Edward Akufo-Addo, a brother of the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has sued the head of ASEPA, pro-NDC think tank, Mensah Thompson and three others for defamation and damages of GHC10 million.
The others are talk show host of Accra FM, Kwabena Bobbie Ansah, the Class Media Group, and Listowell Nana Kusi-Poku, executive secretary of Good Governance Advocacy Ghana.
They were sued for alleging that the plaintiff has been using Ghana’s presidential jet, also known as ‘The Falcon’ for his personal gains.
“Plaintiff avers that in the course of the program, the 3rd and 4th Defendants, aided and encouraged by 2nd Defendant, published of and concerning false and malicious statements about Plaintiffs alleged use of the Ghana Presidential Jet, also known as “the Falcon”, the statement of claim said.
Akufo-Addo is also demanding an apology, and an order restraining the defendants from further denigrating him.
Paragraph nine of the Statement of Claim sums up the entire contention of Akufo-Addo. It states as follows; “the following are the verbatim reproduction of the impugned parts of the statements made by the 2nd, 3d and 4 Defendants using 1s Defendant’s radio station.
“Mensah: No, but we cannot continue to allow these people to take us to ransom. That presidential jet he has rejected, he says it cannot fly and all that, while he was traveling with the rented one, his sibling Bompty is the one who now uses the presidential jet.
Bobie: You don’t mean it.
Mensah: I am telling you, that’s a fact. Bompty uses the presidential jet, he uses it. The presidential jet is at the disposal of Bompty, your brother. It is the one he travels in wherever he goes.When you have wasted the resources of the country to rent the private jet then your brother would be cruising this one.
Bobie: Master, are you sure?
Mensah: It is the fact, I am telling you. I am saying this on authority that the presidential jet, the Falcon, is at the disposal of Bompty.
Listowe/1: Yes, his younger brother.
Mensah: That’s the one his younger brother is cruising in around. We don’t know what he is doing. It is the country fueling it (presidential Jet). Commander (referring to Bobie Ansah), all this information, it’s the embassies who give us this information because they track the flight radar of the Falcon. So when the presidential jet, having gone to hire a private jet, the Falcon would be in Abuja. Who was using the Falcon in Abuja? Bompty! What are we confronted within this town? You see, all these are there and Ghanaians we are not angry enough! This Falcon was bought by President Kufour, who used it.
Bobie: Kufour bought it at the tail end of his administration.
Mensah: When Mills came, he used it. Mahama came and also used it. You came just in 2018, you have spent monies to change the interior of the Falcon, wasted the country’s funds and afterward you say you don’t have a need for it. You are spending the country’s money to charter flights traveling around and have given the Falcon to your sibling as if it were family property. Is the Falcon a property of the family? Is the Falcon your family property to put it at the disposal of your brother?”
According to the plaintiff, “the words complained of, meant and were understood to mean that, even though he is not the President of Ghana, he has at his disposal and use, the Presidential Jet (theFalcon), by virtue of his relationship as a brother to the President of Ghana.
“Plaintiff, at the expense of the state and the Ghanaian taxpayer who bought and fuels the jet, uses the Presidential Jet for his personal business unrelated to the official state duties. Plaintiff travelled on the Presidential Jet to Abuja for his personal business while the President of Ghana was in France on official duty. Plaintiff uses and treats the Presidential Jet as if the same were his family property. Plaintiffs conduct is an affront to the Ghanaian public.”
Plaintiff says “the words complained of are utterly false and a product of the Defendant’s malicious imagination and were calculated solely to disparage him and bring his name into opprobrium.”
Akufo-Addo describes the exchanges above as completely untrue indicating that “the words complained of are utterly false and a product of the Defendants malicious imagination and were calculated solely to disparage him and bring his name into opprobrium”.
“Plaintiff says that save that the President of Ghana is his brother, he holds no public office and has never had personal use of the Presidential Jet (the Falcon). Plaintiff says in point of fact that, even though members of his family play paramount roles in public service in Ghana, he has throughout his life endeavoured to live a private life devoid of public eyes and has succeeded until the impugned publication by the Defendants”.
“By reason of the impugned publication, Plaintiff’s reputation and character has been severely damaged and he has suffered considerable embarrassment, emotional torment and distress. The Plaintiff has been brought into public odium and contempt,” the Statement of Claim said.
“Plaintiff says that the damage caused to his reputation is substantial as a result of his several years of education out of Ghana and extensive business dealings with partners outside Ghana. Plaintiff says that the impugned publication by Defendants has received huge circulation on social media platforms causing Plaintiff to receive several calls from concerned friends, business partners and family members in the country and abroad. Plaintiff says that unless otherwise restrained by this Honourable Court, Defendants will continue to publish similar and other defamatory statements about the Plaintiff,” Akufo-Addo’s Statement of Claim added.
Source: Daily Mail GH