Image-Conscious Rawlings Sues Ex-Minister

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Ghana’s ex-President, Flight-Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings is in court seeking to stop his former Health Minister from launching a book entitled “JJ Rawlings and the Democratic Transition in Ghana”.

Rawlings is aggrieved that the author, Professor Danso-Boafo, who was Minister of Health at a point in his 19 years as head of state of Ghana and a former High Commissioner in London, “did not wait for his final input and went ahead to print the book”, and had planned launching last month.

For Prof. Danso-Boafo’s failure to wait for him to “review the book and correct all factual inaccuracies that it may contain”, Rawlings is praying the court to “place an injunction on the launch” because the author had “reneged on earlier agreement” to wait for him.

“The author of the book has breached his own solemn undertaking with me and has published the book “J.J. Rawlings and the Democratic Transition in Ghana” with the view to launching same. He has not extended due courtesy to me relating to the agreement aforesaid and has dropped a special invitation inviting me to the launch of the unapproved book. Annexed and marked as Exhibit C is the special invitation dropped at my office by the Defendant/ Respondent.”

He recalled that “Sometime in 2006 the Defendant/Respondent approached me that he intended writing a book on my role in Ghana’s history with strong emphasis on how I transitioned from military leader to constitutional governance.”

“After receiving the request, I strongly insisted that I am not averse to him making me the centre of his intended political and intellectual pursuit, provided always that the Defendant will make available to me the manuscript for my prior approval for purposes of accurate historical facts and analysis. Prof. Danso-Boafo agreed to the terms,” Rawlings’ affidavit said.

“I sent letter acknowledging receipt of the manuscript to the author on March 1, 2012 in which letter I was emphatic that had handed over the transcript to a team of literary and legal experts to evaluate and recommend amendments where necessary, given the undeniable fact that the Defendant/Respondent’s whole academic enterprise centres primarily on my person.”

Rawlings said he was determined to review the manuscript because it contained “several inaccuracies, misinformation and slants which have the potential to poison Ghana’s historical records and democratic evolution as well as bring my name and family into disrepute.”

He was, therefore, praying the court to restrain the former ambassador from launching the book because doing so will be detrimental “to me which cannot be compensated in monetary terms.”

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