ASEPA boss ‘caught’ in court

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Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson

Information available to the Daily Statesman indicates that the Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson, was yesterday caught using an electronic device to record proceedings of an ongoing trial at an Accra High Court in which he and three others are facing defamation charges.

While the plaintiff, Edward Akufo-Addo, a businessman and brother of President Akufo-Addo, was in the witness box, under cross-examination, it was reportedly uncovered that the 3rd defendant in case was stealthily recording the proceedings with an electronic device.

The judge, Justice Charles Edward Ekow Baiden, was said to have ordered the seizure of the recording device when his attention was drawn to the matter.

Suit

The GHC10million defamation suit is against radio show host Kwabena Bobie Ansah, of Accra FM, Class Media Group, Mensah Thompson and Listowell Nana Kusi-Poku.

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The radio show host and his panelists are said to have alleged on ‘The Citizen Show’, on Accra FM on May 29, 2021, that the Plaintiff had been using Ghana’s presidential jet, ‘The Falcon’ for his private business.

The 3rd defendant, who allegedly made the allegation, claimed that the plaintiff had travelled on the Presidential Jet to Abuja for personal business, while the President of Ghana was in France on official duty, and that he used and treated the Presidential Jet as if same was a family property.

Reliefs/claims

Mr Edward Akufo-Addo, popularly known as Bumpty, is asking the court to order the defendants to jointly and severally pay Ten Million Ghana Cedis damages for defamation “contained in the publication by Defendants…”

He is also seeking “perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants, whether by themselves, their servants, agents or assigns from repeating same or other similar words of and concerning Plaintiff and cost inclusive of legal fees.”

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According to the statement of claim, “Plaintiff avers that in the course of the program, the 3rd and 4th Defendants, aided and encouraged by 2nd Defendant, published of and concerning false and malicious statements about Plaintiffs’ alleged use of the Ghana Presidential Jet, also known as ‘the Falcon’.”

According to the plaintiff, “the words complained of, meant and were understood to mean that, even though he is not the President of Ghana, he has at his disposal and use, the Presidential Jet (the Falcon), by virtue of his relationship as a brother to the President of Ghana.”

It further said that “In seeking aggravated damage, the Plaintiff shall contend and so prove that the Defendants in publishing or causing to be published the statements complained of, were actuated by malice, in that they knew the words complained of to be utterly false, yet, 1st and 2nd Defendants looked on as 3rd and 4th Defendants make the statements without exacting any form of proof.”

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Damaged reputation

The suit noted that “By reason of the impugned publication, Plaintiff’s reputation and character has been severely damaged, and he has suffered considerable embarrassment, emotional torment, and distress. Plaintiff has been brought into public odium and contempt. Plaintiff says that the damage caused to his reputation is substantial as a result of his several years of education out of Ghana and extensive business dealings with partners outside Ghana.”

It added that “the impugned publication by Defendants has received huge circulation on social media platforms, causing Plaintiff to receive several calls from concerned friends, business partners and family members in the country and abroad.”

Source: Daily Statesman

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