New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for the Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency in the Western Region, George Mireku Duker, has sued a constituent, Kofi Nimako Danquah, over a conversation that took place on a pro-NPP WhatsApp group.
The MP, who felt the conversation that ensued in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency NPP Youth Wing Whatsapp group was offensive, first got Mr. Nimako arrested by the Tarkwa police.
“The honourable MP lodged a complaint that, that person has insulted him on a Whatsapp Group. The case was investigated and it was sent to court. The suspect has been granted bail and will reappear [this week]. The Tarkwa Divisional Police Commander ACP Edmund Ohene Bosompim told Citi News in an interview.
Kofi Nimako was charged with “…offensive conduct contrary to section 207 (1) of Act 1960”.
During hearing at the Tarkwa District Court on Thursday, the Presiding Judge, His Worship Jonathan Desmond Nunoo, denied a plea by a former NPP constituency Treasurer Daniel Kofi Dwumah to settle the case out of court, noting that the case before him was criminal in nature and so it cannot be settled out of court.
The case was adjourned to Thursday April 19 after counsel for the accused wrote to the court announcing his absence until April 19. He was bailed in the sum of GH 1,000 with one surety.
Meanwhile, a former treasurer of the NPP in the constituency, Daniel Kofi Dwumah, believes the court action has the tendency to affect the electoral fortunes of the NPP in the constituency in the next general elections.
He explained to Citi News that “I did not know about this case. I came to the court to follow up on a personal matter only to meet this problem. The way things were going, I was informed of it and I had to intervene. But I must say that if things are going out like this in the constituency, then I definitely believe NPP may not win the 2020 elections. I am very surprised a Whatsapp chat can get us to this level”.
“If all presidents of Ghana were to sue Ghanaians over insults on them, former president Mahama would have taken many Ghanaians to court. This precedent is certainly not good at all. We are already fighting to convince the thousands of mine workers who have been sacked out of Gold Fields, as well as our bad road from Ahwetieso, do you come to add to this precedent that the Member of Parliament is arresting his own party members over insults on Whatsapp?” One NPP sympathizer told Citi News at the court premises.
The parties to the case are to return to court on April 19, 2017.
Mr. Mireku Duker, a former MCE for Tarkwa Nsuaem, is a first time member of Parliament for the area, and he defeated longtime MP Gifty Kusi at the primaries, and went on to win against the NDC’s Kwame Dzokoto in the 2016 election.