Throw out Anas's defamation suit - Kennedy Agyapong to High Court
Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central has prayed the Accra High Court to strike out the defamation suit investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has filed against him
a motion filed on July 17, 2018 by his lawyer, Eric O. Darko of Darko Law Firm, Mr Agyapong is praying the court to strike out the writ of summons and statement of claim by Anas and consequently the entire suit because, according to him, the lawful attorney Anas has appointed to represent him, in the person of Listowel Yesu Bukarson is "irregular, woefully incompetent and indeed vexatious."
Anas has dragged Mr Agyapong to court for defaming him and asking the High Court to award aggravated damages to the tune of GH¢25 million arising from defamatory materials he said the MP published.
The MP has, in the past weeks, been publishing materials in his bid to discredit the investigative journalist, who has released a piece on the rot in Ghana football.
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Displeased with the MP’s actions, Anas has, through his lawyer, Mr Kissi Agyebeng, sued Mr Agyapong for the award of general damages for defamation in the defendant’s publications and granted a sports journalist, Listowell Yesu Bukarson the lawful attorney to stand in for Anas.
The publication Anas is complaining about is a May 29, live programme in Twi on Adom TV, where Mr Agyapong categorically stated that Anas was a blackmailer, corrupt, an extortionist and evil.
On July 3, 2018, Mr Agyapong entered a conditional appearance to the suit and subsequently filed the motion on notice for an order to strike out Anas's Writ of Summons on July 17, 2018. His lawyer would be moving the motion on July 26, 2018.
Advancing his defence in the motion, Mr Agyapong stated that he "strongly hold the view which is confirmed by my lawyers that the Plaintiff has indeed perpetuated his acts of deceit and even in this Court by deceiving the Court that he resides in address indorsed in the Writ of Summons when he knows it to be false."
"That the Plaintiff failed to provide his own residential address on the Writ of Summons as required by law. That is a matter of general public knowledge and indeed it is notoriously known that KOFI BAAKO HOUSE, NORTH LABONE CRESCENT, ACCRA indorsed on the face of the Writ of Summons is the residential address of one Kwaku Baako."
“That Anas Aremyaw Anas of whom I have made some justifiable comments In good faith is an adult of substantial means, wealth and assets including a set of residential and commercial property in Accra and other parts of Ghana and therefore l will contend that he does not reside with the said Kwaku Baako in the said KOFI BAAKO HOUSE, a claim the Plaintiff is not expected to deny.”
Below are excerpts from the Ken Agyapong's motion
“That the foregoing is further confirmed by an admission made by the said Kwaku Baako who has recently commenced a suit in the Supreme Court Accra and has affirmatively indorsed In the face of the Writ his residential address as KOFI BAAKO HOUSE, NORTH LABONE CRESCENT ACCRA, the same address which the Plaintiff herein claims he also resides. The said Writ is marked and attached as EXH KA3.
“That I am advised by my lawyer and verily believe same to be true that the Writ of Summons is also woefully and incurably defective for the reasons set out and demonstrated in the subsequent paragraphs as well.”
“That the Writ of Summons also failed to comply with the requirements of the law which mandate that in addition to the residential address of the Plaintiff, the occupational address is also required by law to be stated on the Writ of Summons, a requirement which the Plaintiff has blatantly violated.”
“That the Anas Aremyaw Anas of whom I and a number of persons have made fair comments and critiqued in good faith had his picture displayed by me on a number of media platforms but, an individual who claims no one can identify him because he appears in public with his face covered in a mask, claimed mostly through the said Kwaku Baako, one of his notoriously known associates, that the said pictures and other photographic images which I had shown to the public, is not the true image of the Anas I had made a fair comment about.”
"That I strongly state therefore that the individual who consistently wears masks and refers to himself as Anas Aremeyaw Anas is faceless and therefore on the basis of the legal I have sought from my lawyer which I verily believe same to be true, the Writ is irredeemably defective in law and therefore a nullity and indeed does not effectively commence any legal action against him."
“That the Write of Summons filed by the Plaintiff/Respondent per his lawful attorney in form and in substance is also irregular, woefully incompetent and indeed vexatious and that at the hearing of the application my lawyer shall respectfully demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Honourable Court hat for the foregoing reasons and to be canvassed subsequently on judicial proceedings ought to be taken on beyond this point.”
“That I am advised by my lawyer and verily believe same to be true that apart from the foregoing, the entire Writ of the Plaintiff/Respondent violates and sins against the relevant provisions of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
“That the circumstances this is a proper case where this Honourable Court respectfully ought to strike out the Plaintiff/Respondent Writ of Summons for the reasons above stated.”
“That as an avid campaigner against corruption and all corrupt practices, I support the acts of anyone who has taken upon himself to fight corruption.
“That the fair comment I made against the Anas Aremyaw Anas whose pictures I disclosed in relation to the modus operandi employed by him which is substantially no more than an act of entrapment which is contrary to law, morality and minimum standards of fairness."
"That the said acts of entrapment, subterfuge and trickery employed by Anas to engender a non-existent event which causes his victims to involuntarily engage in or participate in an act is unconstitutional as it violates his unsuspecting victims of their right to privacy and also of their constitutionality guaranteed right against interference with their communication and correspondence."
"That indeed a number of experts and internationally acclaimed Civil Society Organisations such as Media Foundation for West Africa and also a respected Moslem Cleric of Kumasi who also criticized the modus operandi of Anas contrary to the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed and the Koran; it well known that Anas is a Moslem.
"That my assertion that the modus operandi by Anas Aremeyaw Anas is “evil” which I made without malice or ill-will is indeed affirmed by the aforementioned opinion of the said Moslem Cleric and I have further been advised that any conduct of any Moslem contrary to the teachings of Islam is evil.
"That indeed my assertion of Anas as an extortionist and deceitful person which I also made honestly and without malice, is also affirmed by a documentary premiered by a credible media institution named as, The Sallis News Paper many Ghanaians were stunned when they saw and heard the Anas Aremeyaw Anas and who I fairly criticized on a number of occasions informing a State Attorney to one Mrs Kwakume that he had paid an amount of USD 75,000.00 the then Director of Criminal Investigations Division (C1D) of the Ghana Police Service and another USD 5,000.00 also to the State Attorney In a concerted effort to "kill" a pending Criminal suit. An electronic copy of the said document is marked and attached to the instant application as EXH KA4."
"That in furtherance of Anas' grand scheme to obstruct the course of justice, the said suit was struck out by the court for want of prosecution. The proceedings are marked and attached as EXH KA5."
That in the light of the circumstances of this case and in view of the fact that the Plaintiff who has clearly tainted his hands with indelible dirt including the obstruction of justice cannot without purging himself seek reliefs from the Honourable Court when in fact I was only exercising my Constitutional right to expose his unconstitutional schemes by which he violates the rights of victims and expose them to an unfair and illegal ridicule on the bases of his contrived mantra; “Name, Shame and Jail.”