Wednesday, July 8, 2009

P. C. Appiah-Ofori Sued For Defamation

TWO Members of Parliament (MP) in the former NPP administration yesterday filed a writ against P.C. Appiah-Ofori, MP for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, at the Accra Fast Track High Court, claiming GH¢1,000,000 for defamation.Also cited in the suit is Raymond Archer, Editor of the Enquirer newspaper, for publishing that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs who voted in Parliament last year to approve the sale of Vodafone were given a bribe of 5,000 dollars each.The plaintiffs, Dr Charles Yaw Brempong Yeboah, a former NPP MP for Atiwa and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ofori Asamoah, a sitting NPP MP for Kade and former Deputy Minister of the Eastern Region said in their statement of claim, that Raymond Archer (2nd defendant) caused to be published a front page story with a banner headline in the Monday, July 6 issue of ‘The Enquirer’ that: “Ghana Telecom Sale, NPP MPs took $5,000 Bribe”.It said in the publication, the alleged bribery was revealed by the NPP MP for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, P.C. Appiah-Ofori.According to the writ Appiah-Ofori in a radio programme on Accra-based Peace FM (104.3) in the morning of July 6, 2009, confirmed and defended the Enquirer publication.“The 1st defendant repeated several times on the show that members of the New Patriotic Party in Parliament, on the date of the resolution to sell part of Ghana Telecom shares to Vodafone, took 5,000 dollars each from the Office of the President through the Chief of Staff,” the writ said.The plaintiffs stated that they were Members of Parliament at the time and were present during the debate and voting.The plaintiff also said though they voted for the resolution, they did not at any time receive any sum of 5,000 dollars or its equivalent from the Chief of Staff or the leadership of Parliament as being alleged and published b the defendants.They contended that the publications were erroneous and damaging to their reputation and that of Parliament as an institution and NPP members in Parliament.It said the publication had been done nationally and internationally on the internet and had portrayed the plaintiffs as corrupt, unconscionable and perpetrators of illegality.As a result, the plaintiffs said they had received bashing from their constituents, friends and relations, both locally and internationally.The plaintiffs are jointly and severally claiming a retraction of the said publication, general damages , for defamation, perpetual injunction, and cost against Appiah-Ofori and Raymond Archer.The writ was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by Nkrabea and Associates, an Accra-based legal firm.

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