For recent remarks that the minister was a direct beneficiary of newly released bailout cash from a worldwide lender, Ken Ofori-Atta, the minister of finance, has filed a lawsuit against Captain Smart, the host of a radio and television show.
The minister’s attorney claims that Captain Smart’s remarks on his Onua Maakye program late last month were defamatory in a High Court writ dated Friday, June 2, 2023 and seen by Ghent Multimedia.
He is asking for GH10 million in compensation.
The court papers noted that on 22 May 2023, in the course of Captain Smart’s programme, the defendant used the following defamatory claims: “Are you aware that Ken Ofori Atta has taken his 10% of the IMF money? Every loan we take, he takes 10%.”
“The above statements are not only palpably false [and] 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 statement of case filed by Ofori-Atta’s lawyer read.
“The said words, set out in their natural and ordinary meaning, meant and were understood to mean, inter alia, that the plaintiff is corrupt, that the plaintiff has diverted public funds and that the plaintiff has abused his office.
“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,” the statement of case further read.
“A declaration that the words uttered by the defendant, Are you aware that Ken Ofori Atta has taken his 10% of the IMF money?” is what Ken Ofori-Atta is requesting. Every loan we make, Ken Ofori-Atta (Ofori-Atta) takes 10%, which is defamatory to the plaintiff.
Recovering “the sum of ten million Ghana cedis (GHC10,000,000) as general damages, including aggravated and/or exemplary damages for defamation, for the libel uttered by defendant” is the second request.
Third, Ofori-Atta wants “an apology for and retraction of the words complained of and particularised.”
Fourth, a “perpetual injunction prohibiting the defendant from repeatedly using similar or other defamatory words against the plaintiff, whether by himself, his servants, agents, or assigns.”
The court should be penalized with expenses for Captain Smart, is the final request.