Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has filed a GHc 10 million defamation suit against Blessed Godsbrain Smart (A.K.A. Captain Smart), host and presenter of “Maakye with Captain Smart” on Onua TV and Onua FM, for defamatory claims he made against him about the recently approved International Monetary Fund (IMF) $3 billion dollars extended credit facility secured by the country for a period of 3 years.
In the writ filed by Bright Okyere Adjekum, lawyer for Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, at the High Court, yesterday 2 June 2023, and sighted by Asaase News, Mr Ofori-Atta’s lawyers states that on 22 May 2023, during the course of the said “Maakye with Captain Smart” programme, Defendant, Blessed Godsbrain Smart (A.K.A. Captain Smart) broadcast and published on Onua TV, Onua FM and via the internet the following words defamatory of the Plaintiff; “Are you aware that Ken Ofori Atta has taken his 10% of the IMF money”? “Every loan we take he takes 10%”.
“The above statements are not only palpably false, absolutely fabricated but were also deliberately calculated to disparage the Plaintiff. Those words are malicious and were clearly further intended to convey and would be understood to convey meanings that diminish the Plaintiff in the minds of right thinking members of society” the statement of case filed by Ken Ofori-Atta’s lawyers read.
“The said words set out supra in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and were understood to mean inter alia. That Plaintiff is corrupt, that Plaintiff has diverted public funds and that Plaintiff has abused his office. By reason of the foregoing Plaintiff has been greatly injured in his credit, character and reputation, and has been brought into public scandal, ridicule, distress and embarrassment and has thereby suffered damage” the statement of case further read.
Mr Ofori-Atta’s lawyer also indicated that by letter dated 29 May 2023, they wrote to Blessed Godsbrain Smart (A.K.A. Captain Smart), demanding an apology and retraction of the defamatory statements but the Defendant failed and/ or refused to do so.
To this end, the Plaintiff is praying the court for five reliefs. first, Mr Ofori-Atta is praying for “a declaration that the words uttered by the Defendant “are you aware that Ken Ofori Atta has taken his 10% of the IMF money ? Every loan we take he (Ken Ofori-Atta) takes 10%” are Defamatory of the Plaintiff (Ken Ofori-Atta).
Second, “recovery of the sum of Ten Million Ghana Cedis (GHc I0,000,000.00) as general damages including aggravated and/or exemplary damages for defamation for the libel uttered by Defendant”.
Third, Mr Ofori-Atta, is demanding “an apology for and retraction of the words complained of and particularized and fourth, a “perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant whether by himself, his servants, agents or assigns from repeating similar or other defamatory words against the Plaintiff. The last prayer of Mr Ofori-Atta is for the court to award cost against Captain Smart.