Kennedy Agyapong’s ‘Who watches the watchman’ to be shown in court
An Accra High Court has ruled for the showing of legislator Kennedy Agyapong’s Who watches the watchman video in court.
The video is expected to be played as evidence on Thursday, July 1.
This is to determine an ongoing GH₵25 million defamation suit by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas against the MP for Assin Central.
The lawyer for the MP, Raphael Agyapong, had prayed the court to show the video evidence in court.
However, the lawyers of Anas argued that showing the nearly four-hour video would further delay the case.
The court presided over by Justice Eric Baah said the proper procedure was for the admissibility of the video to be determined after it had been watched.
He then asked the director of courts to make the necessary arrangement for showing the video at the defendant’s cost.
The judge also directed that Mr Agyapong make provisions for the video transcription at his own cost.
The video evidence by the defendant would be shown in-camera and witnessed by both sides involved in the case and the court.
The suit is in relation to the comments made by the legislature on the Number 12 documentary produced by Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
In his evidence in chief, Mr Kennedy Agyapong alleged that the ace investigative journalist approached the then Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kwasi Nyantakyi, to pay $150 000.
According to him, this was to have either portions of the documentary implicating Mr Nyantakyi removed from the piece or to have the premiering of the entire documentary stopped.
Mr Agyapong further alleged that Mr Nyantakyi raised only US$100,000 of the demanded sum but was vehemently rejected by the investigative journalist, who then proceeded to premiere the damning video.
However, lawyers for the investigative journalist objected to the evidence being tended by the MP, describing it as hearsay.
They also argued that the said matters were neither authored by Mr Agyapong nor within his personal knowledge.
Therefore, allowing him to testify to such contentious matters would be offensive to the rules of evidence.
Justice Baah agreed with the lawyers of Anas on this and upheld the objections.
He explained, “The videos presumed to be authentic as newspaper reports are admissible in exception to the hearsay rule and relevant to the determination of the case. The objection is therefore overruled.”
During cross-examination, Mr Agyapong said that he could not testify to the video’s authenticity because he was not the original author.
However, he said he did further investigations, which proves that Anas Aremeyaw Anas engaged in an act of corruption.
He said, “I am not the author, but when I saw the video, I did my own investigation by calling some people in the video, including Aziz, and he confirmed that a meeting did happen at Lagos Town. He further went on air to admit that it was true.”
He explained that the video was recorded as far back as 2010 and brought to him around 2018 when Kwasi Nyantakyi was accused by Anas as corrupt during his tenure as GFA president.
The video to be showed on Thursday is in two parts; the first part was recorded in Lagos town, Accra, “when the plaintiff was trying to extort money from a group of fraudsters who have gone to defraud a man who wanted to buy gold,” he said.
He further stated that the second part “was at the prosecutor’s office where Anas talked to a prosecutor in the said case on how to destroy the case by giving the prosecutor $5,000 and claimed to have given money to the CID boss.”
Background to the defamation suit
In 2018, Anas Aremeyaw Anas filed a GH₵ 25 million defamation suit against the Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong.
The suit follows the NPP legislator’s comment on his media outlet (Net 2 TV), throwing many accusations about the renowned investigative journalist.
Before the premiere of ‘Number 12,‘ a documentary exposing corruption in football, Mr Agyapong had levelled allegations against the journalist, including his inability to pay taxes and land guards’ use to grab people’s properties others.
The NPP legislator is yet to provide evidence to back his claims.
Therefore, Anas is seeking reliefs, including general damages for libel and aggravated damages from the libellous comments.