Wontumi Radio, Akua Donkor sued GHc1m for defamation

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The Founder and flagbearer of the Ghana Freedom Party, Akua Donkor and Wontumi Communications Limited in the Ashanti region have been sued for defaming a former Parliamentary Candidate in Asante Akim North on the ticket of the NDC, Mary Awusi.

In a suit, the plaintiff is demanding a total of 1,000, 000 Ghana cedis from the defendants for claiming that the plaintiff was having an affair with former President John Mahama.

Among the declarations being sought by the plaintiff include;

A declaration that the words uttered and published by the 1st Defendant in the interview AS PLEADED IN PARAGRAPHS 11 AND 12 in the statement of claim are defamatory.

A declaration that the words uttered and published by the 1st,2nd and 3rd Defendants AS PLEADED IN PARAGRAPHS on the 20th August,2020 are defamatory of the Plaintiff.

A declaration that the Plaintiff’s reputation has been injured by reason of the false, malicious, unjustifiable and reckless defamatory statement uttered by the 1st Defendant and further repeated in her interview with the 2nd Defendant on the platforms operated by the 3rd Defendant .

An order of the Honourable Court directed at the Defendants to publish an unqualified retraction and an apology on the Platforms operated by the 3rd Defendants with the same prominence the defamatory words received within 14 days after the judgment.

An order of the Honourable Court for interlocutory and perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants, their agents, assigns and servants from further publishing any defamatory words against the Plaintiff.

The sum of Three Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵300,000.00) in general damages against the 1st defendant. The sum of One Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵ 100,000) in general damages against the 2nd Defendant for using his radio programme to publish the defamatory statements of the 1st defendant.

The sum of Six Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵600,000.00) as punitive damages against the Defendants.

Below is the full suit by the Plaintiff

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

GENERAL JURISDICTION DIVISION

ACCRA – A.D. 2020

                                                                                                             SUIT NO.

BETWEEN

MARY AWUSI                                                                                     PLAINTIFF

MT 14

MANET COTTAGE

SPINTEX ROAD

ACCRA

AND

  1. AKUA DONKOR

ACCRA

  1. OHENEBA NANA ASIEDU
  2. WONTUMI COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED

                                                  STATEMENT OF CLAIM

  1. The Plaintiff is a Ghanaian citizen.
  2. The 1st Defendant is a Ghanaian citizen, a politician and the founder and leader of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP).
  3. The 2nd Defendant is the host of a political talk show “WONTUMI MORNING SHOW” broadcast on Wontumi television, a television station operated by the 3rd Defendant and its YouTube channel.
  4. The 3rd Defendant is presumed by reason of the “limited” appearing at the end of its name, to be a company registered under the laws of the Republic of Ghana and operates the following mass media platforms
  5. Wontumi Television(Wontumi Tv)
  6. Wontumi radio on the frequency modulation of 101.3
  • wontumionline.com
  1. Plaintiff avers that she is a married woman and has two children from the marriage.
  2. Plaintiff avers that she is the Chief Executive Officer of the companies called Crest Energy and Yamamay Ventures.
  3. Plaintiff says that she is the first female Parliamentary Candidate in Asante Akim North on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress and also she was the Parliamentary Candidate for the National Democratic Congress in the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
  4. Plaintiff says that she is an Executive board member of Crest Energy Ghana Limited, also she is the Deputy Regional Women’s organizer for the National Democratic Congress and trainer for Women Academy for Africa organized by the Labour Party in the United Kingdom.
  5. Plaintiff avers that she holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Adult Education, a Master’s degree in Sociology and she is enrolled at the University of Ghana as a PhD student in Adult Education and Human Resource Studies.
  1. Plaintiff says that during a radio interview, the 1st Defendant made a libelous statement without any justification whatsoever against the person of the Plaintiff and same interview was further uploaded on youtube thereby reaching many people.
  1. Plaintiff repeats paragraph 9 and avers further that the 1st Defendant made the defamatory statement in the twi language to wit;

Journalist : amanfuo se papa no papa no papa no . Errr papa no wo nim nipa kr) y3 fr3 no papa no?

Akua Donkor: errr John Mahama Journalist : err wose 3yE whana?

Akua donkor: 3y3 John Mahama Na 3y3 papa no. 3ny3 omonkoaabebree hy3 h)

Journalist: saa

Akua Donkor: errr

Journalist: ehenfonabebree hyehy3 hor?

Akua Donkor: baakowor agogo. Err 2016 kraaogyinaMp 3wor agogo hor Na omoantoamano. Ono no di3 )wo y3 kraaa, Wa wo b3y3 S3 bosom b3 y3 3nae os3 enumnie. Bosom num kraaambae )nemahama. Obi Na 3b3 ka kyir3 me s3 wawo. Wawo w) hospital kraaa. Wakor tor fie kraaamano w) Tema . Na otesuotuom. Na otesuotum Na wak)t) fie w) tema.

Akua Donkor: We hu s3 Nea ma Kyr3s3 odimpwohor no, wo k) h) no mo ahh kobisaobiaa y3 b3 ka s3 y3 fr3 no may. Mary no Na ya y3 no May. Ntisaa. )no Na 3mano gyinamp no. Sika puduo ahh okukuru Di maano S3 onfankokodi ne mp no ny3 agr).”

  1. Plaintiff says that the defamatory statement in paragraph 10 in the English Language reads:

Journalist: there are rumors and speculations about a name “Papa no” do you have any idea who he is?

Akua Donkor: err he is John Mahama.

Journalist: (exclaims) who did you say he is?

Akua Donkor: it is John Mahama. The ladies are many not only about them.

Journalist:Really?

Akua Donkor :?there is a woman who contested the agogo seat in 2016. She wasn’t voted for. She has a 4 to 5 months baby with John Mahama. I was told she gave birth at the hospital. John Mahama bought a house at Tema for her. Previously she was staying at Sowutum.

Akua Donkor: you see the lady I am talking about, you can verify from everyone in her constituency. She is Called May, Mary for short. John Mahama supported her MP bid with a huge sum of money to contest as Mp. All the female MPs who contested as Parliamentary Candidates are his concubines. He gave all of them money to contest.”

  1. Plaintiff says that she called the 1st Defendant to question her on the malicious and reckless claims.
  2. Plaintiff says that on the 20th August,2020, the 2nd and 3rd Defendants in the most reckless and malicious manner gave their platforms to the 1st Defendant to repeat and utter the defamatory statements against the Plaintiff without any justification.
  1. Plaintiff repeats paragraph 13 and says that 2nd Defendant in his interview with the 1st Defendant encouraged the 1st Defendant to repeat the defamatory statement by saying in twi,”

1st Defendant: 3nra kraa me b) nipa ne din kraa ma se siaa ya k) piemu w) abrokye h) ama 3nra y3 fr3 no ma ne no kasa y3 . )no nso fr3 me s3 Aden ti na medi no Ato dwa. Nso me k) so aah me ka ninyinaa

2nd Defendant: maame me ba oo, wo bor obidin ma ne fr3 Wo bisa s3 Aden na wo di ne din ato dwa?

1st Defendant : Aani Agogo ni no. )ne no awo mienu kraa. 3na ose Aden nti na mede no Ato dwa na oware sremu nii nti. Me nnim ne kunu sremu nii biaa me nim John Mahama nkoaaa . )ne me twa so nti okaa na me nso maka. Op3 s3 )ka bribi kyr3 me nso me so me ka nia meka.

To wit in the English language,”

1ST Defendant: Yesterday, I mentioned one of the names and I had a call from abroad so I spoke to her. She questioned me on why I had to put her name in the public domain as a kept saying everything.
2nd Defendant: Maame, did you really say you mentioned a name and she questioned why you exposed her?

1ST Defendant: Yes! The lady from Agogo. She has two kids with him. And she questioned why I exposed her name because she is married to a Northerner. As for me, I don’t know any husband who is a Northerner. The only person I know is John Mahama. She argued with me. She wanted to say something but I told her that I have said what I had to say.

  1. Plaintiff avers that the interviewer and host of the radio programme failed and or neglected to dissociate himself from the defamatory statement made by the 1st Defendant and also failed and or neglected to get the 1st Defendant to retract the defamatory statement.
  1. Plaintiff says that the said interview with the 1st Defendant was published to thousands of listeners.
  1. Plaintiff avers that by uttering and causing to be published falsely of and concerning the Plaintiff in paragraphs 10 and 11 herein, the 1st Defendant meant and ordinarily understood by right – thinking members of the society to mean that the Plaintiff is  an unfaithful spouse, an unchaste person,a pervert, a person of low moral character, a person of no integrity and that the second child of her marriage is not the child of her husband but that the child is the child  of a man she is not married to.

Plaintiff avers that the Defendants by publishing the said defamatory statement, did so with the sole purpose of denting the hard won reputation of the Plaintiff without any justification.

Plaintiff says that the false and malicious utterances made by the 1st Defendant were designed to disparage her and create embarrassment, resentment and disaffection for her in the minds of right – thinking members of the society and thereby reduce her in the estimation of right thinking members of the society.

Plaintiff will rely on the following facts and matters in support of the claim for damages, including aggravated damages for malicious defamation:

The defamatory words were uttered, broadcast and published by the Defendant recklessly and not caring about the irreparable damage that will be caused to the reputation of the Plaintiff;

The defamatory words were uttered, broadcast or publicized without caution in a malicious manner with intent to cause damage and injury to the Plaintiff’s hard- earned reputation.

Plaintiff avers that the Defendant have injured the image of the Plaintiff and brought her hard-won reputation into hatred, ridicule, odium, discredit, contempt, opprobrium and reproach and as such right thinking members of the society question the integrity of the Plaintiff.

WHEREFORE Plaintiff claims against the Defendant:

A declaration that the words uttered and published by the 1st Defendant in the interview AS PLEADED IN PARAGRAPHS 11 AND 12 in the statement of claim are defamatory.

  1. A declaration that the words uttered and published by the 1st,2nd and 3rd Defendants AS PLEADED IN PARAGRAPHS on the 20th August,2020 are defamatory of the Plaintiff.
  1. A declaration that the Plaintiff’s reputation has been injured by reason of the false, malicious, unjustifiable and reckless defamatory statement uttered by the 1st Defendant and further repeated in her interview with the 2nd Defendant on the platforms operated by the 3rd Defendant .
  1. An order of the Honourable Court directed at the Defendants to publish an unqualified retraction and an apology on the Platforms operated by the 3rd Defendants with the same prominence the defamatory words received within 14 days after the judgment.
  1. An order of the Honourable Court for interlocutory and perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants, their agents, assigns and servants from further publishing any defamatory words against the Plaintiff.
  1. The sum of Three Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH300,000.00) in general damages against the 1st
  1. The sum of One Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH 100,000) in general damages against the 2nd Defendant for using his radio programme to publish the defamatory statements of the 1st
  1. The sum of Six Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH600,000.00) as punitive damages against the Defendants.
  1. Cost including lawyer’s fees and
  1. Any other order or orders as to this Honourable Court may deem fit in the circumstances.

DATED AT AYINE AND FELLI LAW OFFICES, H/NO. C808/29, 1ST CLOSE LILY STREET, EAST LEGON, ACCRA, THIS 19TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2020.

                                                                           ………………………………

                                                             GODWIN KUDZO TAMEKLO ESQ

                                                                             LICENCE NO. eGAR02107/20

                                                                             LAWYER FOR THE PLAINTIFF

                                                                               BP NO: 3000024883

Source: Starrfm

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