Opinions Wed, 29 Jun 2011

Benyiwa Doe – v Doe-Vemavor, A Vexatious Claim

Comfort Ama Benyiwa Doe – v - Dennis Doe-Vemavor, A Vexatious Claim

By Kofi Ata, Cambridge, UK

I am sure that most legal brains and readers on Ghanweb will agree with me that, the claim by one Mr Dennis Doe-Vemavor, the so-called Chairman of Ghanaians Abroad Against Corruption and who also pretends to be the nephew of Mr Oscar Doe, the ex-husband of Comfort Ama Benyiwa Doe, the current Central Regional Minister of Ghana, is vexatious or frivolous. For those of us who are not lawyers or legal experts, vexatious claim or action simply means, a claim which is simply brought merely to annoy an opponent. All courts are empowered to stay such an action. That is, to suspend or dismiss the claim or action without due consideration. In most cases, cost is awarded against the vexatious litigant.

Mr Dennis Doe-Vemavor began his vexatious action against Ama Benyiwah Doe early this year with an article, which both Ama Benyiwa Doe and her (adopted) son responded to. He followed that with another article disputing the facts contained in the statement of Ama Benyiwa Doe and the son’s article on Ghanaweb. In late February 2011, I also posted an article on Ghanaweb challenging the claim by Mr Dennis Doe-Vemavor . In that article and among others, I identified a number of inconsistencies in his story and challenged him to respond to them. After he failed to respond to my challenge, I e-mailed him but he did not respond. I then followed my e-mail with a number of telephone calls to the mobile number he provided in his articles. Sadly, all the calls were interrupted. I also did a Google search on Ghanaians Abroad Against Corruption that he claims to chair but nothing came up. I never heard of him again until yesterday when he posted an alleged petition on Ghnaweb to the President of Ghana, copied to various organisations and VIPs. I telephoned him again, soon after I read his petition on Ghanaweb but gave up as the calls were interrupted continuously. From these, my own conclusion is that, either Mr Dennis Doe-Vemavor is a fake and does not exist or he is simply up to mischief, nothing more, nothing less.

Again, his petition to the President is not credible and full of inconsistencies. Now, he is even trying to suggest that the then Nigerian authorities were complicit in the alleged murder of his uncle by assisting Ama Benyiwa Doe to adopt the child of his deceased uncle. At the same time, he claimed in the petition, that the Nigerian Police could not interview her because she disappeared. It is not clear in the petition whether she disappeared prior to adopting the child and or disposing of Mr Oscar Doe’s assets. Someone who claims to have LLB could not even make an explicit and precise statement of fact in a Presidential Petition. He is a disgrace to the law profession, if indeed, he has an LLB. I know for a fact that he did not obtain his LLB in Ghana because the Ghana Law School is a reputable one that would not produce such a discredited graduate. I also believe that he is not a graduate of any of the UK bona fide and accredited educational institutions. Probably he bought his LLB.

Mr Dennis Doe-Vemavor, as someone with an LLB, did you know that, an extradition is a request from one sovereign state/government to another? If so, who is requesting Ama Benyiwa Doe’s extradition and to where, if the Nigerian government is not the requesting authority? Did you know that Amnesty International has an office in Ghana and if so, why did you not give them a copy of your petition but Amnesty, UK? Do you also know a human rights organisation in Africa called, African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights? What about the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Accra? Why did you not send copies of your petition to them? Last but not the least, what about the Ghana Police if you gave a copy to Nigerian Police? Did you really go to law school and if so which one and where?

The big question is, why is this person targeting Ama Benyiwa Doe and what is his or her objective? Is it politically motivated and if so, who is behind it? I am tempted to suspect that his or her aim is political but unfortunately, I am unable to consider who is behind it. There is no doubt that, Ama Benyiwa Doe has a lot of political enemies because of the high profile role she played when NDC was in opposition. She herself made a number of unsubstantiated and serious allegations against leading members of the then NPP government. It is therefore very tempting for some readers and her sympathisers to assume that the NPP could be behind this claim by Mr Dennis Doe-Vemavor. I totally disagree with any such assumption because in my opinion, the NPP could do a better job. There are very seasoned lawyers within the NPP and therefore, the NPP would not display such utter ignorance of the law and infantile behaviour. Again, this is the main opposition party in Ghana and a potential government in waiting (from previous elections in Ghana and since Ghana is a de facto two party state). In other words, this is an inferior tactics and I personally would be worried if a party that could form a government in Ghana as early as 2013 or 2017 could resort to such level.

As I said in my article in February, I am not here to defend Ama Bentiwah Doe and in fact, if it is true that she poisoned her ex-husband, then the law should take its course. However, because of the inconsistencies and the elementary mistakes and the naivety of the accuser especially, as an LLB graduate, which makes his frivolous claims more disconcerting I am concerned that, he is just up to damage the reputation and political career of Ama Benyiwa Doe. Often, Ghanaians have used the electronic media to throw horrible and unsubstantiated allegations against politicians, including the current and former Presidents, Nana Akufo Addo and many others. My concern is that, the electronic media is being used by political opponents to discredit Ghanaian politicians to the international community. These allegations are not only damaging to the individual politicians but the goodwill and reputation of the nation state and corporate Ghana.

Mr Dennis Doe-Vemavor, you are a fake and you have fabricated a story that does not make sense. Your actions are misguided and your petition is not worth consideration by the President. It should be treated with contempt that it deserves. It is vexatious and a waste of time, I advise you to take a better approach by doing your home work well, establish the facts and gather credible evidence before you act. What you are doing is dangerous. How do you feel about the negative comments on your petition from Ghanweb readers? A word to the wise is enough.

By Kofi Ata, Cambridge, UK.
Columnist: Ata, Kofi