Politics of Friday, 12 July 2019
The Accra High Court has ordered substituted service of the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim issued by Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education and Member of Parliament for Manhyia South, against Sammy Gyamfi, National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Dr Opoku Prempeh has sued Mr Gyamfi for defamation.
The application for substituted service became necessary since the defendant [Sammy Gyamfi] had reportedly constantly evaded service of the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim, filed on June 25, 2019.
The court, presided over by His Lordship Justice Kweku T. Ackah-Boafo gave the order for the substituted service on Thursday, July 11, 2019.
The court ordered that the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim be served on the defendant by a publication in the Daily Graphic newspaper and also by posting a copy of the processes on the Notice Board of the High Court.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, dragged Mr. Sammy Gyamfi, to court for defaming him.
He is claiming GHc1million in damages for defamation.
Dr. Prempeh is arguing that that Mr. Gyamfi had made statements at a press conference held on June 13, 2019 that sought to associate him with Seidu Yakubu, a.k.a. ‘MBA,’ a suspect in the much-discussed and infamous kidnapping case involving two Canadian women, who were on an exchange programme in Ghana
The statement of claim filed by Dr Prempeh’s counsel, Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah, of Baffour Awuah and Partners, said that Mr. Gyamfi, after the press conference, caused publications of the false statements against Dr. Prempeh.
Particulars Of Defamation
The statement said that Mr. Gyamfi made those statements against Dr. Prempeh within a context aimed at, ascribing to him inappropriate conduct of being involved with persons he (Mr. Gyamfi) described in his statement as thugs and criminals.
The statement said the claims by Mr. Gyamfi were not only false but also malicious as the said Seidu is not an errand boy of Dr. Prempeh.
The statement said that the false and malicious words/statements were given extensive coverage in the traditional media through newspaper reports, as well as through various discussions on radio and television and a widespread coverage on various news portals and Youtube.
According to the statement of claim, with what Mr. Gyamfi said, Dr. Prempeh is now seen as someone who is associated with thugs and or criminals who engage in heinous crimes, who condones thuggery and or criminal activities and is a beneficiary of such activities.
It added that Mr. Gyamfi’s statements against Dr. Prempeh meant and were meant to be understood that Dr. Prempeh is not a law-abiding citizen, has no regard for the high office he occupies as Minister of Education and Member of Parliament, to the extent that he engages all manner of persons, including thugs and or criminals, to work for him.
Particulars of Damage
The statement said that Dr. Prempeh has suffered serious damage to his character and reputation by being portrayed to right-thinking members of society as an irresponsible Minister of State and Member of Parliament who has no regards for the laws of Ghana, as someone who condones and benefits from thugs and or criminals who commit heinous crimes, as not being a person not worthy of being entrusted with the offices he occupies.
The statement said that Mr. Gyamfi was offered the opportunity to retract and apologize to Dr. Prempeh, but he refused and said he had no apology to render, an indication that he has no intention to stop defaming Dr. Prempeh unless he is restrained by the court.
Claims against Mr. Gyamfi
Dr. Prempeh wants the court to declare that the words complained of and published by Mr. Gyamfi are defamatory of his character.
Again, he wants an order of the court directed at Mr. Gyamfi to publish unqualified retraction and apology with the same prominence the defamatory words received within seven days after judgement.
Apart from that, Dr. Prempeh wants an order of the court for a perpetual injunction restraining Mr. Gyamfi, his agents, assigns, servants or any person claiming authority from him, from further making and or publishing any defamatory words against him.
In addition to that, Dr. Prempeh is claiming the sum of GHc1million in damages for defamation, costs including lawyer’s fees and any other order as the court may deem fit in the circumstances.