Bernard Antwi Boasiako, aka ‘Wontumi,’ the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who went out calling President John Mahama and his junior brother, Ibrahim Mahama thieves, who were stealing the country’s money and flying same to South Africa on a private jet, has literally gone into hiding in Otumfuo’s Kente clothe.
The ex-UK-based security man who made a fortune from small scale mining popularly called “Galamsey,” has on the second occasion not shown up in court, saying as far as he is aware, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has used his influence to end the legal feud between him and Ibrahim, during last Sunday’s Akwasidae festival.
The Asantehene, at the Manhyia Palace in the Ashanti Region, engineered a handshake between Ibrahim and Wontumi, and counselled the two men to end the staggering GH¢5 million defamation case Ibrahim file against Wontumi in a Kumasi High Court.
But although, the business mogul, Ibrahim Mahama, was ready to withdraw the case on the advice of the respected traditional ruler, ‘Wontumi’, appears unwilling to organise a press conference and publicly apologize to the owner of Engineers and Planner (E&P); a mining construction and civil engineering company for calling him a thief.
Wontumi, is of the view that a mere handshake at the Akwasidae festival had settled the impasse between him and Ibrahim, who feels winning the GH¢5 million defamation case, could restore his dented image, which he strongly believe was soiled at an NPP mammoth rally in Obuasi, also in the Ashanti Region.
Indeed, at yesterday hearing, though Ibrahim had flown his private jet together with his family and friends from Accra to Kumasi, Wontumi and his lawyers including, Egbert Faibille Jr. were again not in court.
A Kumasi-based lawyer by name Atta Adjei, represented Mr. Egbert Faibille Jr., while Charles Zwenes, acted as lawyer for Ibrahim Mahama.
Another shocking thing was that the judge sitting on the case, Justice Azumah, for the second time running was also absent from the Kumasi High Court 7. Consequently, the case was adjoined to January 14, 2015 by the registrar of the court, who had announced that the judge was indisposed.
The judge on the first hearing about two weeks ago, have had to rush to the courtroom to hurriedly adjourn the case after several hours of delay.
Meanwhile, media reports suggest that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, after the court case, called both Ibrahim and Wontumi to his Manhyia Palace, to further mediate in the matter has turned out to be untrue. Palace sources told The Herald that “Ibrahim only came to greet Nana Otumfuo and Wontumi wasn’t present”.
Ahead of the botched court hearing yesterday, the Accra-based Daily Guide, quoted the two gentlemen from separate interviews they granted the paper.
According to the Daily Guide newspaper, Ibrahim Mahama in the interview said that the Asantehene told Wontumi that he (Wontumi) had erred by defaming him (Ibrahim) and President Mahama in public, so he (Wontumi) should apologize to him (Ibrahim) and the president on the same platform he defamed them.
According to him, Otumfuo then said that “I should retract the defamation case from court after Wontumi had duly apologized to me and the president for the populace to hear.”
The newspaper quoted Ibrahim Mahama as saying, he has utmost respect for the occupant of the Golden Stool so he was willing and ready to withdraw the case from court as Otumfuo ordered, “after Wontumi had apologized to me and the president.”
He, however, stated that if Wontumi fails to apologize to him and the president as the Asantehene had ordered him to do, then, “I will have no other option than to proceed to court on Thursday and clear my name which he had dented,” the newspaper said.
On his part, Wontumi told the Daily Guide that as far as he was concerned, the Asantehene, during the Akwasidae, called him and Ibrahim and the king solved the impasse between them once and for all.
According to him, Otumfuo said he (Wontumi) and Ibrahim are brothers, therefore as the Asantehene, he had intervened to ensure lasting peace between them ,“so we should let sleeping dogs lie by stopping the court case which is creating unnecessary tension,” the paper said.
Wontumi, stated that the Asantehene ordered him to henceforth desist from verbally attacking Ibrahim and the president in the media in order to sustain the peace that he (Otumfuo) had brokered between them.
He said, Otumfuo then ordered him and Ibrahim to shake hands before the attendants of the Akwasidae festival, which “we both did without hesitation, signifying that Otumfuo had settled the matter.”
The NPP regional chairman stated that he respects the Asantehene, therefore he had accepted his order “and I have decided to abide by whatever Otumfuo told me to do henceforth.”
Wontumi, added, however, that Otumfuo, whilst settling the case, did not say anything about any apology from him.
The huge gathering at the Festival included, President Mahama, ex-President Kufuor and Nana Akufo- Addo, Kwadwo Mpiani, Akwasi Adjei , Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor and many others.