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19.02.2009 NPP News

Fallout from GH¢32,000 defamatory suitBENCH WARRANT FOR EX-NPP MPFreeze on ex-gratia awards on the cards

By Bismark Bebli - Ghanaian Chronicle
Fallout from GH¢32,000 defamatory suitBENCH WARRANT FOR EX-NPP MPFreeze on ex-gratia awards on the cards

A Sunyani High Court presided over by Justice Godwin Darbour has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Tain in Brong-Ahafdo region, Mr. Joe Danquah for failing to appear in Court to answer contempt charge that has been brought against him by one Mr. Num Kofi Dwommoh, the finance and administration chairman of the Wenchi Municipal Assembly.

The plaintiff, through the court has also written a letter to the Accountant of parliament, asking him to deduct GH¢32,000 being damage awarded against the defendant in the defamatory suit which he has failed to settle from his ex gratia award.

Mr. Dwomoh filed defamation suit at the court against the former MP for defaming him that he had stolen 50 bags of cement, meant for his community.

Among the reliefs sought were general damages against the plaintiff, retraction and apology of the allegation which was carried by the media and the retraining order to stop the defendant, from making further defamatory statements against him.

During the trial of the case, the defendant could not prove the allegation he made against the plaintiff. The court, therefore, ruled in favour of the plaintiff and awarded GH¢32,000 cost against the defendant.

Other reliefs sought are- retraction, apology and restriction from further publication of the defamatory matter were also granted by the court. Unfortunately, the defendant could not meet the demands as contained in the judgement, compelling the plaintiff to cite Mr. Joe Danquah for contempt.

Though the defendant was served with the writ, he never appeared in court.

This forced the judge to issue the bench warrant for his arrest. The Registrar of the Sunyani High Court, Mr. Paul Kusi confirmed that the court had issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the ex MP, which this reporter contacted him about on phone yesterday.

The plaintiff, Mr. Kofi Dwomoh also confirmed the story when this reporter contacted him on phone at Wenchi.

He also confirmed that he had through the court written a letter to the accountant of parliament to deduct the GH¢32, 000 damage awarded against the defendant from his ex gratia award.

Efforts to reach the former MP, Hon. Joe Danquah at press time proved futile as his phone was switched off.

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