General News of Friday, 11 January 2019
A court in Accra has set January 23, 2019 to rule on an application brought before it by the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, seeking the dismissal of a defamation suit filed against him by Board Chairman of the Audit Service, Prof Edward Dua-Agyeman.
Prof. Dua Agyeman sued Mr Nketia over comments the NDC scribe allegedly made on radio, which the chairman says were to ostensibly impugn his integrity, dignity and reputation in the eyes of right-thinking members of society.
At court today, January 11, 2019 lawyers of Johnson Asiedu Nketia asked the court to dismiss the suit claiming it was baseless and frivolous because the comments attached in the suit did not represent what their client is alleged to have made in the twi language.
Their plea was opposed by legal counsel for Prof. Agyeman who urged the court to throw out the application before it.
Prof Edward Dua-Agyeman dragged Aseidu Nketia to court in November 2018 for defamation and is demanding GH¢15 million for general damages.
Mr Nketia allegedly accused Prof Dua Agyeman who is a former Auditor General of churning out “fake” audit reports based on which he was sacked by the accountants association.
According to the former Auditor General, without basis or probable cause, Asiedu Nketiah “ostensibly sought to impugn the integrity, dignity and reputation of the plaintiff and to ridicule him in the eyes of right-thinking members of society.”
The plaintiff averred that Asiedu Nketia on October 2, 2018, made the unsubstantiated and disparaging statements on an Accra-based radio station, Neat FM, accusing him of producing fake audit accounts in 1983 while he was at the Audit Service.
He is reported to have among other things said that “the plaintiff was banned from auditing in 1983 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ghana) for producing “fake” accounts for a non-existent company. In view of the ban, the plaintiff could not practice as a private auditor.”
But the former Auditor General has taken exception to the comments by the General Secretary arguing that they have gained media attention in Ghana and abroad and could tarnish his hard-won reputation.
He is, therefore, seeking a declaration that Asiedu Nketia’s comment on Neat FM that he was “banned by the Institute of Chartered Accounts (Ghana)” is slanderous and defamatory.
“A declaration that the defendant’s publication on Neat FM (radio) that “plaintiff was sacked from the Audit Service by reason of dishonesty” is slanderous and defamatory of the plaintiff and same was made without any reasonable, just or probable cause.”
He is also seeking an order of injunction directed at the defendant, agents, assigns and privies from continuing to make any further defamatory publication about the plaintiff.
He prayed the court for an order directed at the defendant to retract the said defamatory publication and render an unqualified apology in the same prominence on Neat FM and four publications in a newspaper.