Cromwell Gray LLP, the lawyers for Heritage Imperial Company, a mining firm in Ghana, has threatened to sue the Today newspaper and its publishers for defamation.
According to the local miner, it found the paper’s 14 January 2019 edition, which claimed the company had been carrying out mining activities without a legal permit, offensive.
In the story headlined: ‘Plot Against Minister Exposed!’, the paper made the following unedited assertion: “Investigations conducted by this paper about the recent raids carried by the task force of the IMCIM in the Apraprama Forest Reserve at Kobro in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region, where a mining firm called Heritage Imperial Mining Company, who claimed they have acquired the requisite documentation from the Minerals Commission of Ghana, the Forestry Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), were later seen to be operating illegally and were not permitted by law to undertake mining activities in the forest”.
Heritage Imperial’s lawyers, however, say the publication was a deliberate move to sully the hard-won image and reputation of their client.
“So many untruths and reckless pronouncements have been spewed against the company in the past by some individuals which we have ignored, but this time, the company will not allow any such fabrications without taking the necessary legal actions”, the lawyers threatened.
The lawyers said the publication was based on lies and conjecture crafted to sling mud at their client, a situation they said they found defamatory and insulting since there was no iota of truth in the paper’s claim.
The lawyers have, therefore, given the newspaper a one-week ultimatum to retract the story and render an unqualified apology to their client or face the legal consequences.