Lawyers for Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education and Member of Parliament for Manhyia South have written to Mr Sammy Gyamfi, the Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) demanding a retraction of what they said was a defamatory comment linking the Minister to one of the accused persons in the Canadian women kidnapping case.
A similar letter has also been sent to the Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NDC, Mr Kwame Zu on the same matter. Gyamfi is said to have stated during a press conference on Thursday, June 13, that, there was a “connection” and a “relationship” between Dr Opoku Prempeh popularly referred to as NAPO [Nana Poku] and Seidu Yakubu, also known as “MBA”, one of the accused persons in the June 4, 2019 kidnapping of the two Canadian women in Kumasi.
“Seidu’s association with the NPP is more than meets the eye. He is alleged to be the personal bodyguard of the Asokore Mampong MCE, Alhaji Alidu Seidu, and an errand boy for both Manhyia MP, Hon Mathew Opoku Prempeh and Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako (aka Wontumi,” Mr Gyamfi reportedly stated at the press conference according to Dr Opoku Prempeh’s lawyers.
However, the lawyers, Sarkodie Baffour Awuah and Partners are insisting that “The aforementioned statement is not only false but malicious as the said Seidu is no errand boy” of Dr Opoku Prempeh.
They argued that Mr Gyamfi’s statement was a suggestion that Dr Opoku Prempeh condones and associates himself with persons suspected to have engaged in the crime of kidnapping, and sought to ascribe to “our client’s inappropriate conduct of involvement with persons you describe as thugs.”
“Consequently, the aforementioned false and malicious statement suggests that our client is a promoter and beneficiary of thuggery,” the letter stated.
On the part of Mr Kwame Zu, Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NDC, he is said to have made the statement in a radio interview on Accra based Okay FM on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
“The boy [Seidu] is a known member of the NPP who works with the Hon. Mathew Opoku Prempeh,” Mr Zu reportedly said in the radio interview.
“Our client categorically denies the aforementioned false and malicious statement. Evidently, the said statement was actuated by the malice and designed to damage the reputation of our client, a respectable Member of Parliament and Minister of Republic of Ghana.”
“Notwithstanding your malice, our client is magnanimously enough to offer you an opportunity to make amends. Accordingly, we have our clients instructions to demand” a retraction of the said statement and an unqualified apology.
The lawyers served notice that they have instructions to institute legal proceedings against the two if they fail to honour the demands within 48 hours.
Seidu and other suspects were arrested by operatives of the National Security, BNI and the police during an operation at Achiase near Antoa, where the two Canadian captives were freed last Wednesday.
The Canadians, Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley, 19, and Bailey Jordan Chitty, 20 were kidnapped on June 4, 2019, when they were traveling to their hostel at Ahodwo in Kumasi. Unknown to them, the kidnappers were following their vehicle with a red Toyota Corolla car.
Upon reaching their hostel, the two were accosted and bundled into the Toyota Corolla to a hidden place in Kumasi.
The victims were volunteers with Youth Challenge International, a Canadian international development organization with its headquarters in Toronto.
The kidnapping brought external pressure on Ghana’s security as the missing of some three girls from Takoradi remains unresolved.
Canada, United Kingdom and Australia went to the extent of issuing traveling warning to their citizens who wanted to travel to Ghana.