Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has sued Solomon Owusu, a Ghanaian mining engineer, based in the United States and a multimedia presenter at an Accra High Court for defamation.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng, who is the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, is praying the court for the award of GH¢2 million as damages.
The world-class heart surgeon is also praying the court for perpetual injunction restraining Mr Owusu, who is pursuing a post graduate degree in the US, their agents, assigns, and privies from making and further publishing any defamatory statements about him on any platform whatsoever.
Mr Blessed Nana Godsbrain Smart, aka Captain Smart, of Adom FM, has been sued as the administrator of the Whatsup platform used for the purported defamation.
He is also the host of “Dwaso Nsem” and “Fabewoso” on Adom FM in Accra.
In the Minister’s Statement of Claim, he identified himself as the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining in the country.
The plaintiff averred that Owusu was also a member of a social media platform (Whatsapp), known as “Kill the Corruption Now”, for which Captain Smart was the administrator.
The Minister said he became aware of the existence of the platform in January 2019, when his attention was drawn to certain disparaging statements Owusu had made against him on it and circulated to injure his reputation.
Subsequently, he was added to the group in the same month.
Prior to that period, in 2018, the Minister said Owusu approached him under the pretext of assisting the Government to find solutions to illegal mining activities.
Owusu requested the Minister, among others, to help him visit the President of Ghana.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, however, stated that he could not accede to the request of Owusu by introducing him to the President because he did not perceive how that visit could help curb illegal mining.
Following his refusal, Owusu took to social media and the “Kill the Corruption Now,” platform, publishing statements to the effect that the Minister was a ‘criminal’, ‘corrupt’ and that he condoned illegal mining, he said.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng stated that Owusu in August 2018 and February 2019 deliberately and maliciously made and published on those platforms to ridicule and injure his reputation as Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining.
The plaintiff said Mr Owusu had also published on the platforms that he (the plaintiff) and his son were greedy and the two had sabotaged government’s plan to prevent illegal mining in Ghana.
Additionally, the Minister’s son had connived with Chinese and other foreign miners to operate illegal mines in Ghana, while Ghanaian licensed miners remained unemployed or were thrown into jail while Chinese illegal miners were set free.
He said Mr Owusu also alleged that the Minister had planned to disqualify some small-scale miners and directed them to enter into farming so that his political favourites could be trained at the George Grant University of Mines and Technology to suit his own agenda.
The plaintiff said Mr Owusu also published that the Minister had deviated from his core mandate as Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, adding that, the Minister threatened the success of his field work with brutalities of the Operation Vanguard with regard to illegal mining activities.
He also stated that the Minister purchased some dredging equipment to dredge certain river bodies but he (the Minister) was using them for some illegal mining activities.