Court Dismisses Anas’ GH₵25m Defamation Suit Against Kennedy Agyapong

Source The Ghana Report

An Accra High Court has dismissed a GH₵ 25 million defamation suit filed by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas against Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong.

The suit followed the NPP legislator’s comment on his media outlet, throwing a lot of accusations about the renowned investigative journalist.

Before the premiere of one of Anas’ investigative videos, Kennedy Agyapong, had raised issues with the journalist’s inability to pay taxes, his use of land guards to grab people’s properties and other things.

According to Anas, Agyapong on 29 May 2018, during a live programme in Twi on Adom TV, categorically stated that he [Anas] was a blackmailer, corrupt, an extortionist, and evil.

Based on the said allegations, Anas sought reliefs including general damages for libel, as well as aggravated damages arising from the libellous comments.

But after four years of court proceedings, the court ruled that Anas failed to prove that Kennedy Agyapong defamed him by airing the documentary, “Who watches the watchman”.

The court was of the view that the documentary rather exposed shady deals that Anas and his associates were involved in.

According to the trial judge, Justice Eric Baah, the defendant provided sufficient evidence to prove that the plaintiff used the findings of his work to solicit money from persons implicated in the evidence gathered by him.

Also, the evidence before the court suggested that those who were able to pay the sums of money demanded by Anas and his associates got exempted from videos that were shown to the public.

The court concluded that what Anas is engaged in is not investigative journalism but rather investigative terrorism and that Agyapong was justified to call Anas “a blackmailer, corrupt, an extortionist, and evil”.

“I find the claims by the plaintiff meritless and they are hereby dismissed,” Justice Baah ruled.

The court also awarded a cost of GH₵50,000.00 against the plaintiff, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Speaking to journalists after the court hearing, Mr Agyapong said “we have to be bold to speak the truth, Anas goes ahead to [allegedly] defame people and gets away. It is only in this country that a journalist covers his face to go and give witness in a case”.

He said this victory is for the former Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kwasi Nyantakyi.

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