For Publishing Court Documents On His Fraud Case
Son of the former Managing Director (MD) of the National Investment Bank (NIB), Daniel Gyimah, has hauled The Herald before an Accra High Court over a fraud case story the paper published about Stephen Poku-Gyimah, in which an Indian businessman based in Dubai, alleged some criminal conduct against him.
Mr Poku-Gyimah, has been accused of fraud and dragged before an Accra High Court by a company he once worked for, named Eland International Ghana Limited owned by Arvind Kumar Bhatnagar, for the retrieval of the company’s land, properties and damages.
Mr Poku-Gyimah, aka Nana Yaw Poku, together with a company according to his former firm, he illegally acquired named SANIS 5115 Distribution Limited (2nd Defendant), are being asked to cough out various sums of moneys for acting fraudulently against the Plaintiff; Eland International, a commodity trading company, which has offices across the world.
In a 47 point claim, Eland, had accused Stephen Poku-Gyimah of various illegalities some of which cited his wife and the use of the state-owned NIB, where his father was once a Managing Director.
The writ pending in court, warranted the publication on Friday November 15, 2019 in The Herald but, Mr Poku-Gyimah, is fighting back claiming he has been defamed.
Mr Poku-Gyimah, wife, Sanita Gyimah and their company Sanis 5115 Limited, have dragged Prime Mark,parent company of The Herald and six others, including popular online news portal Ghanaweb, in the said defamatory suit.
They are being represented in court by lawyer Daniel Adjei.
The writ dumped in the offices The Herald last week, said he has been blameless as from 2007 to 2009 that he worked for Eland International Ghana Limited as a Business Development Officer having been “…tasked with numerous roles which he diligently executed through his hard work to promote the objectives of the business”.
According to Mr. Poku-Gyimah’s lawyers, from the period their client worked for the firm, every task he performed was sanctioned by the company’s MD in Thailand.
“The 1st Plaintiff avers that throughout this period 1st Plaintiff only acted within the powers and authorization given him bythe Managing Director from the Thailand office by name Angela Dutduam Songphatanayouthinar at certain times from Mr Arvind Kumar Bhatnagar, who used to be in Ghana”, the writ said.
He insisted “That at no point did 1st Plaintiff operate or authorize any transaction on his own without authorization from the Thailand office even to the extent that at a time the company replaced the Company Secretary with the 1st Plaintiff at the Registrar General in Ghana through such authorizations”.
Mr Poku-Gyimah, who is asking for an apology, retraction and unspecified damages, including money against the Defendants, admitted the existence of a writ of summons against him,but said he was alarmed by the publication, because he was at the time not served with the writ, adding the story by The Herald had “factual errors” “untruths” and “Defamatory Statements”.
“The Plaintiffs say that among other factual errors in the story the newspaper published numerous untruths and defamatory statement starting from the second paragraph which was captured as follows: “…..as the that defendant, together with a company he illegally acquired named SANIS 5115 Distribution Limited (2nd Defendant), ….”.
Among others, Plaintiffs are demanding from the High Court “A declaration that the statements made by the 1st Defendant [The Herald] endorsed on the Writ of Summons by way of attachment and particularized on the attachment with the listed media platforms and publication dates and also repeated in paragraphs 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31 and 32 herein of the Statement of Claim are defamatory.
A declaration that the statement made by the Defendants which are indorsed on the Writ of Summons by way of an attachment and particularized dates and also repeated in paragraph 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31 and 32 herein of the Statement of Claim are defamatory”.
He and wife want “an order of the Court directed at the Defendants to publish on three (3) consecutive occasions on the same platforms that the Defendants published the defamatory statements an unqualified apology, with the same prominence as given to the issuance of the defamatory statements”.
They are also demanding “An order of the Court for perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants, their agents, assigns, and servants from further publishing defamatory statements against the Plaintiffs”.
Mr Poku-Gyimah, his wife and their company are asking the court to award “Exemplary damages for malicious conduct at the Defendants in defaming the Plaintiffs. Costs including legal fees and any other Order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem fit”.
Interestingly, Mr Poku-Gyimah, has filed another case in Human Rights Court in Accra against the police and Eland International Ghana Limited alleging his fundamental human rights were being trample upon.
The case, was last Friday called, but later adjourned to January 15, 2020 by Justice Georgina Ansah.
Mr Poku-Gyimah, was not in court, but his lawyer, was.