Pokuase land case - The Herald cited for contempt
Larry Dogbey

Pokuase land case - The Herald cited for contempt

The Herald newspaper and its Editor, Larry Dogbey, have been cited for contempt of court for a publication over a High Court decision in a case involving the Nii Dodoo Clottey Family of Pokuase and the ACP Estate Limited (ACPEL).


In an application for committal of contempt, the applicants who, are members of the family who won the case, argued that The Herald published a “contemptuous and malicious” story about the judgment on March 14, this year which was a blatant attack on the Judiciary and scandalised the court.

When contacted, Mr Dogbey indicated that he had been served with the application and his lawyers would respond appropraitely.


On March 10, this year, the Land Division of the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Kwame Gyamfi Osei, ordered ACPEL to return undeveloped portions of a 200-acre land to the Nii Dodoo Clottey Family of Pokuase.

That was after the court had found the company to have breached a contract with the family with regard to the development of a 600-acre land.

The court further ordered the ACPEL to refund GH¢9.5 million to the family.

It was part of compensation paid by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) for usage of part of the land.

It was the considered view of the court that that ACPEL failed to honour its obligations under a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) it signed with the family on October 22, 1991 to provide the entire 600-acres with access roads, drains, electricity and water.

In view of the ACPEL having breached its obligations under the agreement, the court held that the JVA was unenforceable and, therefore, abrogated, with all the undeveloped lands on the 200 acres which the family gave to the company as part of the agreement reverting to the family.


The said story was published on the online news portal of The Herald with the headline “Controversial judge commits corporate murder against ACP Estate Limited”

The story alluded that Justice Osei intentionally destroyed ACPEL  by ruling in favour of the Nii Dodoo Clottey family.

Among other allegations, the story claimed the family anticipated a victory and even started jubilating before the judgment on March 10.

The story further claimed Justice Gyamfi was ‘not unknown to controversial adjudication.”

“In Tamale, it is reported that lawyers boycotted his court on account of quite unexpected outcomes in otherwise basic and simply clear but high value cases” the story published by The Herald stated.


The applicants in the application for contempt contended that the publication by The Herald was set out to mock the court, the judge and ridicule the entire justice system.

“The publication by the respondents contained unfounded and baseless allegations which were intended to accomplish one main thing: namely to vilify the court and the presiding judge for performing the constitutional mandate of adjudicating a matter between the parties in this case” the applicants stated in their affidavits in support.

It was also the case of applicants that the publications by the newspaper was scandalous, malicious and a brazen attack on the Judiciary which could drawback the democratic gains made by the country.

“The court ought to punish severely the respondents and all persons involved for this brazen display of contempt against our courts,” the application added.

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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