Former president Jerry John Rawlings has filed a writ at an Accra Fast Track High Court restraining Ghana’s immediate past High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo, from launching a book titled: ‘JJ Rawlings and the Democratic Transition in Ghana.’
The book launch was scheduled for yesterday Wednesday August 20, 2014, at the Teacher’s Hall in Accra, but sources told DAILY GUIDE that the function was called off after the publishers, Ghana Universities Press, conferred with the author, Prof Danso-Boafo, a former Minister of Health in the Rawlings administration.
According to the sources, they were served with the writ yesterday and the motion is expected to be moved in September by the MP for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, who is lawyer for Mr Rawlings and a distant relative of the author.
The former minister is a close friend of the Rawlings family, and was first appointed as Ambassador to Cuba before he was brought down to head the Ministry of Health in 2000 when the NDC lost the election.
Mr Rawlings wants the launch stopped because he claims the book contains “several inaccuracies, misinformation and slants which has the potential to poison Ghana’s historical records and democratic evolution as well as bringing my name and family into disrepute.”
His lawyers, Zoe, Akyea & Co, filed a motion in court on Tuesday seeking an interlocutory injunction on the launch of the book which was scheduled for yesterday.
In his affidavit in support of the motion, former President Rawlings prayed the court to place an injunction on the book launch, accusing Professor Danso-Boafo of reneging on an earlier agreement reached on the book.
The author is a former lecturer of the University of Ghana, Legon, and later, Clarke Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, from where he was appointed High Commissioner to the Court of St James, London, by President Atta Mills.
According to Mr. Rawlings, Prof. Danso-Boafo had undertaken to wait for him to review the book and correct all factual inaccuracies that may be contained in it.
He maintained that the author of the book ‘has breached his own solemn undertaking with me and has published the book ‘J.J. Rawlings and the Democratic Transition in Ghana.’
He said: ‘The Defendant/Respondent has not extended due courtesy to me relating to the agreement aforesaid and had dropped a special invitation inviting me to the launch of the unapproved book. Annexed and marked as Exhibit C is the special invitation dropped at my office by the Defendant/ Respondent.’
Giving a background to the agreement with Prof. Danso-Boafo, the former President said: “Sometime in 2006 the Defendant/Respondent approached me that he intended writing a book on my role in Ghana’s history with strong emphasis on how I transitioned from military rulership to constitutional governance.”
Rawlings said after receiving the request, he “strongly insisted that I am not averse to him making me the centre of his intended political and intellectual pursuit, provided always that the Defendant/Respondent will make available to me the manuscript for my prior approval for purposes of accurate historical facts and analysis.”
Prof. Danso-Boafo agreed to the terms, the affidavit stated.
“The Defendant/Respondent, consistent with the agreement as spelt out above, purportedly completed his draft of the book which he has entitled ‘J.J. Rawlings and the Democratic Transition in Ghana’, and released the manuscript to me,” Rawlings explained.
He said a letter acknowledging receipt of the manuscript was sent to the author on March 1, 2012 in which letter “I was emphatic that I handed over the transcript to a team of literary and legal experts to evaluate and recommend amendments where necessary, given the undeniable fact that the Defendant/Respondent’s whole academic enterprise centres primarily on my person.”
Mr Rawlings said he was determined to review the manuscript because it contains “several inaccuracies, misinformation and slants which have the potential to poison Ghana’s historical records and democratic evolution as well as bring my name and family into disrepute.”
It was a matter of grave concern, he said, that the author did not wait for his final input and went ahead to print the book.
He is therefore praying the court to restrain Prof. Kwaku Danso-Boafo from launching the book because doing so will be detrimental “to me which cannot be compensated in monetary terms.”
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