The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has sued the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, publishers of the Africawatch Magazine, General Media Strategies Inc. over the publication of some alleged defamatory piece against her with regards to the newly opened Ghana’s Embassy in Oslo, the capital of Norway.
Joined to the lawsuit is the editor of the magazine, Steve Mallory, who wrote the piece.
The magazine accused the Ghanaian government of buying two properties – one for the chancery and the other for the Ambassador’s residence at the cost of US$16.5 million.
The report accused the Minister of engaging in “shameful conspiracy to steal from the state” during negotiations for the project.
Africawatch further accused the Minister of inflating “the cost of the building to a whopping US$16.5 million.”
A similar claim had been made by Okudzeto Ablakwa and the Minority in Parliament several months back.
In a writ sighted by citinewsroom.com, the Foreign Affairs Minister, through her lawyers, described the publication as “defamatory and without any basis.”
She is among other things demanding a retraction and an unqualified apology from the defendants and “compensatory damages in the sum of US$ 20 million for loss of reputation against the defendants.”
The Foreign Affairs Minister is also seeking from an Accra High Court, an “order of injunction directed at the defendants, agents, assigns, privies from continuing to make any further defamatory publication about the plaintiff.”
Africawatch magazine’s report baseless – Presidency
The Presidency had earlier described the Africawatch magazine report as baseless and libellous.
“The allegations in the publication are baseless, libellous, and scurrilous, and contain nothing but manufactured lies. We are aware of this magazine’s notoriously established agenda of defaming the President through the deliberate publication of such false stories about him. The agenda will fail, as it has failed before.”
The statement said the publishers, editors and distributors of the publication will be dealt with in the “appropriate forum.”