Boasiako is yet to personally show up in court.

Though the case has been called several times since Decemer 01, 2014, the NPP regional Chairman, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi, has never attended any of the court sessions in person, a development that forced Justice Charles Adjei Wilson, of the Kumasi High Court 7 to issue a stern warning that he will not tolerate any further delay.

While Ibrahim Mahama, who is also a brother to President John Mahama and his lawyer, Charles Zwennes have dutifully and consistently been present in court whenever the case was called, Chairman Wontumi has only been represented by his lawyer, Egbert Fabille Jnr and an aide, Edward Kwasi Akuoko.

Chairman Wontumi’s continuous absence from court, The aL-hAJJ has gathered, was because he cannot muster courage to “come face to face” with Ibrahim Mahama in court after passing those disparaging and libelous comments about him.

But Chairman Wontumi’s aide, Edward Kwasi Akuoko has refuted this claim, insisting that his boss is ready to fight Ibrahim Mahama in court.

“I wish to state unequivocally and without any shred of ambiguity that Chairman Wontumi is not a “coward” and that he is very ready to contest this matter no matter how long it takes,” a statement signed by him noted.

The statement instead accused Ibrahim Mahama and his lawyer of delay, saying “Let anyone therefore including Mr. Ibrahim Mahama and his lawyers not harbor any erroneous impression that Chairman Wontumi or his lawyer Mr. Egbert Faibille is playing any tricks with this matter. They should therefore revise their notes and rather exhibit punctuality and discipline in time management as plaintiffs during court days to enable the wheels of justice to grind to its perfect destination.”

The President’s brother in April 2014 filed a writ at a Kumasi High Court against Chairman Wontumi, over a defamation charge.

Briefing the media after the first adjourned date on December 1, 2014, Lawyer for Ibrahim Mahama, Charles Zwennes said the Ashanti regional chairman of the NPP, whilst addressing his party faithful in April 2012 accused Ibrahim Mahama of siphoning proceeds from the fuel price increases.

According to him, the NPP capo also alleged that Mr. Ibrahim and his brother, the President, usually used the monies stolen from the national purse on luxurious holidays in South Africa.

He noted that Wontumi's comments were baseless and full of falsehood, hence Ibrahim's decision to haul him (Wontumi) to court to seek justice, stressing they were in court for a fair trial.

Even though lawyer Zwennes has called for expeditious trial, the opposite has been the case due to what he described as deliberate strategy by Wontumi’s lawyer, Egbert Fabille to delay the trial.

Responding to lawyer Zwennes concerns, Justice Charles Adjei Wilson, gave stern warning that he will not entertain any acts that will delay the determination of the case, saying “this court is a slow fast-track court. I don't delay cases here and I am not prepared to frequently take dates for adjournment of cases, including this case involving Messrs Ibrahim Mahama and Bernard Antwi Boasiako.”

Meanwhile, Egbert Fabille last Thursday started cross-examining one of the witnesses called by Ibrahim Mahama. For about 30 minutes, he quizzed Adwoa Owusu mainly on the accuracy of a transcript of the supposed recorded tape of Wontumi’s supposed defamatory remarks against the president’s brother.

The case has therefore been adjourned to February 8 and 9, this year.

Source: The Al-Hajj

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