Barker-Vormawor goes to SC …wants National Security Minister to answer 17 questions

Private legal practitioner and human rights activist, Mr Oliver Mawusi Bark­er-Vormawor, has filed a motion at the Supreme Court (SC), seeking it to compel the Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, to answer 17 questions in the GH¢10,000,000 defamation case against him (Barker-Vormawor).

In 2021, Mr Dapaah sued Barker-Vormawor for defama­tion over allegations that he (Mr Dapaah) attempted to offer him $1 million bribe to stop his FixTheCountry Movement.

At the High Court, Mr Dapaah, the plaintiff, refused to answer 17 questions posed by Dr Justice Srem Sai, counsel for Barker-Vormawor, on grounds that they bothered on national security.

In an affidavit in support to the motion before the Supreme Court, Barker-Vormawor con­tends that, his request for the minister to admit to facts, if answered would reveal that the minister tried to dissuade him from continuing with his civic activism.

He said “the plaintiff was directed by the government to, on its behalf, dissuade or prevent me from continuing with my civic activism with the FixTheCountry Movement.”

Mr Barker-Vormawor said that the government, through the plaintiff, did, with pecuniary and other offers, attempted to procure him to abandon his civic activism with the FixTheCountry Move­ment.

The applicant states that the plaintiff did cause, conspire to cause or was complicit in causing “my arrest, detention, torture, threats of harm and death, abuse, harassment, and, also, complicit in the prosecutions, which I have been going through since Febru­ary 2021.”

Mr Barker-Vormawor said that the government’s decision to declare him a national security threat, and cause his surveillance, arrest, detention, torture, inhu­mane treatments, and trial on charges of treason and traffic of­fences was actuated by his refusal to abandon his civil activism with the FixTheCountry Movement.

Mr Kan-Dapaah contends that the remarks uttered by Mr Bark­er-Vormawor, claiming that he (minister) offered him US$1 mil­lion and a government appoint­ment to cease his activism, lack any supporting evidence and are intended to diminish him in the minds of right thinking members of society.

The minister, is therefore requesting the court to compel Barker-Vormawor to issue an apology and retract the defam­atory statements, along with a “permanent injunction restrain­ing the defendant from making similar or other statements against the plaintiff.”

Additionally, the minister is seeking to recover a total of GH¢10,000,000 in general dam­ages, including aggravated and/or exemplary damages for defama­tion, as a result of the statements made by Mr Barker-Vormawor.

Mr Barker-Vormawor, in an interview with the media, during a demonstration, claimed that government officials, including Mr Kan-Dapaah, Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, and a Brigadier General, offered him and his group US$1 million at a secure location to halt their activism.

This assertion was refuted by the Ministry of National Security.

Following the denial, Mr Barker-Vormawor insisted on the existence of a recorded conversa­tion with the Minister for Nation­al Security from a secret meeting that took place even before the first FixTheCountry protest in 2021.

He claimed, contrary to earlier assertions that it was at this meet­ing that the money was allegedly offered.


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