David Apasera and Hassan Ayariga
Eric Osei Mensah, counsel for David Apasera, National Treasurer, People’s National Convention (PNC), yesterday prayed an Accra Fast Track High Court presided over by Justice P. Ofori-Atta, to dismiss the case against his client in a case in which Hassan Ayariga, former flagbearer of the party in the 2012 general elections, is suing him (Apasera) for defamation.
He told the court that the lawsuit against Apasera lacked merit and should not be entertained because the former flagbearer had failed to provide sufficient particulars of the publication in respect of which the action was brought to court.
Mr. Apasera, former MP for Bolgatanga, has accused Mr. Ayariga of allegedly misappropriating GH¢1.6 million party funds meant for the 2012 elections, and even went to court to seek an order for the retrieval of the said money, which he said had been unaccounted for.
Counsel Osei Mensah added that the writ did not have enough particulars of the said offending publication and did not tell the amount of words from the media attributed to Apasera (the defendant) to show that he had defamed Ayariga.
Furthermore, he stated that the former flagbearer had failed to file an affidavit in opposition to the issues raised in their statement of defence.
However, Chris Akumey, counsel for Ayariga, disagreed with Mr. Osei Mensah and said they had satisfied all the rules and provided copious and adequate particulars of the offending publications required for one to make a defamation case, referring to Order 57 Rule 2 of CI 147.
The case has been adjourned to April 4, 2014.
Mr. Hassan Ayariga, in his statement of claim, said on February 6, 2014 his family, friends, classmates and acquaintances all over the world called him about a defamatory story in the DAILY GUIDE, Crusading GUIDE and other newspapers, that he had embezzled the said amount being campaign funds meant for the 2012 elections.
He said the publications said he received the money on behalf of the party to be used to pay the PNC party agents who policed the elections, but said Apasera stated that the money had not been received.
In addition, he said the publications claimed the two V8 Land Cruisers, pickups and other vehicles, had been kept at his (Ayariga’s) house as his personal belongings.
He said the words used in the publications meant that he was a criminal who engaged in short-changing the party through stealing, fraud, among other vices, and willfully kept monies and cars belonging to the party.
The former flagbearer said the effect of the publications was to make him lose face in the eyes of the delegates and the Ghanaian electorate as well as damage his political future.
He said his reputation had been severely damaged and shattered as he had suffered immense embarrassment, public scandal and odium and said Apasera and his cohorts had mapped out various strategies to destroy his reputation.
Ayariga wants GH¢1 million as exemplary damages and an order restraining him, his servants or agents, from further publishing similar stories defamatory against him.
By Fidelia Achama
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