President Akufo-Addo’s brother, Edward Akufo-Addo, businessman and Managing Director of Amaadi Cold Stores Limited, who is a biological brother to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has sued Radio host of Accra FM, Kwabena Bobbie Ansah, the Class Media Group, and two others for defamation.
The defendants are said to have claimed that the plaintiff has been using Ghana’s presidential jet, also known as ‘The Falcon’.
The 1st Defendant is Class Media Group, followed by Kwabena Bobbie Ansah.
The 3rd defendant, who allegedly made the allegation, “touts himself as the Executive Director of a group called the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), whereas the fourth defendant also touts himself as the Executive Director of a group called the Good Governance and Advocacy Group Ghana.”
“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 “theFalcon”, the statement of claim cited by Citi News said.
Mr. Edward Akufo-Addo, popularly referred to as Bompty, is therefore demanding GHS 10 million in damages, an apology, and an order restraining the defendants from further denigrating him.
According to the plaintiff, the said defamatory statements were made on ‘The Citizen Show’ on Accra FM on May 29, 2021.
The program also aired on Accra FM’s Facebook page, Sunyani and Taadi FM, all of which are owned by the 1st defendant, Class Media Group.
The plaintiff captures as follows, the verbatim reproduction of the impugned parts of the statements made by the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Defendants using 1st Defendant’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 travelling with the rented one, his sibling Bompty is the one who now uses the presidential jet.
Bobbie: 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.
Bobbie: 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.
Bobbie: 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 afterwards, you say you don’t have a need for it. You are spending the country’s money to charter flights travelling 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.
Statement of claim
According to the plaintiff, the claims also suggest that at the expense of the state and the Ghanaian taxpayer, he uses the Presidential Jet for his personal business unrelated to the official state duties.
He says the claims also give the impression that, the plaintiff travelled on the Presidential Jet to Abuja for his personal business, while the President of Ghana was in France on official duty, and that he used and treated it as if the same were his family property, and that his 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.”
He further noted that although he is the brother of the President, “he holds no public office and has never had personal use of the Presidential Jet (the Falcon).”
He also pointed out that, “even though members of his family played paramount roles in public service in Ghana, he has throughout his life endeavoured to the private life devoid of public eyes, and has succeeded until the impugned publication by the Defendants.”
The writ filed by Messrs Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & co., said “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. Plaintiff has been brought into public odium and contempt. 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.”
It noted 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.”
It further said that “In seeking aggravated damage, the Plaintiff shall contend and so prove that the Defendants in publishing or causing to be published the statements complained of, were actuated by malice, in that they knew the words complained of to be utterly false, yet, 1st and 2nd Defendants looked on as 3rd and 4th Defendants make the statements without exacting any form of proof.”
Plaintiff says that 2nd Defendant particularly repeated the impugned publication on another radio station and could not defend same when probed by the host.
Plaintiff says that “unless otherwise restrained by this Honourable Court, Defendants will continue to publish similar and other defamatory statements about the Plaintiff”.
Plaintiff, therefore, claims against the defendants jointly and severally; Ten Million Ghana Cedis (GH¢10,000,0.00) damages for defamation contained in the publication by Defendants on 29/05/21 and more particularized in paragraph 9 of this Statement of Claim.
An apology and retraction of the words complained of particularly in paragraph 9 of the Statement of Claim with the same prominence as the impugned publication.
Perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, their servants, agents or assigns from repeating same or other similar words of and concerning Plaintiff and cost inclusive of legal fees.
Source: Citi News