Oliver Barker-Vormawor, Convenor of FixTheCountry Movement, would have to prove beyond reasonable doubt before an Accra High Court with definite evidence over claims that, the Minister for National Security, Minister for Finance, and a top Military General in 2021 offered him a bribe of $ 1 Million so he can bring an end to his continuous public criticisms of the Akufo-Addo administration.
In a writ of summons filed by Mr. Kan-Dapaah’s lawyers, the Minister for National Security is demanding an amount of Ten Million Ghana Cedis (GH¢10,000,000.00) as damages, an apology for and retraction of the words uttered by Mr. Barker-Vormawor.
In addition, lawyers for Mr. Kan Dapaah are asking for an injunction restraining Barker-Vormawor from repeating similar or other defamatory words against the personality of Mr. Kan-Dapaah, among others.
This comes after Barker-Vormawor last weekend during the Occupy Jubilee House protest alleged that, at a meeting between him and Albert Kan-Dapaah, he was offered $1 million by the Minister in an attempt to get him to stop his activism.
“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” he said during an interview with the media.
The Ministry of National Security in a statement however denied the allegations, described it as false and further dared the group leader to release evidence or be sued.
Part of the statement reads, “No offer of money or appointment was made to persuade the convenors of the Fix the Country Movement to end its ‘activism’.”
The Court Statement of Claim from Mr. Kan Dapaah’s lawyers reads:
- Plaintiff is a Ghanaian and inter alia a Chartered Accountant, former Member of Parliament for Afigya-Sekyere West and currently Minister of National Security of the Republic of Ghana.
- Defendant is a Lawyer and holds himself out as the lead convener of the ‘ Fix the Country Movement’ (hereinafter called “the Group”).
- As part of the discharge of his duties and in response to the continued agitations of the Group, Plaintiff in or about 2021 invited the conveners of the Group to a meeting at his Ministry to give them audience in the interest of peace and stability of the state.
- The meeting ended cordially and it was suggested that another meeting be convened where the Minister for Finance will be present to comment on some of the Economic and Financial issues raised by the Group. It bears emphasising that the Defendant was not present at this meeting.
- After this first meeting Plaintiff was approached by a high ranking Military Officer (“the Officer”) who proposed to Plaintiff that Defendant was his colleague lecturer at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and thus he could arrange for the attendance of the Defendant at the next meeting with the Group which was to be scheduled.
- Plaintiff accepted that proposal and the Officer immediately contacted the Defendant via a phone call to facilitate the scheduling of the second meeting between the Ministry and the Group. Plaintiff confirmed on the Officer’s phone to the Defendant his willingness to meet with him and the Group together with the Minister for Finance. Defendant in turn requested the Officer also to be in attendance at the meeting.
- A second meeting was accordingly conducted at the Ministry with the Plaintiff, the Minister of Finance and the Officer in attendance while the Defendant attended the meeting with some members of the Group.
- The second meeting, as the first meeting, was also cordial and frank and it was agreed that the Group would submit its concerns in writing for further engagements with Government.
- Plaintiff says emphatically that at both meetings no inducements of any sort were offered or threat of any sort made to the Defendant and/or any member of the Group as alleged or at all.
- On or about 22/09 / 2023 at a public demonstration Defendant stated emphatically that Plaintiff on behalf of the Government had with a view to compromising him and the Group offered them a bribe and assurances of positions in Government. Defendant stated words to the following effect.
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.
- On or about 23/09/2023 on News file, a program aired on Joy Fm, Defendant in a plot twist said that the alleged bribery attempt was made by the Plaintiff to the Defendant alone at a meeting between only the parties herein.
- Defendant has also alleged that because he rejected the alleged bribery attempt, Plaintiff threatened him.
- The above statements are not only palpably false, absolutely fabricated but were also deliberately calculated to disparage the Plaintiff. Those words are malicious and were clearly further intended to convey and would be understood to convey meanings that diminish the Plaintiff in the minds of right thinking members of society.
- The said words set out supra in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and were understood to mean inter alia ;
- That Plaintiff is corrupt,
- That Plaintiff undertakes the criminal acts of offering bribes and threats
- That Plaintiff abuses his office.
- Plaintiff says that beyond the brief telephone conversation on the phone of the Officer and the second meeting, Plaintiff has never had any other interaction with Defendant.
- By reason of the foregoing Plaintiff has been greatly injured in his credit, character and reputation, and has been brought into public scandal, ridicule, distress and embarrassment and has thereby suffered damage.
- Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s denial of Defendant’s vile defamatory statements, Defendant is persisting in this totally fabricated story to continue to tarnish Plaintiffs reputation.
- Plaintiff says that the defamatory words made against him by the Defendant are treacherous falsehoods.
- Plaintiff will rely on the following matters in support of a claim for aggravated and/or exemplary damages.