The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, is said to be dodging bailiffs from an Accra High Court which is seeking to serve him with a writ of summons and statement of claim in a defamation case.
The case involves the Oslo Chancery saga in which Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey is complaining that the NDC MP defamed her in the course of government’s attempt to find a place in Norway as Ghana’s mission.
As a result, after several failed efforts, the High Court on Monday gave an 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.
Background To Suit
This year, Madam Botchwey 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.
Mr. Ablakwa is being sued alongside the magazine and its editor because the plaintiff is claiming that he spoke about the mission on the Floor of Parliament and in the mainstream media.
In the said article, the magazine alleged that the minister conspired with others to steal from the people of Ghana.
The article published in June 2019 was headlined, “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 its 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 by extension the Akufo-Addo government denied the claims.
Madam Botchwey through her counsel, Gary Nimako Marfo, stated that the publication was defamatory as the magazine 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.
BY Melvin Tarlue