National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for North Tongue, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, is said to be dodging court’s bailiffs seeking to serve him with the writ of summons and statement of claim in a defamation suit over the Oslo Chancery saga.
As a result after several failed efforts, the High Court on Monday, December 16, 2019, gave order for the writ of summons and statement of claim to be served on Mr. Ablakwa by substitution.
By the order, the MP who is on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, will be deemed to have been served with the processes.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, this year sued General Media Strategies Inc, the publisher of Africawatch Magazine for defamation.
The suit was filed after Steve Mallory, the Editor of the magazine, published an article about the purchase of a foreign mission for Ghana in Oslo, Norway.
In the article, the magazine which operates more like a propaganda piece for the NDC, alleged that the minister conspired with others to steal Ghana.
The article, published in June 2019, was captioned, 'Ghana Exclusive: the Inside Story of the Oslo Scandal Conspiracy to Steal, Ayorkor Botchwey's lies exposed, Nana Akufo Addo's defence falls flat.'
The magazine in the said article claimed that it’s editor travelled to Oslo to investigate the abortive attempt by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to buy two properties for Ghana's newly opened embassy at a whopping $16.5 million.
However, the Foreign Minister and extension the President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Government denied the claims.
In a writ filed by her counsel, Gary Nimako Mafo, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey stated that the publication was defamatory as the author had failed to establish evidence of criminality against her.
According to her, the defamatory magazine publication authored by Mr Mallory had generated several comments and media attention in Ghana and abroad ostensibly intended to tarnish her image.
It is the case of the Minister that a reading of the entire article does not show how “I have conspired to steal from the state amount to imputation of crime and same is defamatory.”
Mr. Ablakwa was attached to the suit after he spoke about the mission on the floor of Parliament and in the mainstream media.
BY Melvin Tarlue