Source: The Informer Ghana - One’s first source of attack, could always be from within his/her own camp. The import of the above wise-saying is what President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s nominee for the position of Tourism and Creative Arts [minister-designate], seems to be suffering from, in the hands of her detractors, believed to be members of the governing New Patriotic Party [NPP], since her announcement to the said post, pending the approval by Parliament.
Contrary to adversaries who sought to impugn ‘fraud’ on the Evalue-Gwira Member of Parliament [MP], records emanating from the court reveal otherwise.

In an ‘evil-smearing’ campaign targeted at the personality of Madam Catherine Afeku in the wake of her appointment, some faceless individuals hiding behind a group calling itself ‘Truth and Accountable Governance’ [TAG], has alleged that the nominee [Afeku] is a ‘fraudster’ and had appealed to Mr. Akufo-Addo to withdraw her nomination.

"Mrs. Afeku and her husband, Mr. Seth Afeku, were found guilty for defrauding an American couple on 19-10-2013 by an Accra High Court presided over by Her Ladyship Barbara Ackah-Yensu. The trial judge directed the MP for Evalue-Gwira Constituency and her husband to pay an amount of $217,464 plus 50 percent interest to the plaintiff, Patricia and Bill Gick", the group in their sinful agenda has alleged, with the intent and purpose to have her appointment reversed by President Akufo-Addo.

Blinded by its evil machination, the TAG, however, failed to bring to the attention of the general public, how the court ruling they are referring to, for which they saw it ‘Godly’ to conclude that the MP for Evalue-Gwira had engaged in fraud, had been set aside; on the basis that the case instituted against the nominee and the husband, were mere concoction, following the emergence of fresh evidence in the form of a video recording.

In fact, per available document in possession of The Informer, there were no findings of fraud or criminality against Madam Catherine Afeku and her husband – thus the defendants in the matter as TAG and other shadow actors spearheading that smear agenda would want Ghanaians and the world at large to believe.

Following the conspiracy occasioning a cause of action against Madam Catherine Afeku and the husband in the earlier judgment dated 30th November, 2007 given in Suit No. 245/06, an Accra High Court presided over by His Lordship Justice P. Bright Mensah on 5th March, 2014, upon the arguments put forward by the applicants’ lawyer, Godfred Yeboah Dame Esq. ruled to restrain the enforcement of the earlier judgment until the final determination of the instant action brought against the defendants – thus Patrick Gick, Bill Gick, David Thomas and Francis Kaku Nokoe.

As a result, the court in setting aside the judgment in Suit No.245/06 entitled; Madam Catherine Afeku and the husband as tainted by fraud and deceit practiced on the court; general damages for fraud; an order for recovery of all sums paid to the 1st and 2nd defendants by plaintiffs in satisfaction of the judgment debts, release of plaintiffs house No. LVC/73, Lower Axim from attachment; recovery of possession of 1st Plaintiff’s Nissan Navara Pick-up vehicle with registration No. GC 3300-09, punitive costs to mention, but few.

From the above, it is therefore tacit fact that Madam Catherine Afeku is, after all, not guilty of ‘fraud’ as her detractors are alleging until the final determination of the matter [civil suit].

So, for a group like TAG to say that the nominee is not fit to be appointed minister, is not coherent with the provision of Article 94 Clause [2] of the 1992 Republican Constitution of Ghana, which clearly spells out how a person may be debarred from holding public office.

Background

In 2016, the Gick family [Patrick, Bill] went to court claiming that, Catherine Afeku and her husband, had defrauded them in a business venture they both funded.

Patrick and Bill [both America citizens], argued that since they were partners in the business [inter Café’] set in Ghana, they were eligible to a percentage of the proceeds that had accrued from the business.

The position of the Americans were contested, however, strongly by Catherine and the husband on the basis that, the proceeds from the business, were used to cater for their son, David Thomas, who was in their [Afekus] care after an agreement reached by the two parties.

The court, presided over by Her Lordship, Barbara Ackah-Yensu, after listening to argument and counter-arguments from both sides, ruled against the nominee[Catherine] and the husband, and ordered them to pay the US couple US$217,464 with interest.

The recent ruling of the Court as secured by Godfred Yeboah Dame, counsel for the Afekus, undercut the victory earlier chalked by the American couple against the nominee and the husband; and that will mean that it will take damages to restore the hard-won reputation of the Evalue-Gwira MP, following the application filed by her counsel, who is currently waiting to appear before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting.

Legal Arguments

Arguing the motion, the learned Counsel for the Applicants [Afekus] recounted the facts in Suit No. 245/06 and the events leading to the institution of the present suit. Relying heavily on the averments contained in the affidavit, he reiterated that once the issue has been raised as to the propriety of the judgment of the Commercial Court, this court, though differently constituted, has the power to stay execution of the earlier judgment. In support of the proposition, Counsel referred the court to the decision of the Supreme Court in Merchant Bank [Gh] LTD v Similar Ways LTD [2012] SCGLR440 and one other. Support for Catherine [Afeku] Paramount Queenmother of Nzema Traditional Council in-charge of development, Obaahemaa Edze Nkrumah II, unhappy with attempts by the unscrupulous few to stampede the appointment of Madam Catherine Afeku, has publicly come out to warn the nominee’s detractors to be mindful of their activities.

According to her, if those behind the smear campaign were indeed true indigenes, they should have welcomed the honour done the Nzemaland by President Akufo-Addo, since the last time a native of the land was appointed a minister was in the 60s.

Obaahemaa Edze Nkrumah II, therefore pleaded with the President to treat the accusation leveled against Catherine Afeku with disdain, since they were baseless and fabrications just to tarnish the hard-won reputation of the nominee.

"I am on behalf of all the Chiefs in Axim, the Axim Youth Alliance and all the queenmothers, in the area, pleading with President Akufo-Addo not to listen to the accusers of my grandchild and work with her. Were Catherine a fraudster I would be the first to raise red-flags about the issue. I know all about what they are saying and I can say on authority that there's no iota of truth in it”, she is quoted to have said.

Also, the Nzemaland Development Association- has indicated its preparedness to lock-horns with any individual or group that would be impediment to the appointment of minister-designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Abelema Afeku.

According to the leader of the Association, Diana Nyankopa, the group is ready to defend the nominee’s appointment to the letter, and hint of embarking on massive demonstration, should the appointment of Madam Catherine Afeku is withdrawn.

 


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