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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Barker-Vormawor Hit With GH¢10k Cost In Kan-Dapaah Suit

 

A High Court in Accra yesterday dismissed another application filed by the convener of the #FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, which sought to quash the GH¢10 million defamation suit filed against him by the Minister for National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah.

This is the second time the court presided over by Justice Rev. Joseph Owusu-Adu Agyemang is dismissing a move by the political activist to strike out the case even before the plaintiff opens his case against him.

The court yesterday dismissed the application which sought to suggest that there would be no case to answer if not for the inclusion of word such as ‘bribe’ or ‘bribery’ in the National Security Minister’s statement of claim.

The court this time awarded a cost of GH¢10,000 against Barker-Vormawor in favour of the minister.

The minister sued the controversial activist in September, last year, after Vormawor alleged that he was offered $1 million to silence him and other leaders of the movement.

Barker-Vormawor had alleged that the National Security Minister and other government officials met him in 2021 even before their first protest and offered him money to supposedly silence him.

His lawyer, appearing before the court yesterday, argued that Mr. Kan-Dapaah exaggerated and coloured his application by using words like ‘bribe’ or ‘bribery’.

The lawyer had argued that the removal of those words from the minister’s statement of claims would render the suit with no case for defamation to claim.

It was a further contention of Barker-Vormawor and his legal team that a private individual cannot bribe a public officer like Kan-Dapaah, who is the minister in charge of National Security as claimed in the suit.

The application was opposed by lawyers for Mr. Kan-Dapaah, who urged the court to dismiss it and issue a punitive cost against the defendant.

Justice Rev. Agyemang, after listening to both parties, dismissed the application as lacking merit and awarded a cost of GH¢10,000 against Barker-Vormawor.

Suit

The controversial activist made the bribery claims after he and some individuals were released by the police after they were arrested on September 22, 2023, for staging a demonstration in Accra in spite of a motion to restrict them being filed before a court.

“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,” Barker-Vormawor alleged.

The Ministry of National Security denied the allegation, and Barker-Vormawor had pledged to make the recording public, but that has not been done.

Mr. Kan-Dapaah, in a suit filed before an Accra High Court, is asking it to declare among others, that the statement is defamatory of him.

He is also asking for the “recovery of the sum of Ten Million Ghana Cedis (GH¢10 million) as General Damages including Aggravated and/or Exemplary Damages for Defamation for the words uttered by Defendant.”

The suit is again asking for an apology and retraction of the defamatory words complained of, a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from repeating similar or other defamatory words against Barker-Vormawor as well as cost.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak

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