The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia has adopted another ‘tactic’ to set aside the GH₵20 million defamation suit brought against him by the Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Prof. Dua Agyeman.
In the latest attempt to have the suit thrown out, the NDC scribe prayed the court to set aside the plaintiff’s amended statement of claims because his lawyer did not follow the orders of the court in preparing it.
His lawyer, Johnson Normesinu, who moved the application, said he was invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the court to set aside the amended writ because it does not state anything of substance.
According to him, the court’s order for the plaintiff to amend his statement of claims to include the exact word complained of in Twi was specific and did not include anything else.
The defendant claimed the plaintiff amended one of the reliefs being sought to include an increment in the compensation from GH₵15 million to GH₵20 million.
This, Mr. Normesinu argued, was not part of the court’s order.
He added that the plaintiff, in his amended statement of claims, did not include an endorsement to indicate that it was amended subsequent to the orders of the court.
He, therefore, prayed the court to set aside the amended statement of claims.
But Garry Nimarko, counsel for Prof. Dua Agyeman, refuted the assertions of the defence lawyer, saying the application was just another one of the tactics adopted by the defendant to avoid filing his defense in the matter.
According to him, an amended writ is a fresh case on its own and the court cannot be invited to dismiss an amended statement of claim because certain amendments were not specifically ordered by the court.
He described the application by the defense lawyer as an abuse of the court processes which showed that the NDC scribe has a case to answer.
Mr. Nimarko added that the application which he described as “incompetent” was improperly before the court, adding that an application cannot be filed by invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the court but rather through laid down rules of the court
He told the court that Asiedu Nketia stated that he had evidence and witnesses to prove his statement but has since not filed his defense and only resorted to various tactics to get the suit dismissed.
The court, presided over by Justice Sophia R. Bernasko-Essah, adjourned the matter to March 19, 2019 to rule on the application.