Tuesday, December 22, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, December 21, 2015

National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase in the Ashanti Region, Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, has admitted that he got married to a girl just three days after she completed writing her West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

The Asawase MP also admitted that he was ‘embarrassed’ when people started questioning the age of the girl who is currently his second wife.
He however, said he was not ‘embarrassed’ when she became pregnant and insisted that his second wife was not underage.

The MP was being cross-examined by lawyers for DAILY GUIDE in an ongoing libel suit he filed at the Human Rights Courts in Accra.

Alhaji Muntaka has sued DAILY GUIDE’s former reporter, Morgan Owusu; the Editor, Fortune Alimi; News One Editor, Halifax Ansah-Addo and Western Publications - publishers of DAILY GUIDE and New One - over a publication that his second wife was an SHS student.

He wants GH¢600,000 in damages for publications in DAILY GUIDE and News One respectively headlined: ‘Muntaka Picks 17-Year old Wife’ and ‘Minister Weds SHS Lover’ published on May 14, 2012 which he has deemed libelous.

Apart from the damages, the MP wants an apology and retraction, perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further publication of the ‘defamatory matter’ as well as cost and or other reliefs.

The defendants have vehemently denied the defamatory imputation and said words complained of by Alhaji Muntaka were published on a matter of public interest and that the publication was for the benefit of the public.

Pregnant Girl
The MP told the court that he did not impregnate the lady before he married her and pointed out that they got married on May 13, 2012 and the wife gave birth to a baby boy on December 20, 2012 which translates into about 7 months and one week.

He said he did not ‘befriend’ the young lady while she was a student at SHS, even though he confirmed that the marriage arrangement was started three clear months when the girl was still in school before the grand marriage ceremony in Kumasi.

Daily Guide Lawyer: Now, Hon. Muntaka, I am putting it to you that you were befriending this young girl while she was a student at the Senior High School.

Muntaka: My Lord, I said no earlier. I said that I knew her before the marriage because I had seen her. Lawyer: As a matter of fact, you impregnated her before the marriage.

Muntaka: That cannot be the case.

Lawyer: I also put it to you that she gave birth naturally without any cut; if she was cut it would have been after nine months.

Muntaka: My Lord, the hospital where she gave birth is there, the records are there. She herself is there. I repeat my Lord, she gave birth prematurely through caesarean section.

Lawyer: As a matter of fact, after her last exam.

Muntaka: Yes my Lord, after she graduated, she never went back to write any exams.

Lawyer: What I am saying is that you married after the last exam; that is, paper. Graduation maybe later but after the last paper, that is, after she finished her last paper you married her.

Muntaka: My Lord, she completed school; a few days after she completed, we got married, I can’t remember any government secondary school doing graduation. I don’t know anything about graduation. All I know is that she completed before we got married.

Growing Pregnancy
The Asawase NDC MP said it was not the case that he had to quickly marry the young lady because her stomach was growing big.

Lawyer: You had to do so because her stomach was growing big and it was becoming an embarrassment to you.

Muntaka: My Lord that is not the case.

Lawyer: Now, according to you Hon. Muntaka, at some stage you were getting embarrassed because people were asking you questions over the age of your new wife. Is that correct?

Muntaka: Yes my Lord.

South Africa Trip
Lawyer: Now among the steps you took is that you travelled with your wife to South Africa and other places. Is that correct?

Muntaka: Yes my Lord.

Lawyer: So you made a passport for your wife to travel with her?

Muntaka: My Lord, she had a passport before we got married.

Lawyer: I put it to you that you made the passport for her.

Muntaka: My Lord, I know that it is the Foreign Affairs Ministry who made passport for all of us. I don’t know whether he is saying I financed the passport.

Lawyer: That is what I mean. You financed the passport.

Muntaka: My Lord, that is not the case.

Lawyer: As a matter of fact, you made birth certificate for her.

Muntaka: My Lord that is not the case.

Lawyer: From your pleadings and from your evidence I gather, please prove me wrong that your complaint is that you have been accused of having married someone below the age of 18. Am I right?

Muntaka: Yes my Lord.

Lawyer: And that marrying somebody under 18 according to you and your understanding of the law is criminal. Am I right?

Muntaka: No my Lord, my complaint is that they published that I married a minor. One of them gave the age 17. The other gave the age 15 or 16. So the emphasis is that I married a minor who by law is not supposed to be married.

Lawyer: Well, I believe the two of you agreed that a minor is somebody under 18. Is that correct?

Muntaka: My Lord, the publishers gave (sic) different ages and reported that I married a minor who is not supposed to be married. As to what her age is, was not crosschecked and she was tagged to be a minor.
The case continues.

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