A former National Organiser of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has sued ABC News Ghana and its Managing Editor, Godwin Asare-Bediako, over a publication which the plaintiff deems defamatory of his character.
The suit filed by Mr Adams’ lawyer, Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, at the Accra High Court on Friday, 12 July 2019, seeks a declaration that the words contained in the defendant’s publication are defamatory of his client’s character.
Mr Adams is also seeking an order from the court directing the defendant to publish an apology with the same prominence the defamatory words received, within 14 days after the judgment.
He also wants an order of the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, his agents, assigns and servants from further publishing any defamatory words against him.
Mr Adams is also asking for general damages for defamation, costs, including legal fees, and any other order(s) the court may deem fit.
In the statement of claim, Mr Adams avers that the defendant published a story on 27 June 2019 with the headline: ‘Kofi Adams in car fraud case …State V8 vehicle impounded’. Portions of the publications stated: “Kofi Adams, former National Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), is under police investigation for embossing a wrong registration number plate on an alleged state-owned Toyota Landcruiser V8 vehicle. The registration number GE 5215 – 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 investigation. ABC has sighted the 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.”
In the suit, Mr Adams stated that the editor of the paper went further to repeat the aforementioned defamatory statements in an interview on NET2 Television, which contents have been made public on the Youtube social media channel of the TV station.
The suit said the statements contained in the publication “are defamatory of the plaintiff and detrimental to the plaintiff’s future political ambitions”.
Mr Adams maintained that the allegations contained in the said publication ordinarily are meant to be understood to mean he is dishonest, unpatriotic and a common criminal.
Mr Adams further averred that the defendants’ defamatory statements are just a calculated attempt to injure his reputation by exposing him to public hatred, ridicule and contempt. He said the defendants’ defamatory statements have injured his image and brought his hard-won reputation as a prominent businessman and politician into public hatred, odium, contempt, opprobrium and reproach.
He added that by causing to be published falsely of and concerning his averments in the publication afore-stated, the defendants meant and were ordinarily understood to mean he is dishonest, unpatriotic, a fraudulent entity that uses deceitful, corrupt and unlawful means in his business and political dealings.