Source: Daily Guide
The Legal tussle between Ibrahim Mahama – a brother of President John Mahama – and Bernard Antwi Boasiako aka ‘Wontumi,’ the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), rages on.
Despite Ibrahim and Wontumi’s memorable handshake, engineered by the Asanetehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the Manhyia Palace last Sunday, the two gentlemen’s legal battle seems far from over.
Unconfirmed news report after the handshake during the Akwasidae festival maintained that the Asantehene had settled the impasse between the two men. Ibrahim had sued Wontumi for a staggering GH¢5 million for defamation.
Ibrahim and Wontumi are billed to meet at the Kumasi High Court 7 today over the defamation case.
Separate interviews that Ibrahim and Wontumi granted to DAILY GUIDE after the Manhyia handshake seemed to suggest that both men were not clear as to what the Asantehene indeed told them, regarding ensuring peace between the two.
The Asantehene spoke quietly to Ibrahim and Wontumi who both humbly stood right before him at the festival grounds.
The huge gathering, including President Mahama, ex-President Kufuor and Nana Akufo- Addo, did not hear what Otumfuo said.
After the king’s remarks, Ibrahim and Wontumi shook hands for the first time right in the presence of Otumfuo and other dignitaries which attracted spontaneous applause from the excited crowd.
Ibrahim and Wontumi however, have given different narrations to DAILY GUIDE about what the Asante monarch asked them to do in order to bring a lasting peace between them and the withdrawal of the case from court.
Ibrahim Mahama told DAILY GUIDE that the Asantehene told Wontumi that he (Wontumi) had erred by defaming him (Ibrahim) and President Mahama in public so he (Wontumi) should apologize to him (Ibrahim) and the president on the same platform he defamed them.
According to him, Otumfuo then said that “I should retract the defamation case from court after Wontumi had duly apologized to me and the president for the populace to hear.”
Mr. Ibrahim Mahama stated that he has utmost respect for the occupant of the Golden Stool so he was willing and ready to withdraw the case from court as Otumfuo ordered “after Wontumi had apologized to me and the president.”
He however, stated that if Wontumi fails to apologize to him and the president as the Asantehene had ordered him to do, then “I will have no other option than to proceed to court on Thursday and clear my name which he had dented.”
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE on the same issue, Wontumi said as far as he was concerned, the Asantehene, during the Akwasidae, called him and Ibrahim and the king solved the impasse between them once and for all.
According to him, Otumfuo said he (Wontumi) and Ibrahim are brothers therefore as the Asantehene he had intervened to ensure lasting peace between them “so we should let sleeping dogs lie by stopping the court case which is creating unnecessary tension.”
Wontumi stated that the Asantehene ordered him to henceforth desist from verbally attacking Ibrahim and the president in the media in order to sustain the peace that he (Otumfuo) had brokered between them.
He said Otumfuo then ordered him and Ibrahim to shake hands before the attendants of the Akwasidae festival which “we both did without hesitation, signifying that Otumfuo had settled the matter.”
The NPP regional chairman stated that he respects the Asantehene therefore he had accepted his order “and I have decided to abide by whatever Otumfuo told me to do henceforth.”
Wontumi added however, that Otumfuo, whilst settling the case, did not say anything about any apology from him.