The immediate Former Executive Secretary of the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), Mr. Kwadwo Twum Boafo, has dragged pro-NPP newspaper, the ‘Daily Guide’ before an Accra High Court over its Friday, March 24, 2017.
The newspaper, in that edition ran a banner headlined captioned “I PEDDLED LIES ABOUT NANA ADDO” which it attributed to Mr. Twum Boafo.
The story claimed he confessed during an interview on GHONE TV of having deliberately concocted lies against the then Candidate Akufo-Addo in the run up to the December 7, 2016 general elections.
However, the former GFZB Executive Secretary asserts in his suit against the newspaper’s editor, Fortune Alimi and the writer of the story, Vincent Kubi, that he never made any such confession during the said interview.
He is, therefore, demanding punitive and exemplary damage for libel, an order for perpetual injunction against the defendants from further publishing the alleged libelous newsitem as well as an apology and a retraction of the story to be published in the ‘Daily Guide’
Below is the full text of the writ
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
1. The Plaintiff is a Civil Engineer by profession and was a former Executive Secretary of the Ghana Free Zones Board.
2. The first defendant at all material times is the Editor of “The Daily Guide”, a daily newspaper which has substantial circulation and wide readership in the Republic of Ghana and on the internet.
3. The second defendant is a Reporter with “The Daily Guide” and the author of the material or article which is the subject matter of this action.
4. Plaintiff says that on the front page, left corner of the Daily Guide issue No. 070/17 published on Friday 24th day of March, 2017, a story headlined I PEDDLED LIES ABOUT NANA ADDO”.“After severally maligning Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, then candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the immediate past Chief Executive of the Ghana Free Zones Board(GFZB), Kojo Twum Boafo, is reported to have confessed that he concocted lies about him (Nana Addo)…….”
“He reportedly described all the disparaging remarks he made about now President Akufo-Addo as a strategy to help the National Democratic Congress (NDC) retain power………”
“……The former CEO of GFZB is purported to have labeled President Akufo-Addo as a violent man who wanted to be president of this country at all cost. Mr. Twum Boafo is said to have uttered on radio programme some vituperations like, “I will say it again that this country is on a precipice, that we have a violent thug who wants to be President of this country at all cost. We have a man who absolutely has no campaign message, who is now begging to be voted for.
Ghanaians should never make up their minds to vote for an unforgiving individual, causing all the mess in the country just for his personal interest to become the president of this land.”
“However, on Wednesday, Twum-Boafo, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) hatchet man, speaking on GH One TV’s current affairs programme, “The State of Affairs”, was said to have indicated that those derogatory remarks were made just to defame the then NPP candidate”.
“I don’t want to go back to the history of Nana Addo. All the things I said about him were a strategy. I am proud of Nana Addo for a reason……..he has suffered and tried very hard to be president…………”
“………He needs to be given the chance to succeed. We need to give him the necessary support and respect to succeed. As I am talking to you, I am jobless,” Twum-Boafo said.
5) The said publication referred and was understood to refer to the Plaintiff.
6) In their natural and ordinary meaning, the words meant and were understood to mean that: a) The Plaintiff is lying and that he is someone who makes statements which are untrue about people.
b) That the Plaintiff is a dishonest person, and he is someone who peddles fakes rumours about people.
c) That the Plaintiff is not a credible person being someone who has no credibility.
7) Further by way of innuendo, the said words meant and were understood to mean:
a) That the Plaintiff cannot be relied upon when it comes to making statements on national issues.
b) The Plaintiff at any time may make a statement on an issue knowing it not to be true and only to withdraw it later.
c) The Plaintiff having occupied the high office of the Executive Secretary of Ghana Free Zones might have made statements or authored statements whose verity is in very strong suspicions.
8) Plaintiff says that by the ordinary and natural meaning of the said words, they were understood to mean that the Plaintiff is not trustworthy.9) Plaintiff says that from tenor of the said publication, the Plaintiff was being portrayed as a liar, a dishonest person and someone who lacks integrity.
9) Plaintiff says that the Defendants published the words complained of knowing fully well that they were false, or with reckless disregard and abandon as to whether or not they were true or false.
10) The Plaintiff says that in furtherance of their malicious intent, the Defendants failed and or refused to cross check the facts contained in the publication from the GH One T.V Station or from the Plaintiff himself before proceeding to publish same.
11) Plaintiff says that the Defendants by their actions have intended to injure the hard won reputation of the Plaintiff and also to seriously denigrate him and thereby lowering his reputation national and internationally.13) Plaintiff says that by virtue of the said publication made concerning him, he has been brought into public ridicule and contempt and his reputation has been seriously damaged in the estimation of right thinking members of the society.
PARTICULARS OF FALSITY
I) The Plaintiff did not utter those statements attributed to him.
II) The Plaintiff never denied that statements made by him about Nana Akuffo Addo were concocted lies on the said programme or on any programme or platforms.
III) The Plaintiff never said that he manufactured lies against Nana Akuffo Addo in order to defame him
IV) The Plaintiff never said that all the things said about Nana Akufo Addo were a strategy
12) The Defendants carried the false story and will continue to publish further defamatory or concocted stories about the Plaintiff in order to cause further damage to his reputation.15) The publication complained of has gravely injured the reputation of the Plaintiff, has exposed the Plaintiff to public scandal, contempt, ridicule and has caused him extreme distress and embarrassment.
13) The Plaintiff says that the Defendants are likely to cause further untrue and libelous publications against him unless they are restrained by this court.
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff claims as follows:
1. Punitive and exemplary damage for libel published of an article concerning the Plaintiff in the Friday 24th day of March, 2017 edition of the Daily Guide under the banner “I Peddled Lies About Nana Addo.”
2. An order of perpetual injunction against the Defendants restraining them or their privies or servants or assigns from further publishing or causing to be published words complained if or any other words to the same or similar effects defamatory of the Plaintiff. An apology to the Plaintiff and a retraction of the story giving the same prominence at the banner heading under which the story was carried.
Source: Daily Post