A Senior Partner at Sarkodie Baffour Awuah and Partners, Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah has said that the judge’s ruling on the defamation case involving investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong was based on law.
According to him, the judge based the ruling on evidence presented in court and must be commended for “setting the law out right.”
“The decision was not in a vacuum. Plain and simple. It wasn’t in a vacuum, it was based on the law, and that the law has a defined basis for what constitute defamation. And so therefore the decision was not in a vacuum.”
Speaking on the JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, March 18, the legal practitioner acknowledged that it is not always that judges have their ruling right. Therefore, making references to the law might be wrong sometimes. However, in the instances where the law is set out right, the judge must be commended.
He added that a lot of people cannot appreciate the ruling properly because they are not lawyers.
In June 2018, the renowned international investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas sued Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the MP for Assin Central, for defamation in relation to the content of the “Who watches the watchman” documentary.
Anas requested that the High Court grant aggravated damages of GHC25 million due to the MP’s publication of defamatory materials.
The MP during a live broadcast on TV revealed documents in an effort to undermine the investigative journalist who had produced a damning documentary about the corruption in Ghanaian football.
The video in question was from a live Twi broadcast on Net 2 TV on May 29, 2018, during which Mr. Agyapong unequivocally declared that Anas is a blackmailer, corrupt, extortionist, and wicked person.
In a similar vein, Mr. Agyapong, who owns the private radio station Oman FM, disseminated what Anas said were defamatory comments on May 31, 2018.
According to Mr. Awuah, there was no need for the court to determine whether truly the defamatory s8atements were made by the defendant, in that he had already admitted them.
Mr. Awuah posited that the alleged defamatory statements issued by Mr. Agyapong are not necessarily factual statements in themselves, but was rather a mere reaction to same said to him by the journalist when he reportedly indicated that the MP was responsible for the death of a colleague journalist, Ahmed Sualle.
Given this scenario, Mr. Agyapong is not obliged to provide evidence to his statements, according to Mr. Awuah.
“The question is whether or not in the circumstance of it, will the right thinking member of society come to the conclusion that indeed, Kennedy Agyapong actually meant that JB Danquah Adu was killed by Anas?,” he asked.
Meanwhile, following the court’s verdict, the plaintiff, Anas has expressed disappointment.
“We find the court decision an unfortunate travesty of justice and very inimical to the administration of justice and fairness. If for nothing at all the plaintiff made an allegation of murder against Anas” the Tyger Eye PI said in a statement.
The journalist says he remains resolute in his fight against corruption in the Ghanaian society.