Spio-Garbrah crossed-examined in defamation case against ‘Wontumi’

The former Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has told the Kumasi High Court that he does not use politics to destroy the hard earned reputation of others.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said this when was cross-examined in the case in which he is demanding $10million in damages for defamation against Bernard Antwi Bosiako, also known as Wontumi, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The plaintiff sued Mr Bosiako and joined Wontumi Multimedia Company as second defendant for allegedly calling him ((Dr Spio-Garbrah) a thief on his Wontumi TV and radio station.

The defendant had stated in his response to the suit that his pronouncement was not actuated by malice and that he was only interpreting the statement made by former Lands Minister, Inusah Fuseini.

Mr Bosiako was quoted in the suit as saying, “All that Inusah Fuseini is saying is that even him, Inusah Fuseini is a thief. If you mention Spio-Garbrah’s name, he is a thief, Sylvester Mensah is a thief, Johsua Alabi is a thief, all their Presidential candidates are thieves, so if John Mahama is a thief, then let us allow him to continue stealing.”

However, during cross-examination of the plaintiff, counsel for the defendant, Dennis Osei Antwi centred his questions on Dr Spio-Garbrah’s political career.

But the witness insisted that the description of him being a politician was not entirely accurate because he had worked and held different positions at international organisations and institutions.

He argued that defendant had tarnished his hard earned reputation.

Below are excerpts from the cross-examination.

Counsel: I know you as an astute politician.

Witness: That is your opinion.

Counsel: The opinion I have formed about you is that you are a politician.

Witness: I am 6-years old and during my working life of some 45 years I have spent 15 years of what maybe called politics. To this question which is an attempt to define who I am it would be inaccurate if I defined myself as a politician. My Lord, because in my answer to my occupation as I have addressed this court, I did not add politics. If the court would remember I referred to Africa Business Communication which as a commercial consultancy and also I referred to the Eco Capacity Exchange which is in the United Kingdom which I indicated was involved in trade and investment and finance.

Counsel: In all this long winding answer, your statement that it would be inaccurate to describe you as politician is a false statement.

Witness: I cannot accept only one word to describe who I am.

Counsel: From your own witness statement at paragraph 11, you have admitted that “I contested the 2019 presidential primaries of the National Democratic Congress hence the first defendant was referring to me as a thief.” It would not be true to deny the fact that in one of your many parts as you have just described to this court is an element of being a politician as well.

Witness: I believe I have not made the claim that I have never been involved in politics. In fact, I agree that I have ever been involved in politics. But I am also bringing to the court’s attention that politics is not the only thing that I have involved myself in that is why the records of the court would show that when I was asked the first question I said it would be inaccurate to describe me as only a politician.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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