Business News of Saturday, 1 April 2006
Accra, April 1, GNA - The Chief Director of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr. Ato Essuman has given a seven-day ultimatum to Bahmed Travel and Tours, agents of the ministry, to retract and apologise for allegedly defaming him or face legal action.
His solicitor, N. D. Ampofo Associates has also ordered the travel and tour company to instruct the Ghanaian Chronicle and the Ghanaian Times News Papers, which carried the GNA Sports story to "retract the said publications and render an unqualified apology for embarrassment caused Mr Essuman."
Bahmed on March 28, this year threatened to battle the Chief Director at the law court for allegedly unlawfully withholding the company's money.
A memo dated March 3 by the Chief Director ordered the Chief Accountant to pay three billion, five hundred and forty-nine million, two hundred and sixteen thousand cedis (3,549,216,000) into the ministry's account instead of the Travel and Tour company until a preliminary investigation into invoices and quotations for a 60-man contingent to the Commonwealth Games in Australia was complete. Mr. Essuman said in the Memo that the figures quoted by Bahmed were four times more than what other competitors had submitted.
A letter served on the travel and tour company by the Chief Director's lawyers said among other things that the publication "have not only embarrassed and cast a slur on my client but have greatly lowered him on the estimation of reasonable persons in the Republic of Ghana."
But the solicitor for the Chief Executive Officer of the travel and Tour Company, Alhaji Ahmed Bandoh, insists there would be no retraction and dared Mr Essuman to carry out his threat of going to court. The solicitor, Prince Frederick Nii-Ashie Neequaye of Azinyo Chambers said there was nothing defamatory about the publications, arguing that the issues raised were legitimate and factual.