GHANA: KOFI ADAMS SUES ABC NEWS FOR DEFAMATION OVER “STOLEN VEHICLES”

Source: www.africanakua.com | Staff Writer

Mr. Kofi Adams, a former National Organiser of the main opposition party in Ghana, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), on Friday has summoned ABC News and its Managing Editor, Mr. Godwin Asare-Bediako to an Accra High Court for defamation of character.

Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, Lawyer for the plaintiff, is seeking restraining orders from the Court to stop the newspaper from putting out defamatory publications against him [Kofi Adams].

The plaintiff is also seeking for orders from the court to direct ABC News [1st Defendant]; Godwin Asare-Bediako, the Managing Editor [2nd Defendant]; and ABC News Ghana [3rd Defendant] to publish an apology with the same prominence the defamatory words received within 14 days after the judgement.

Mr Adams is further asking for general damages for defamation, cost for legal fees and any orders that the Court may deem fit.

The NDC campaign coordinator for the 2016 general elections subpoenaed the Ghanaian journalist and “his agents, assigns and servants” to court based on a news report published in his newspaper on 27th June, 2019 with the headline “KOFI ADAMS IN CAR FRAUD CASE…STATE V8 IMPOUNDED”. Parts of the story indicated that:

“Kofi Adams, former National Organizer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), is under Police investigation for embossing a wrong registration number plate on an alleged State owned Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicle. The registration number GE5215-19 which is being used by the V8, actually is for a Toyota Corolla saloon car (owner’s name withheld)  The V8, which is alleged to belong to the State, is being used for car rental services by Kofi Adams for which reason ABC has learnt he is under investigations. ABC has sighted Impounded vehicle at the premises of the Airport Police Station. This paper learnt that the driver of the vehicle was confronted by a Presidential Staffer after which the car was parked at the Police Station. This is not the first time Kofi Adams is being embroiled in a controversy over alleged stolen State vehicles.”

The writ of summons which was sighted by www.africanakua.com avers that the publication is defamatory yet “was carried by most social media platforms in the name of 1st and 3rd Defendants and on many online newspapers and websites”.

Mr. Asare-Bediako further went to repeat the aforementioned defamatory statements against the Plaintiff in an interview on NET2 Television which contents have been made public on the Youtube social media channel online.

BACKGROUND

On Wednesday 1st February, 2017, barely a month after the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over the governance of the country, 15 men dressed in Military fatigues, suspected to be soldiers, stormed the private residence of Mr. Adams in Tema Golf City and seized all his vehicles which included three pick-ups [two belonging to his brother] and two land cruisers.

The vehicles, according to the soldiers, were suspected to belong to the state and were therefore taken to the Flagstaff House – the presidential palace. It was alleged that the vehicles were not only “stolen from government”, but also had their chassis numbers changed and then sold to Mr. Adams.

The vehicles were subsequently returned to Mr. Adams following an intervention from Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah, National Security Minister, who also apologized to Mr. Adams for the unauthorized action.

PLAINTIFF CLAIM

The plaintiff claims that the statements contained in the defendant’s publication are defamatory and detrimental to his future political ambitions.

What is more the allegations contained in the said publication ordinarily are meant to be understood to mean that the Plaintiff is dishonest, unpatriotic and a common criminal.

The Plaintiff further avers that the Defendants’ defamatory statements are just a calculated attempt to injure his reputation by exposing him to public hatred, ridicule and contempt.

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