General News of Sunday, 2 December 2018
Publishers of Ghana Palavar newspaper have agreed on terms of settlement with Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a legal practitioner and a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), after the newspaper published a defamatory story about him.
On September 13, 2017, Mr Otchere-Darko sued the Revalap Publishers and Suppliers Limited and Tetteh Amedjoe, Editor of the newspaper, for the defamatory publication.
The words complained of were contained in a publication, which alleged that the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, had allegedly awarded a $20million contract to Mr Otchere-Darko to review contracts awarded at the Ministry of Finance.
The story also alleged that Mr Otchere-Darko had engaged a law firm based in the United States of America (USA) to assist his (Mr Otchere-Darko’s) law firm to undertake the task.
In his suit, Mr Otchere-Darko wanted the Accra High Court to perpetually restrain the defendants and their agents from further publishing or causing to be published the said or similar words defamatory of him.
He was also seeking damages for the publication which he described as reckless and false.
However, the case did not travel to a full trial because during the case management conference, the plaintiff and the defendants decided to settle it amicably.
The terms of settlement was filed at the court on November 22, 2018, and the presiding judge, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, adopted it as the consent judgement of the court.
The terms of settlement include an unqualified apology and retraction of the story that gave rise to the suit by the defendants.
The apology and retraction must be on the front-page of the Ghana Palavar 14 days after the entry of the consent judgment.
Secondly, the unqualified apology and retraction shall be carried on the website of the Ghana Palavar on the same day the story is published in the newspaper.
Also, the defendants shall reimburse Mr Otchere-Darko of the filing fee for all the processes filed so far within 30 days of the entry of the settlement as consent judgement.
Furthermore, Mr Otchere-Darko fully reserves the right to proceed against the defendants should they default the three initial terms of settlement.