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18.05.2007 General News

Gabby, Adom sued for ¢1bn

By News Desk

A purported defamation writ being circulated among the Accra mass media houses claims Asare "Gabby” Otchere-Darko, Adom FM and the owners of Adom FM, Multi Media Broadcasting, are being jointly sued by two leading NDC MPs, E T Mensah and Doe Adjaho. The two MPs are seeking damages of 1 billion cedis.

Also, Egbert Faibille, the Managing Editor of one of the two papers that broke the alleged assassination plot story, has been invited to appear at the CID Headquarters today to answer to a complaint purportedly filed against him by Doe Adjaho, the Deputy Minority Leader.

Reacting to the said libel writ, which he claimed was yet to be served on him, Gabby said yesterday that if the two MPs were looking to raise money for NDC coffers for the 2008 elections then they better look elsewhere.

According to the writ, Gabby was a “member of a panel that was hosted by Adom FM for the purpose of their programme on Saturday 12th May, 2007 that discussed an alleged threat on the life of a sitting Member of Parliament by some un-named NDC Members of Parliament carried in an Accra daily.”

But, Gabby denies ever been on the programme stated on the purported writ.

But, the statement of claim continues that while it was Gabby's “turn to contribute, he said in twi as follows: Se wo hwe Daily Guide, ose two unnamed NDC MPs were said to have attended the meeting where the plot to eliminate Haruna was hatched…”

The writ continues in twi and translates Gabby"s purported words in English, too: “The Daily Guide says two unnamed NDC MPs were said to have attended the meeting where the plot to eliminate Haruna was hatched… I will name them: Doe Adjaho and ET Mensah.. I can't understand why Doe Adjaho will sit somewhere and plot to kill Haruna. As for ET Mensah he rushed unto the airwaves immediately the news broke and people are reading stuff into it.”

According to the two MPs, in the natural and ordinary meaning of the words the said words meant and were understood to mean “that the plaintiffs were criminal comspirators who met to plan how to kill another human being and must be shunned by the society.”

They further claim that Gabby's words were “calculated to cause hatred, disparage, ridicule and injure the plaintiffs' ard-earned reputation and embarrassment [sic] as a result of the said publication.”

Furthermore, they say their “future as parliamentarians has been seriously undermined by the publication.”

The plaintiffs claim against the defendants ¢1bn jointly for damages in libel.

They are also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further publishing or causing to be published the said or similar words of the plaintiff.

Also, they are demanding a retraction of the said defamatory statements by the defendants, with an equal prominence with which the original defamatory statements were made.

Speaking on the Adom FM morning show yesterday, the first defendant, Mr Otchere-Darko more or less retracted but fall short of apologising. He said his words carried no malice and that he found it regrettable that they have been misconstrued. He did not intend his words to cause harm.