Kan-Dapaah sues Oliver Barker-Vormawor over attempted bribery allegation
The Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah has sued Mawuse Oliver Barker-Vormawor, one of the leaders of last week's protest in Accra over an attempted bribery allegation made against the minister.
Mr. Barker-Vormawor in an interaction with the media on the sidelines of the Occupy Jubilee House protest had alleged that at a meeting between him and the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, he was offered $1 million by the Minister in an attempt to get him to stop his activism.
After the National Security Ministry released a statement to debunk the allegation on Friday, Oliver Barker-Vormawor in a television interview with Joy News said he is ready to release an audio, and that he recorded the said meeting where the offer was made.
“I will release an audio into the public domain, which would confirm that the Minister invited me to a secret safe house location, that we should have an individual meeting between him and myself, at which meeting he made that offer to myself. No other FixThecountry convener was involved there,” Oliver Barker-Vormawor said.
It is following this that Mr Kan-Dapaah on Tuesday, September 26, filed the law suit.
In the writ of summons filed by Mr Kan-Dapaah's lawyers, the Minister is seeking a declaration that the words uttered by the Barker-Vormawor and particularized below or words to that effect are Defamatory of the Plaintiff.
"They went as far as offering us US$1 Million, they offered us a Committee Appointment, set up a Committee and appoint us to Government positions in order to stop this activism. This was made directly to me and other leaders of fix the Country Movement."
"This conversation we had with the Minister of National Security, the Minister of Finance and a Brigadier General at a safe home."
He also wants the recovery of the sum of Ten Million Ghana Cedis (GH¢10,000,000.00) as General Damages including Aggravated and/ or Exemplary Damages for Defamation for the words uttered by Defendant.
He also wants an apology for and retraction of the words complained of supra.
In addition to that, he wants a perpetual injunction restraining Barker-Vormawor from repeating similar or other defamatory words against the Plaintiff and costs as well.
Statement of Claim
1. Plaintiff is a Ghanaian and inter alia a Chartered Accountant, former Member of Parliament for Afigya-Sekyere West and currently Minister of National Security of the Republic of Ghana.
2. Defendant is a Lawyer and holds himself out as the lead convener of the ' Fix the Country Movement' (hereinafter called "the Group").
3. As part of the discharge of his duties and in response to the continued agitations of the Group, Plaintiff in or about 2021 invited the conveners of the Group to a meeting at his Ministry to give them audience in the interest of peace and stability of the state.
4. The meeting ended cordially and it was suggested that another meeting be convened where the Minister for Finance will be present to comment on some of the Economic and Financial issues raised by the Group. It bears emphasising that the Defendant was not present at this meeting.
5. After this first meeting Plaintiff was approached by a high ranking Military Officer ("the Officer") who proposed to Plaintiff that Defendant was his colleague lecturer at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and thus he could arrange for the attendance of the Defendant at the next meeting with the Group which was to be scheduled.
6. Plaintiff accepted that proposal and the Officer immediately contacted the Defendant via a phone call to facilitate the scheduling of the second meeting between the Ministry and the Group. Plaintiff confirmed on the Officer's phone to the Defendant his willingness to meet with him and the Group together with the Minister for Finance. Defendant in turn requested the Officer also to be in attendance at the meeting.
7. A second meeting was accordingly conducted at the Ministry with the Plaintiff, the Minister of Finance and the Officer in attendance while the Defendant attended the meeting with some members of the Group.
8. The second meeting, as the first meeting, was also cordial and frank and it was agreed that the Group would submit its concerns in writing for further engagements with Government.
9. Plaintiff says emphatically that at both meetings no inducements of any sort were offered or threat of any sort made to the Defendant and/or any member of the Group as alleged or at all.
10. On or about 22/09 / 2023 at a public demonstration Defendant stated emphatically that Plaintiff on behalf of the Government had with a view to compromising him and the Group offered them a bribe and assurances of positions in Government. Defendant stated words to the following effect.
They went as far as offering us US$1 Million, they offered us a Committee Appointment, set up a Committee and appoint us to Government positions in order to stop this activism. This was made directly to me and other leaders of fix the Country Movement ... This conversation we had with the Minister of National Security, the Minister of Finance and a Brigadier General at a safe home.
11. On or about 23/09/2023 on News file, a program aired on Joy Fm, Defendant in a plot twist said that the alleged bribery attempt was made by the Plaintiff to the Defendant alone at a meeting between only the parties herein.
12. Defendant has also alleged that because he rejected the alleged bribery attempt, Plaintiff threatened him.
13. The above statements are not only palpably false, absolutely fabricated but were also deliberately calculated to disparage the Plaintiff. Those words are malicious and were clearly further intended to convey and would be understood to convey meanings that diminish the Plaintiff in the minds of right thinking members of society.
14. The said words set out supra in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and were understood to mean inter alia ;
a. That Plaintiff is corrupt,
b. That Plaintiff undertakes the criminal acts of offering bribes and threats
c. That Plaintiff abuses his office.
15. Plaintiff says that beyond the brief telephone conversation on the phone of the Officer and the second meeting, Plaintiff has never had any other interaction with Defendant.
16. By reason of the foregoing Plaintiff has been greatly injured in his credit, character and reputation, and has been brought into public scandal, ridicule, distress and embarrassment and has thereby suffered damage.
17. Notwithstanding Plaintiff's denial of Defendant's vile defamatory statements, Defendant is persisting in this totally fabricated story to continue to tarnish Plaintiffs reputation.
18. Plaintiff says that the defamatory words made against him by the Defendant are treacherous falsehoods.
19. Plaintiff will rely on the following matters in support of a claim for aggravated and/or exemplary damages.
a. Defendant had absolutely no basis whatsoever for his defamatory statements.
b. Defendant was absolutely reckless by his defamatory statements as he showed no scintilla of evidence to support the defamatory statements.
c. Plaintiff has never had any other meeting with the Defendant beyond the aforementioned second meeting whether alone or in concert with others.
d. Notwithstanding the fact that Plaintiff has made it clear to Defendant that the statements are false, the Defendant has not offered the Plaintiff any apology or retraction. It is to be inferred that Defendant has failed to do so because he is indifferent to the truth and is simply reckless and malicious.
20. Plaintiff contends that unless restrained by the Court, Defendant will not retract and apologize for the defamatory words and will continue to publish or cause to be published same or similar defamatory words concerning the Plaintiff.
Wherefore Plaintiff Claims against the Defendant as per the Writ of Summons.