The Fast Track High Court has given former President J. J. Rawlings and an author up to October 24, 2014, to announce the terms of an out-of-court settlement over a suit barring the author from launching a book on the life of the former president.
Counsel for former President Rawlings, Mr Atta Akyea, informed the court that his team had sent a draft of its terms of settlement to the legal team of Prof. Kwaku Danso-Boafo, a former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
He said his team was yet to receive a response from the defendants.
Counsel for the author, Mr Alex Quartey, told the court, presided over by Mr Justice L.L. Mensah, that his side would file its response to the terms by the close of work last Monday.
Former President Rawlings filed the suit to restrain the defendant from launching a book he had written about him.
An affidavit accompanying the statement of claim accused the former diplomat of breaching a contract to get the former President’s approval of the final draft of the book entitled: “J. J. Rawlings and the Democratic Transition in Ghana.”
The book was to be launched at the Teachers Hall in Accra on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
According to the affidavit, Flt. Lt. Rawlings’ approval of the final work was a precondition for the publication of the book, and although Prof. Danso-Boafo duly sent a transcript of the book to him, he (Rawlings) had not yet approved of it because it contained inaccuracies and distortions of the reality.
It said former President Rawlings had “a proprietary interest in the book” and prayed the court to restrain Prof. Danso-Boafo from launching it.
The affidavit said if not restrained, the defendant would go ahead to publish the book which would eventually cause the plaintiff to suffer irreparable loss.
It said Prof. Danso-Boafo approached the former President sometime in 2006, and requested to write a book on him, to which he (Rawlings) gave his blessing on condition that he would approve of the final contents.
It said consistent with the agreement between the two, Prof. Danso-Boafo released the manuscript to him when he completed his draft of the book.
“On 1st March 2012, my office delivered a letter to the defendant/respondent, at all material times, Ghana's Ambassador to the United Kingdom, acknowledging receipt of the transcript of the book aforementioned.
“In the said letter, I was emphatic that I would hand 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.
This is against the backdrop that the manuscript delivered to me by the defendant/respondent contained several inaccuracies, misinformation and slants which have the potential to poison Ghana's historical records and democratic evolution as well as bringing my name and family into disrepute,” the affidavit further stated.