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Politics Wed, 26 Apr 2006

Mills In Trouble -Daily Guide

EDWARD AKUFO-Addo, the unassuming business mongul brother of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon Nana Akufo-Addo, is putting papers together to drag the thrice-defeated National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, Prof John Evans Atta Mills, to court.


Mr. Akufo-Addo, Managing Director of Amadi Coldstores Limited, is asking his lawyers to initiate a court action against Prof Mills for a potential libel contained in a statement the former law teacher read at a press conference recently, Daily Guide has learnt.


Prof Mills is said to have linked the Foreign Minister?s brother to a drug peddler, a blatant allegation, he would not take low.


According to Mr. Akufo-Addo, the allegation read to the media by the NDC flagbearer had earlier been published by Ghana Palaver, a newspaper owned by the Ahwoi brothers of the NDC, who handled Prof Mills? campaign and publicity. He said Ghana Palaver has earlier been asked to retract the offending article, but the newspaper would not budge.

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He has therefore instructed his lawyers to initiate action against Prof Mills and the Ghana Palaver.


The NDC flagbearer is alleged to have told the media that the house occupied by Edward Akufo-Addo, son of the president in the Second Republic of Ghana, was a confiscated house, belonging to a certain Raymond Amankwah, an alleged drug baron.


But an enraged junior brother of the Foreign Minister said at the time he was expecting Ghana Palaver to retract the libellous publication, having asked his lawyers to draw the attention of the newspaper to the potential libel case, Prof Mills repeated portions of the newspaper allegation, making the former vice president an accomplice to the offence.


In his press statement, read to journalists on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 the former vice president alleged that Edward Akufo-Addo?s house at East Legon in Accra was owned by a drug dealer. Professor Mills said ?There have also been pervasive and persistent rumours that judicially ordered confiscated properties of convicted narcotic dealers and drug barons who are related to leading New Patriotic Party (NPP) personalities have been clandestinely released to them.?

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Specifically Prof Mills mentioned a house behind ?Emmanuel Eye Clinic? in East Legon, in Accra and an ice cream factory on the Spintex Road, also in Accra.


The NPP Administration, he said has maintained an indignified silence on the calls for official confirmation or denial and for explanations.?


The NDC flagbearer made the statement at a press conference to rally support for Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, wife of the NDC founder, Mr. Jerry John Rawlings, who appeared in court on charges of fraud and causing financial loss to the state.


Unfortunately, the solidarity message is edging the former vice president into the ditch. Mr. Akufo-Addo said the statement was defamatory in every respect.

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The latest comments which may land Prof Mills into trouble, analysts believe, was typical of the NDC flagbearer, as he was fond of making public statements without factual foundation.


In the run-up to the 2004 elections, Prof Mills, made similar statements in which he cast aspersions on individuals, only to come out and retract them.


In one particular instance, he accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of harbouring NPP card-bearing members on its employment, citing the chief security officer of the Commission.


He also accused the then Chief Director of EC, Mr. Damoah Agyeman, of having reached retirement age, but being kept on the payroll of the Commission in order to do ?dirty? work for the ruling NPP.

Prof Mills had to purge himself of the falsehood he peddled against Mr. Damoah Agyeman, when he came face to face with the former Chief Director when he was filing his nominations for 2004 presidential elections.


He begged for forgiveness from the former Chief Director, saying that he was misled.


Mr. Akufo-Addo said there was no going-back on his quest to seek redress in a law court.


The property in question, he said was acquired 16 years ago, when he bought the land and gradually put up the building, from his own sweat and toil.

Source: Daily Guide