Okyenhene Opts For Media Trial

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…In Kyebi “Galamsey” Case, Daily Graphic To Lead Onslaught

The case filed against “The Herald”, a royal of the Akyem Abuakwa stool; Odehye Nana Kwame Agyei Boateng, and two others by the Okyehene Amoatia Ofori Panin II, has started with a clear indication that Okyehene and his lawyer, Godfred Yeboah Dame, are only interested in a media bliss.

Okyenhene, was not present in Court yesterday when the case was called, but was represented by some of his elders clad in black, led by one of his sub-chiefs.

Interestingly, before the case was called by the trial judge, Justice Mensah, this paper’s lenses captured a reporter from the state-owned Daily Graphic, who upon his arrival in the courtroom, went to sit by Okyenhene’s sub-chief and introduced himself by showing his ID card, then proceeded to engage in hearty conversation with him and his colleagues.

The excitement and the joy that showed on the faces of the chiefs and the reporter, gave a clear indication that, they had discussed their meeting in court, ahead of the proceedings.

After the case, this same reporter was spotted in ebullient discussions with the chiefs with Lawyer Yeboah-Dame outside the court with the expression on their faces, confirming that he was indeed, invited into the court by the plaintiff’s representatives to cover the case.

Sensing there may be a conspiracy, the Managing Editor of “The Herald”; Larry Dogbey confronted the reporter and requested that he gives a balanced representation of what transpired in court, but not a skewed one as happened recently with a misleading headline that The Herald had been sued for GH¢5 million.

“The Herald” was represented by Lawyer David Annan.

The Okyehene is battling this paper together with his cousin, Odehye Kwame, the Managing Editor of “The Herald” and the publishers of the newspaper; Prime Mark Company in Fast Track High Court 2, presided over by Justice Mensah.

A defendant, a reporter by name Kofi Nyame, is yet to be served with his writ.

The Okyehene’s claims are that The Herald, had reported an interview it granted his (Okyenhene’s cousin), who claimed among other things that the Okyehene was neck deep in illegal mining popularly known as “Galamsey” in the Kyebi area of the Eastern Region, where the activity is known to have polluted water bodies and degraded vast arable lands.

At the trial yesterday, counsel for Okyehene, Mr. Dame got an amount of GH¢600.00 from Odehye Kwame for filing his defense out of the legally mandated period.

Lawyer Dame, wanted an amount of GH¢10, 000 from Okyenhene’s cousin, but Mr. Annang told the court that the amount was on the higher side and asked the court to give the Okyenhene GH¢200.00.

Justice Mensah, however, described the GH¢10, 000 as “outrageous”, hence awarded GH¢600.00 against Odehye Kwame after describing Lawyer Annan’s GH¢200.00 as “ridiculously low”.

Again Mr. Dame, who has been very aggressive in this whole matter long before it became clear he was the new counsel for the Okyehene, had served notice that the reporter, Kofi Nyame, had not filed his defense hence an interlocutory judgment must be taken against him, having his Lawyer David Annan to enter appearance on his behalf.

But Lawyer Annan, intervened and explained that the reporter has not been properly served with the writ, adding that if he had been served, he would have entered an appearance for him, as he has done for all the defendants apart from Odehye Kwame Boateng, who is being represented by Lawyer, Sarfo Buabeng.

Justice Mensah, adjourned the case for an interlocutory judgment to July 10, to make pronouncement on whether indeed Kofi Nyame was properly served.

Mr. Okyehene’s attempt to play this case in the media is not a surprised one as before this case started, Mr. Dame had planted a story in the Daily Graphic, publicly announcing that he was the lawyer for the Okyenhene, although no notice had been filed on the lawyers of the defendants to that effect.

Kwame Acheampong of K-Archy and Co. had filed the case on behalf of the Okyenhene. He has since been changed.

Lawyer Dame, before taking over the case, had also publicly claimed in his planted publications and subsequently in radio interviews that the Okyehene was demanding a whooping GH¢5 million, but this turned out to be untrue, because no cost was mentioned in the writ filed by Kwame Acheampong.

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