Wontumi, Spio ‘square up’ in court today

The former Trade and Industry Minister, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, would on Wednesday mount the dock at a Kumasi High Court for further cross examination by Kwame Adom Appiah Esq., Counsel for defendant Bernard Antwi Boasiako, aka Chairman Wontumi.

Ghana’s former Ambassador to the US, Dr Spio-Garbrah has sued Mr. Bernard Antwi Boasiako and the Wontumi Multimedia Company Limited for defamation.

The plaintiff is claiming against the defendants jointly and severally for punitive and aggravated damages to the global reputational value of the plaintiff which is quantified as over US$10 million.

He claims on September 10, 2020 while contributing to a discussion on the second defendant’s morning show, the first defendant called him (plaintiff) a thief, which allegation had injured his hard won reputation and thus brought his image into hatred, ridicule, odium, discredit and contempt, hence the suit for compensation for damages and any other order(s) as the Honourable Court may seem fit.

The plaintiff is being represented by Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo Esq., an Accra-based legal practitioner.

At the last adjourned date (October 21, 2021) under cross examination, the plaintiff contended that from his upbringing he had come to realise that stealing is morally wrong and, therefore, a criminal offence and that, for the defendant to have referred to him as a thief, had injured his reputation and, therefore, feels offended by the statement, hence the action.

He said his understanding of the words uttered by the defendant on his second defendant TV station on September 10, 2020 in Twi, is translated to mean “I am a thief”.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah indicated that he has a problem with the statement because stealing has a criminal connotation, which conviction has guided him to be a good citizen from his infancy.

He said the allegation was a criminal conduct and that no matter the circumstance, the defendants had no right to call him a thief at the expense of his hard earned global reputation.

At an earlier sitting on October 20, 2021 the plaintiff insisted before the court, presided over by His Lordship Justice George Krofa Addae, that the statement uttered by the defendant was defamatory and not a mere alleged defamatory statement, as claimed  by the defence counsel.

According to him, the issue is about defamation of his person, reputation and his hard earned honour in the sight of ordinary men and explained that the action” is about the day light robbery of his name, reputation  and honour.

Meanwhile, the defendant has, in a witness statement earlier submitted to the court, argued that his commentary was not directed at only the plaintiff and that his statement was based on the context of various publications which he has as well tendered as exhibits in his defence.


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