By Gifty Arthur
The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, is limping around the case brought against him by businessman, Ibrahim Mahama, whom he had called a thief.
Last Monday, a Kumasi High court, hearing the case in the Ashanti Region, fined the NPP chief GHC1,000, for changing his defense in the defamation case filed against him by the younger brother of the president, John Mahama.
Mr. Boasiako (aka Chairman Wontumi), a very loud politician in the Ashanti Region; the stronghold of the largest opposition group, has changed his defense from not calling both President Mahama and Ibrahim Mahama thieves, at a political rally in Obuasi, to being justified in calling them thieves.
Lawyer for Mr. Boasiako, Egbert Faibille Jnr., made the disclosure when he represented his client in court, on Monday. The NPP chief was not in court.
He was fined, GH1000, 000 for wasting the court’s time after holding on to his earlier position, only changing it when the case was about to start.
According to information, Mr. Mahama, owner of Engineers and Planners (E&P), was present in the court in Kumasi with his lawyer Charles Zwenes.
Mr. Zwenes, a very astute lawyer, has been tasked by Ibrahim Mahama, to also do the necessary amendment to the files as a result of the changes brought before the court by Mr. Faibille on behalf of Wontumi, a small scale gold miner.
The two men, appear ready to fight despite counsel from the ruler of the Ashanti, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to take the necessary steps to end the litigation.
Last year, the overlord during the Akwasidae Festival at the Manhyia Palace engineered a handshake between Ibrahim and Wontumi, and counseled them to bring finality to the staggering GH5million defamation case.
Ibrahim Mahama following Otumfuo’s wise counsel insisted on a public apology from the NPP chairman by way of a press conference to apologize over his defamatory statement.
Though Mr. Mahama was willing to withdraw the case because of the good counsel by the revered ruler, Mr. Wontumi, the 37 year old regional chairman remained adamant to a public apology, and the two are back in the courtroom.
The case resumes in two weeks, where a date is expected to be fixed for hearing to commence.