Greater Accra 1st Regional Vice-Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ibrahim Jajah, has hauled the New Crusading Guide newspaper and its Deputy editor; Ernest Addo, to court for defamation.
Mr Jajah, who is also a businessman, is demanding general damages of GH¢5million against both the newspaper and the editor for a recent publication accusing the politician among other things of engaging in land fraud and illegal demolition of private property.
Aside the NDC chairman, Charles Opoku Darko, an estates developer and businessman, who resides in East Legon, has also slapped the same newspaper and its deputy editor with a GH¢10million lawsuit over that same publication accusing them of defamation.
Mr Opoku Darko’s suit brings the total amount of damages been sought from the newspaper to a whopping GH¢15 million.
Both Jajah and Opoku Darko, are represented by Kwame Fosu-Gyeabour of Fosu-Gyeabour & Co., Kyidom Royal Chambers.
The lawsuits were occasioned by last Wednesday; January 22, 2020 edition of the New Crusading Guide newspaper story with the headline “NDC VICE CHAIR, OPOKU DARKO IN ‘LAND SCAM’…Dragged to Court for demolishing private property”.
The two in their respective sermons insist that “the publication in its ordinary meaning and or innuendo or necessary implication is libellous, as it is understood to mean plaintiff is: A criminal, Fraudulent, Deceitful, Dubious, Dishonest, dishonourable and of a questionable character.”
They writs, among others state that, the publication was actuated by ill-motive with the sole aim of inciting the general public against the plaintiff, adding that the said publication is completely false, but defendants went ahead to publish same.
According to Mr Jajah, the publication by the defendants was done recklessly and with malice, adding that he was never contacted to explain his version before the said offensive publication.
The two insisted that “the said publication have brought plaintiff into public scandal, odium, ridicule, insult and contempt among his colleagues, business associates, family members, certain individuals and the general public.”
The writ said “the publication has caused or has the propensity to cause other persons, business associates, colleagues of plaintiff and the general public to avoid plaintiff” stressing that “the publication have also seriously dimmed and damaged the business prospects of plaintiff.”
The lawyers continued that “the publication has lowered and continue to lower the plaintiff in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally, adding “the publication also has the propensity of prejudicing the outcome of the court case in respect of which the publication was made.”
Aside the General damages ofGH¢5 million, Mr Jajah, in particular also wants “an order to defendants to retract the offending publication in the same mode and prominence as published within fourteen (14) days after judgment”.
The NDC First Vice-Chairman, is praying the court for “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants herein, their agents, officers, servants, workers, reporters, editors or any entity authorized by them or any other person(s) or publishers from further publishing any similar or further libelous materials about plaintiff.”
Additionally, Mr Jajah, also wants the defendants to be compelled to render an unqualified apology in the same mode as the offensive publications.
In the case of Mr Opoku Darko, his lawyers insist that “the publication was intended to falsely link plaintiff to the infamous Nana Appiah Mensah and its Menzgold Company case, but knows plaintiff is not connected whatsoever with the Menzgold cases, adding “the said publication has brought plaintiff into public scandal, odium, ridicule, insult and contempt among his colleagues, business associates, family members, certain individuals and the general public.”
Apart from the staggering GH¢10 million damages, the estate developer, is seeking same reliefs from the defendants as in the case of Mr Jajah.