Cassiel Ato Forson
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam constituency in the Central Region, Cassiel Ato Forson, has vowed not to apologize to Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu.
Mr. Amidu had demanded an unqualified apology from the MP and the Minority member on Parliament’s Select Committee on Finance over alleged defamatory remarks he made which triggered widespread publications in the media.
Mr. Amidu in a statement last week, insisted the MP defamed him when he said that sums of money paid to or extended in favour of Martin A.B.K. Amidu by Government of Ghana pursuant to the terms of settlement and the consent judgment and order(s) by the High Court in Suit No: AP 159/2013 between Martin A.B.K. Amidu vrs the Attorney-General were judgment debts dubiously paid to the Special Prosecutor by the Government of Ghana.
According to Mr. Amidu in the statement demanding apology from the MP, “the Minister of Finance in answering those questions did not mention the names of the institution or individual persons to whom the alleged judgment debts were owed or paid,” and said the MP deliberately targeted him to make him look bad in the eyes of the public.
He then warned “should I not hear from you within the next seven days, I will be compelled to advise myself as to the proper action to take to vindicate my hard-won reputation which you have intentionally, maliciously and gravely injured and brought into disrepute.”
However, lawyers for Mr. Ato Forson have fired back saying that Mr. Amidu’s threat represent a threat on his (Forson’s) freedom of speech and said the NDC MP would not offer any unqualified apology.
The response letter signed by Godwin Kudzo Tameklo, lawyer for Mr. Ato Forson, pointed out that “the words uttered and published by our client, and irrespective of whatever spin is placed on the words; it is obvious our client never defamed you. In consequence, your claim that our client defamed you and therefore must render an unqualified apology to you is not borne out of the statement made by him.”
The letter observed that ” we wish to serve notice that our client is not only a Member of Parliament but he is the ranking Member on the Finance Committee and that he made the aforementioned statement to the Parliamentary Press Corp as part of his role in scrutinizing government finances.”
It said “on the basis of the above, we have advised our client against rendering the unqualified apology on the basis solely of defamation or at all.”
BY Melvin Tarlue