August 2, 2011

Parliament has paid GH¢31,900 as damages in a defamation case against a former Member of Parliament.

An Appeal Court in Kumasi, ordered the Director of Parliament to pay the fine to Mr. Num Kofi Dwomoh, a retired commissioner of the then Internal Revenue Service.

A three-member panel of the court, presided by Justice Mariama Owusu, sitting on April 1, dismissed an appeal by the former Member of Parliament, Mr. Joe Danquah, against a Sunyani High Court’s ruling for the damages for defamation in May 2007.

Mr. Dwomoh, the retired Commissioner, confirmed to the Ghanaian Times newspaper that the payment of the judgment debt stressing, he received a cheque dated July 20, 2011, a day after the Times carried a publication of a petition to the Speaker of Parliament to intervene in the payment of the money following some delays.

Mr. Dwomoh, who was all joy speaking to the Times via telephone urged all and sundry to be careful of comments they make to avoid landing into trouble and thanked the Judicial Service for ensuring that justice prevailed.

The former MP for Tain was said to have called Mr. Dwomoh, a thief, accusing him of stealing and selling 50 bags of cement for the community to undertake electrification project, for his personal use. That resulted in a suit against Mr. Danquah at a Sunyani High Court.

When the case was brought before the Sunyani High Court, the defeated Tain Constituency MP was said to have declined to appear before neither it nor his counsel.

The Judge adjourned the case several times to provide enough room for Mr. Danquah to respect the court and make himself available, but he failed.

Initially, the suit involved the Brong-Ahafo Regional Editor of Daily Guide and the publishers, and after the court determined the case in Mr. Dwomoh’s favour, the accused persons were compelled to retract the story and apologise to the plaintiff which they courteously did.

Mr. Danquah, after judgment had been pronounced against him, then filed an appeal at the Appeal Court in Kumasi against the Sunyani High Court presided over by Justice Godwin Gabor, compelling him to pay the amount for defaming a former assembly member for Tanokrom, Mr. Dwomoh.

In her ruling, Mrs. Justice Owusu said the court was more than convinced by the decision of the High Court as it exhausted all the requirements of law before pronouncing judgment.

She said, as a former MP, he should have known better by respecting the court and strictly abiding by its rulings.

Source: The Ghanaian Times