An Accra High Court has slapped a cost fine of GH¢ 5,000 on Blessed Godsbrain Smart (aka Captain Smart), the host of Maakye on Onua TV and Onua FM, for failing to timely file a defense in the defamation case brought by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, against him.
According to a report by asaaseradio.com, the lawyers representing the finance minister appeared in court today, July 27, 2023, to present their motion for judgment in default of defense. But the court was informed that Captain Smart’s defense had been filed as of 8:54 am on the same day.
Consequently, Ofori-Atta’s legal team withdrew their motion and requested a cost for the delay.
As a result, the court granted the cost of GHC 5,000 to Captain Smart and ruled that the defamation suit seeking GHC 10 million in damages should proceed through the normal legal process.
The defamation suit arose from statements made by Captain Smart on his program on May 22, 2023.
During the broadcast on Onua TV and Onua FM, and via the internet, he allegedly made false and defamatory claims against Ofori-Atta regarding the recently approved International Monetary Fund $3 billion extended credit facility secured by Ghana for a three-year period.
He claimed that the finance minister gets 10% of every loan he leads the country secures, including the recent IMF loan.
According to the statement of the case filed by Ofori-Atta’s legal team, Captain Smart’s statements were calculated to disparage and defame the finance minister, alleging corruption, diversion of public funds, and abuse of office.
The lawyers of Ken Ofori-Atta also claimed that they had demanded an apology and retraction of the defamatory statements in a letter dated May 29, 2023, but Captain Smart failed to comply.
In the defamation suit, Ofori-Atta sought five reliefs from the court.
First, a declaration that Captain Smart’s words were defamatory. Second, the recovery