Sports News of Saturday, 17 March 2018
Controversial television host Patrick Osei Agyemang’s future with the Multimedia Group is hanging by a thread after Asempa FM and Adom TV removed him from the show he usually hosts (Fire for Fire) over his latest foul-mouthed tirade at Ghana FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi.
Countryman Songo has been yanked off the airwaves as his latest libellous rant against the CAF Vice President put the media outfit’s negotiation for a libel settlement at serious risk.
Even though the presenter rushed to social media to claim he was sick, it was proven he had deceived the public as he has been replaced by two presenters.
For nearly two weeks now Songo has not appeared on the show with many claiming his future with the media outfit is on the verge of ending.
Songo, in his last one-sided anti-Nyantakyi show before being benched, hurled invectives at Mr Nyantakyi claiming he is “destroying Ghana football” in the wake of the delay to the start of the 2018 Ghana Premier League due to a High Court injunction on the league sought by Accra Gt. Olympics.
According to grapevine sources, Songo’s outburst was the final straw which broke the camel’s back as it threatened a GH¢250,000 settlement Multimedia Group Limited (MGL) is hoping to reach with Nyantakyi in place of a GH?2m libel suit he filed against MGL and Songo as well as Kofi Asare Brako (alias Abatay, a former MGL staffer now at Atinka FM).
It will be recalled that Nyantakyi and his lawyers had turned down a GH¢40,000 settlement indicating that they were not interested in compensation.
The sources said MGL authorities were left puzzled by the actions of the controversial Songo who after pleading for forgiveness during hearings of the suit, goes on-air with a different attitude, repeating the same offending words on-air even though he was expressly directed not to insult Mr Nyantakyi until the court issue was resolved amicably.
Several media watchers, including some sports journalists, have been wondering why the “Ogya” (fire) voice has been mute over the past couple of weeks.
Graphic Online has reported that Songo has neither been sacked nor suspended by his employers but has been directed to assist with production duties behind the scenes till further notice.
It will be recalled that in 2016, Nyantakyi sued Multimedia, seeking damages from the company and its journalists Patrick Osei Agyemang (alias Songo) and Kofi Asare Brako for allegedly calling him “the head of a Mafia”.
Nyantakyi, a Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), claims Asempa FM – a local-language FM station owned by MGL – tarnished his image in a series of broadcasts involving two of their journalists.
However, a leaked letter addressed to Nyantakyi’s lawyers, [email protected] by MGL pleads with the GFA boss to accept the amount of GH¢40,000 as compensation for what had transpired, “in the spirit of reconciliation”.
The letter signed by Shadrach Arhin, a Managing Partner of CPL, a law firm representing MGL, states that: “In the spirit of reconciliation, and the efforts made by our client in rendering an unqualified apology to your client and retracting the story online on its portals, our client pleads with your client to accept the amount of GH¢40,00 as compensation for what has transpired.
“We hope this is acceptable to your client”.
Nyantakyi not interested in compensation
“I am not interested in money or punishment but to set the record straight,” Nyantakyi, a Fifa Council member, told BBC Sport.
Thadeus Sory, Nyantakyi’s lawyer, told BBC Sport that his client was described as ‘heading a mafia’ and stealing money meant for the GFA.
“They’ve called me a ‘thief’, ‘armed robber’ and a ‘corrupt’ man,” added Nyantakyi.
“I have sued them. I want to uphold standards in journalism in Ghana which have been thrown to the dogs.”
“The allegations are defamatory. To call him the head of a mafia is to impute criminality,” said Thadeus Sory.
The GFA president’s conduct has been under scrutiny since a government-instituted panel of enquiry recommended last year that he refund $412,000 budgeted for the 2014 World Cup, “which he has failed to account for.”
Nyantakyi, who has led Ghanaian football since 2005, is challenging the enquiry’s verdict in court.
Agyeman, one of the two journalists being sued, refused to be drawn on the libel suit when contacted by BBC Sport.
“My lawyers have advised me not to speak,” he replied.