General News of Thursday, 12 April 2018
A businessman, who is also an estates developer and the lawful Attorney of Okpon We family of Teshie and La has dragged Graphic Communications Group to court over attempts to tarnish his name and image through what he described as libelous publications against him regarding the lawful possession of the Dzornaman lands.
The Daily Graphic in its April 10, 2018 edition, on page 30, carried a story under the headline: ‘Residents Cry For Help, As Land Guards Take Over Adjiringanor/Dzornaman/Otano; suggesting that residents of Adjiringanor/Dzornaman/Otano were living in fear, following threats by some notorious land guards in the person of Ibrahim Jajah (the Plaintiff).
The said publication also claimed that the Plaintiff brought bulldozers to tear down partially developed properties and illegally resold empty lands.
It also alleged that Ibrahim Jajah was terrorising residents of Adjiringanor as he carries out illegal demolitions.
However, in his efforts to set the records straight, Ibrahim Jajah, who was so much hurt by the ‘libelous’ publication, has filed a writ at the High Court against Daily Graphic, (the defendant), to seek redress.
In his statement of claim (Suit No. GJ 561/18 filed on April 11, 2018) the plaintiff stated that the said publication which had gained wide coverage both locally and internationally, was false and a concocted article published by the defendant to “tarnish” his image.
He averred in the statement of claim that the Okpon We family were the owners of all that parcels of lands situated at Dzornaman in the Greater Accra Region, which cover an area of 603.57 acres near Adjiringanor.
The plaintiff also buttressed his point with a ruling delivered on March 24, 2011 by Justice Yaw Appau in favour of the Okpon We family in Suit No. AL/25/2004.
He mentioned that going by that judgement, the Okpon We family obtained an order from the High Court, Land Division for demolition of properties illegally erected on the said land.
The demolition exercise, he stated, was supervised by the Ghana Police Service to assist the Okpon We family take possession of their lands.
The plaintiff, Ibrahim Jajah, stated also that despite the fact that officials of the Ghana Police Service supervised the demolition exercise which order was granted by the court, they (the police) has been assisting the other side in the said case and have been harassing members of the Okpon We family.
The plaintiff said, the Ghana Police Service officials continue to assist encroachers and those whom the Okpon We family obtained judgement against, and have been prosecuting the plaintiff and members of the Okpon We family.
That, he indicated, resulted in a contempt suit filed against the police service, (Suit No. E12/97/2018) which the plaintiff cites some officers for contempt of court.
Ibrahim Jajah stated emphatically that neither him nor the Okpon We family has claimed any Adjiringanor land as alleged by the defendant in that publication, but rather Dzornaman land over which judgement was given.
He stated that the publication was done recklessly and with malice and has impugned on his personal reputation, social life and business interest.
In view of that, the plaintiff is seeking an order from the court for the defendant to retract the publication within 14 days after judgement.
The plaintiff is also seeking for a perpetual Injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, assigns, editors from further publishing any similar libelous material about him and seek for an unqualified apology from the plaintiff to be made in the same mode as the offensive publication and in same prominence.