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How Akufo-brother Addo's was questioned in court about the use of the presidential jet.
When President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-brother Addo's appeared before the Accra High Court in a defamation case against Class Media Group, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson, and others, Lawyer Victor Adawudu drilled him under cross-examination.
Mensah Thompson, the Executive Director of ASEPA, was represented by lawyer Adawudu.
Thompson is accused of falsely claiming on Accra-based Class FM that Mr. Akufo-Addo used the presidential jet for personal business.
In response to some of the questions, Edward Akufo-Addo confirmed using the presidential jet "two or three times" only in the presence of the president.
Bumpty, as he is affectionately known, had previously stated in his suit that the accused's claim was "utterly false and a product of the defendant's imagination," and he sought, among other things, that the court order Thompson to pay $10 million in damages.
On October 31, the president's brother filed his case, informing the court of his decision to rely on his six-page witness statement.
A portion of the transcript of what happened in court between Lawyer Victor Adawudu and Edward Akufo-Addo is as follows:
Have you ever flown on the Presidential Jet?
Answer: My Lord, yes. twice or three times with the President and once with the First Lady
Question: Can you tell this court where you went with the President on the Presidential Jet?
Answer: I believe to Kumasi and with the First Lady on her way back from Kumasi.
Is it correct that the two consecutive flights you took with the President were from Accra to Kumasi and back?
Answer: To the best of my knowledge, yes.
The President's brother explained that he boarded the plane because the President had asked him to.
Question: Did you board the Presidential Jet with your brother, His Excellency, and in what capacity did you do so?
He requested that I accompany him.
Question: In other words, you did not go with him as a public official. Not so?
Answer:That is so, I am not a public official.
Question: And the privilege extended to you by the President was because you are his family. Not so?
Answer: That is so. I am his brother.”
He was then questioned on how much he paid each time he boarded the Jet. Mr Akufo-Addo replied that he did not pay anything.
Answer: I didn’t pay anything. The President did not ask me to pay.
Question:: Putting it to you that the courtesies that you enjoyed without paying were borne by government machinery from public funds.
Answer: I am sure the flight was paid for from public funds, I do not think my joining the flight incurred any additional costs. My brother was going there in any event”, he answered.
The ASEPA Executive Director alleged on the media outlet that Edward Akufo-Addo had used the presidential jet for a private trip to Abuja.
The plaintiff subsequently dragged Thompson and Class Media to court for defamation demanding GH¢10 million as damages.
In his suit, he described the claims as “utterly false and a product of the defendant’s imagination.”
It is not the only time Thompson has made such allegations; he is on record to have claimed that relatives of the president used the jet for a shopping trip to the United Kingdom.
He was arrested for the publication of fake news after the military denied that the jet had been used for the said trip. He later apologized for the claim stating that his source had misled him.
Other reliefs sought include:
Aside from the GHc10 million cedis in damages, Edward is asking the court for the following reliefs:
"An apology and retraction of the words complained of, especially in paragraph 9 of the Statement of Claim, with the same prominence as the contested publication."
And a perpetual injunction prohibiting the defendants from repeating the same or similar words of and about the plaintiff, whether by themselves, their servants, agents, or assigns.
Finally, he is requesting costs, including legal fees.
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