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Chief of Staff sues 'The Herald' newspaper for defamation, demands GH¢20 million

Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare

Thu, 18 Aug 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, has followed through with her threat to initiate legal action against Prime Mark Company Limited, owners of The Herald newspaper, and Managing News Editor, Larry Alans Dogbey, for defamation.

The Herald, a pro-opposition newspaper, carried a news item on its August 3 edition with the headline “More Rot Emerge from BOST with Chief of Staff Named Again.”

Following the publication, the Chief of Staff wrote to the media outlet on August 10 asking that the publication be retracted and an apology rendered within 24 hours – an ultimatum the newspaper failed to meet leading to the suit.

Lawyer for Chief of Staff, Gary Nimako of Manfo and Associates in the statement of claim contends that his client understands the headline of the newspaper to mean that “she is a person who engages in dishonest/illegal activities at BOST.”

The statement quoted portions of the news item which read; “The Herald is informed about some fraudulent disposal of some cars belonging to BOST.

“The cars were disposed off under mysterious circumstances after an auction was halted midway in the name of the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare,” the lawyer stressed that his client understood portion of the story to mean that she is “criminally minded and engages in fraudulent transactions”.

Nimako argued that the claims by The Herald newspaper were without basis and a calculated attempt to soil the hard won reputation of Akosua Frema Osei-Opare and to as well court public disaffection for her.

“The Plaintiff says that the defamatory statements were made without any just cause and were intended to cause her public ridicule, disaffection and to reduce her image in the eyes of right-thinking members of society both in Ghana and abroad”.

“Plaintiff avers that the said publication has portrayed her as a person who encourages the commission of criminal and illegal activities and that same was calculated to injure her reputation and also expose her to hatred, public ridicule, damage to her person, profession and lower her estimation in the eyes of right-thinking members of society” Gary Nimako stated.

The lawyer is thus seeking for 7 reliefs for his client with the ultimate being compensatory damages to the tune of twenty million Ghana cedis and costs including legal fees”.

Read below the reliefs sought

1. A declaration that the Defendants’ publication as particularized in the statement of Claim with the headline ” More Rot Emerge from BOST with Chief of Staff Named Again!” is defamatory of the Plaintiff and same was made without any basis

2. A declaration that the Defendants’ publication as particularized in the statement of Claim that “The Herald is informed about some fraudulent disposal of some cars belonging to BOST. The cars were disposed off under mysterious circumstances after an auction was halted midway in the name of the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, Akosua Frema Osei-0pare” is defamatory of the Plaintiff and same was made without any basis”.

3. A declaration that the Defendants’ publication as particularized in the statement of Claim that “The cars were disposed off under mysterious circumstances after an auction was halted midway in the name of the Chief of Staff in the office of the President, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare” is defamatory of the Plaintiff and same was made without any basis”.

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4. An Order of injunction directed at the Defendants, agents, assigns, privies from continuing to make any further defamatory publication about the Plaintiff”.

5. An Order of Court directed at the Defendants to retract the said defamatory publication and render unqualified apology in the same prominence as the defamatory publication.

6. Compensatory damages in the sum of Twenty Million Ghana cedis (GH¢20,000,000.00) for loss of reputation against the Defendants” and lastly,” costs including legal fees.”

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com