No Show At JJ’s Trial

Former President Jerry John Rawlings and Prof Kwaku Danso-Boafo

A motion filed by former President Jerry John Rawlings at an Accra Fast Track High Court restraining Ghana’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo, from launching a book entitled, ‘JJ Rawlings and the Democratic Transition in Ghana,’ which was expected to be moved yesterday, has been adjourned.

When the case was called, Mr Rawlings was nowhere to be found and so the court adjourned the case to September 26, 2014.

Samuel Atta Akyea, counsel for the former President, informed the court, presided over by Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh, that his client was out of town, compelling the judge to adjourn the case.

Alex Quartey, assisted by his senior, John Abraham, was counsel for the defendant, Prof Danso-Boafo, who was present in court.

The book was initially scheduled to be launched on August 20, 2014, but Mr Rawlings wanted the event cancelled altogether, accusing Professor Danso-Boafo of bad faith by reneging on an earlier agreement reached on the book.

Former President Rawlings, in his affidavit in support of the motion, stated that Prof Danso-Boafo had undertaken to wait for him (Rawlings) to review the book and correct all factual inaccuracies in it but ‘has breached his own solemn undertaking with me and has published it with the view to launching it.’

The plaintiff believes the professor had not extended the courtesy due him, with regard to the said agreement and had only dropped a special invitation inviting him to the launch of the ‘unapproved book.’

The former President said in 2006 the former High Commissioner, who was a former Minister of Health, approached him that he intended writing a book on his (Rawlings’) role in Ghana’s history with strong emphasis on how he transitioned from military rulership to constitutional governance.

Rawlings said after receiving the request, he stated that he was not averse to the professor making him the centre of his intended political and intellectual pursuit, provided that the former envoy would make available to him the manuscript ‘for my prior approval for purposes of accurate historical facts and analysis.’

Prof Danso-Boafo was said to have agreed to the terms and, ‘purportedly completed his draft of the book which he has entitled ‘J.J. Rawlings and the Democratic Transition in Ghana,’ 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 and  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’s/Respondent’s whole academic enterprise centres primarily on my person.”

Mr Rawlings said he was determined to review the manuscript because it contained” 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.”

According to the plaintiff, it was a matter of grave concern to him that the professor 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.”

 By Fidelia Achama

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