There was hushed silence at an Accra Fast Track High Court, presided over by His Lordship, Justice Victor Ofoe last week when the Private Secretary to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, dropped a 'bombshell'.
Andoh, giving evidence for the defendants in the on-going defamation suit between the Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei Bonso II and Messrs Akwasi Mensah, Ben Ephson and Allied News Limited told the Court, “my Lord, the Otumfuo told me he invited the Mamponghene in the presence of the late Essumejahene and asked him about this petition.”
The petition the Otumfuo's Secretary referred to was to the Asantehene and had alleged gross injustice and fraud on the part of the Mamponghene for receiving $30,000 (then ¢264 million) from one Mrs. Rosina Mensah, in exchange for making her the queenmother of Mampong, which the Daasebre failed to do. The Mamponghene had sued for defamation over a story, based on the petition, published in the April 9, 2003 issue of the Daily Dispatch.
Mr Andoh, who was giving evidence under a court subpoena, was led in evidence by the defendant's solicitor, Mr Kweku Paintsil, further told the Court that he has occupied that position for about two decades. Under cross-examination by the counsel for the plaintiff, Mr Andoh explained that although he was not present at the said meeting between the Asantehene and Manponghene and the late Essumejahene, he believed what he heard from the Asantehene that the Mamponghene had been informed about the petition against him (Mamponghene), alleging fraud.
The Court adjourned to April 28, to enable the Forensic Laboratory of the Ghana Police Service to finish a report on three different documents all bearing the alleged signatures of the Mamponghene.
In course of Mr Paintsil's cross-examination of the Mamponghene of January 26, the issue of signatures cropped up. The Mamponghene had stated that the signature on the agreement allegedly acknowledging the receipt of the $30,000 was forged.