A motion from the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, for a GH¢10 million default judgment against Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor over an alleged bribery claim has been dismissed by the High Court.
Kan Dapaah had on September 26, 2023, filed a defamation suit against Barker-Vormawor and claims against the defendant among other things a “Recovery of the sum of GH¢10 million as General Damages including Aggravated costs.”
This was after Barker-Vormawor had alleged that the Minister, together with Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance, and a Brigadier General had offered him and some leaders of #FixTheCountry Movement $1 million to stop their activism.
Dissatisfied with the alleged claims from Barker-Vormawor, Mr. Kan Dapaah filed a defamation claim against Barker-Vormawor.
Since the suit was filed, the Minister contended that the defendant had failed to file a defence.
As a result, he, on November 20, 2023, filed a motion for a default judgment and claimed that, although the defendant (Barker-Vormawor) entered Conditional Appearance on October 2, the Defendant has failed and/or refused to file a Defence.
He believed that the defendant had no defence to the plaintiff’s claims and prayed for judgment in Default of Defence against the defendant as endorsed in the Writ of Summons.
In Court on November 29, when the case was called for the motion for judgment in default, Justice Joseph Adu-Agyemang, said the Minister cannot seek a default judgment in a declaratory relief.
The Court said the rules of the High Court do not lend support to the grant of a declaratory relief as per the case of the Applicant.
Justice Dr Srem-Sai, Counsel for the Defendant (Barker-Vormawor) said, they were served with the motion for default judgment last Friday but he only got it on Wednesday.
He argued that the minister and his counsel cannot seek a default judgment in a declaratory relief.
Dr. Srem Sai said his team has since filed a notice for preliminary objection to the motion for default judgment.
He also said, they have a defence to the minister’s claims and were ready to have it filed when asked by the Court.
But, while Counsel for the Plaintiff, (Kan Dapaah), Bright Okyere-Adjekum, sought to move his application for default judgment, the Court said that their sins were against the rules of the High Court.
Justice Adu-Agyemang, subsequently, directed lawyers of Barker-Vormawor to file the defence to the defamation suit in two weeks
The case has been adjourned to December 14, 2023.
Kan Dapaah is seeking the following reliefs;
The defendant had absolutely no basis whatsoever for his defamatory statements.
The defendant was absolutely reckless in his defamatory statements as he showed no scintilla of evidence to support the defamatory statements.
The plaintiff has never had any other meeting with the defendant beyond the aforementioned second meeting whether alone or in concert with others.
Even though Plaintiff has made it clear to Defendant that the statements are false, the defendant has not offered the plaintiff any apology or retraction. It is to be inferred that Defendant has failed to do so because he is indifferent to the truth and is simply reckless and malicious.