General News of Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Source: Daily Guide
Justice Charles Adjei Wilson, a High Court 7 Judge in Kumasi, has sternly warned that he will not entertain any acts that will delay the determination of the defamation case involving Ibrahim Mahama, brother of President John Mahama, and Bernard Antwi Boasiako aka Wontumi, the Ashanti Regional NPP Chairman.
“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,” he stated categorically in court Monday morning.
The judge gave the stern caution in response to a concern raised by Charles Zwennes, counsel for Mr Ibrahim, who complained that Egbert Faibille, lawyer for Wontumi, who is the defendant in the case, had adopted a strategy to delay the determination of the case in court.
Ibrahim Mahama sued the NPP chairman for GH¢ 2 million for allegedly defaming him (Ibrahim) in public. Wontumi, who was addressing party people at Obuasi, was said to have accused Ibrahim and his brother, President Mahama, of using state wealth for luxurious international trips.
The case has been in court since May 2014 but due to frequent adjournments, the matter is still at its initial stages.
Ibrahim Mahama, who has constantly travelled from Accra to Kumasi since the beginning of the case, was once again present in court on Monday with his lawyer.
Wontumi, who is yet to appear in court since the case started, was once again absent.
Zwennes openly lamented in court that he and his client (Ibrahim) have journeyed from Accra to Kumasi on 15 occasions since the case started, adding, “But strangely the defendant had always been absent in court and this to me is a disregard and disrespect to the court.”
According to him, Mr Faibille and his client, Wontumi, have not been coming to court, complaining bitterly that the continual absence of the defendant and his lawyer in court had unduly delayed the determination of the case.
“Mr Faibille and his client have adopted tactics of taking dates from court which had led to the delay in the determination of the case,” the lawyer complained.
Zwennes stated that the matter in court involved the character assassination of his client and that it was unfortunate that the defendant seemed not ready to fully cooperate so as to ensure the rapid determination of the case.
The presiding judge, in response, ordered that Mr Faibille and his client should be served with details of the cross-examination of Mr Ibrahim’s witness in court, which happened five months ago, so that the case would be continued from there at the court’s next sitting on January 14, 2016, reiterating the warning that he is not ready to accept any strategy by any of the parties involved in the matter to delay the determination of the case.