George Andah sues Daily Post editor for defamation; demands GHc5m
The Deputy Minister is demanding a GHc5 million compensation from Dokosi, claiming he “damaged his character” with a story published in 2017.
In a substituted order of service published in the Ghanaian Times newspaper, Andah in his writ said the defamatory article was published during the aftermath of the launch of the GhanaPost GPS App.
Andah stated that Dokosi in his Daily Post Newspaper in October 27, 2017, among other things accused him of causing financial loss to the state by negotiating with the developers of the GhanaPost GPS App which cost the nation GHc2.5 million.
“George Andah causes financial loss to the state – negotiated for the useless $2.5million GhanaPost GPS app with VOKACOM. Deputy Minister for Communications, George Andah has a lot of questions to answer regarding the procurement of the GhanaPost GPS app.”
“The plaintiff is incompetent for negotiating for the useless app which should have cost less. The plaintiff connived with VOKACOM to dupe the state and shared the bounty with his cronies…Large proportions of the money meant for the purchase of the app was rather distributed to private individuals,” excerpts of the Daily Post article according to George Andah’s writ stated.
But Mr. Andah insists that he “suffered serious damage to his character and reputation” because of the publication described the article as defamatory, “false” and “malicious.”
He thus wants the court to order Dokosi to compensate him with GHc5 million and also render an unqualified apology and a retraction of the story.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from writing or in any other way, publishing any further defamatory statements about the plaintiff. Damages of five million Ghana cedis for libel contained in the story titled: ‘George Andah causes financial loss to the state.’ Legal costs incurred by the plaintiff in instituting this action and any other relief that the honourable court may deem just under the circumstances,” Mr. Andah added in reliefs he’s seeking at the court.
Background to GhanaPost GPS
The Digital Addressing System, christened, Ghana Post GPS, which was launched on October 18, 2017, as part of the NPP government’s ideas to formalizing the country’s economy by digitally mapping and proving a digital address to all locations and properties in the country.
The project was undertaken by Vokakom at a cost of $2.5million.
Following its launch, many IT experts, civil society organizations and observers cast doubt over the system, spelling out various flaws that make it a faulty tool to undertake the purpose for which it was built.
Among the flaws some have mentioned, at the time was the over-reliance of the app on internet connectivity especially when internet penetration in the country is still low as well as dependence on Google Map.
President of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, also described the system as amateurish and not new.
He also questioned the security implications of the data received by the system.
No data breach
Nana Osei Afrifa, Chief Executive Officer for Vokakom, at a press conference at the time assured that the data accepted by the system is safe.
He added that, ample measures have also been put in place to forestall any data breach.
The GhanaPost App, which is being integrated into many critical services, will soon become a requirement for all citizens seeking to acquire passports, bank accounts among others.