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Opinions of Thursday, 3 December 2015

Columnist: Akuoko, Edward Kwasi

I Am Not A Coward-Chairman Wontumi To Ibrahim.

It has come to our notice that, some journalists have published a story captioned “Judge issues Warning Ibrahim, Wontumi Case” in the Daily Guide and subsequently on the Ghanaweb online news portal among other networks. Quite unfortunately the story, published on 2nd November 2015 is full of errors and factual inaccuracies which do not reflect the true proceedings in court. No wonder it had no bar line indicating the specific name of the said reporter.
The story reports that “the presiding judge issued a stern caution in response to a concern raised by Charles Zwennes, counsel for Mr. Ibrahim, who complained that Egbert Faibille, lawyer for Wontumi, who is the defendant in the case, had adopted a strategy to delay the determination of the case in court”
The story further stated that “Ibrahim Mahama, who has constantly travelled from Accra to Kumasi since the beginning of the case, was once again present in court on Monday with his lawyer”
The publication also quoted Ibrahim’s lawyer Zwennes as having openly lamented in court that he and his client (Ibrahim) have journeyed from Accra to Kumasi on 15 occasions since the case started, adding, “But strangely the defendant had always been absent in court and this to me is a disregard and disrespect to the court.”
After reading the story I, the undersigned who personally represented Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Alias Chairman Wontumi) in court on the said date finds the report and assertion by the writer and the lawyer respectively as not only baseless and unprofessional but full of lies and propaganda quite unbefitting of a journalist and a lawyer
I (who was present in court 7) therefore wish to react to same and straighten the records as follows: That
• At exactly 9:00am on Monday 2nd December 2015, myself, representing the defendant- Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi) and his counsel Egbert Faibille were both present in court 7 of the Kumasi high court to continue the trial, and this can be verified from the court’s record by any interested party including journalists.

• After more than an hour of waiting, the presiding judge called the case and I and Mr. Faibille responded present as representative of Chairman Wontumi and Counsel respectively, while Mr. Ibrahim Mahama and his counsel Charles Zwennes were both absent.

• At this juncture, another counsel (whose identity I could not readily tell) suspected to be based in Kumasi stood up and announced himself as holding brief for Ibrahim’s lawyer Zwennes. He further explained that Ibrahim Mahama could not be present at the time for a reason he could not readily inform the court.

• After almost 20 minutes of exchanges between the two lawyers under the judges watch, a date of 14th January 2017 was proposed as the next adjourned date for continuation of the matter

• I wish to re iterate once again that, in all these happenings, neither Ibrahim Mahama nor his substantive lawyer Zwennes was anywhere present in the court premises, except the Kumasi based lawyer who was holding brief.

• At exactly 10: 45 after the announcement of the adjourn date, we left the court premises.

This is the true reflection of proceedings at the court that day (as may have been captured in the court records as well) and I dare anybody to dispute these facts.
I therefore find the report as not only untrue but unprofessional and skewed to satisfy the whims and caprices’ of the plaintiff (Ibrahim Mahama) and to portray his lawyer (Zwennes) whom from all indication appeared late in court late (after we had left) as having been punctual; absolute falsehood!
It is therefore clear that Mr. Zwennes was only embarking on a face facing move with all the commentary he’s purported to have made at the court premises in order to save his job.
I take this opportunity to say that Mr. Antwi Boasiako although Mr. Antwi Boasiako has never been in court, he has ALWAYS been represented and this Mr. Zwennes should know is an acceptable practice in law and should therefore not use this as any basis of complaint.
I however wish to state unequivocally and without any shred of ambiguity that Chairman Wontumi is not a “coward” and that he is very ready to contest this matter no matter how long it takes. Let anyone therefore including Mr. Ibrahim Mahama and his lawyers not harbor any erroneous impression that Chairman Wontumi or his lawyer Mr. Egbert Faibille is playing any tricks with this matter. They should therefore revise their notes and rather exhibit punctuality and discipline in time management as plaintiffs during court days to enable the wheels of justice to grind to its perfect destination.
Signed
Edward Kwasi Akuoko
(Aide: Bernard Antwi Boasiako)
024-4660102