Raymond Archer The Editor of the Enquirer newspaper, Raymond Archer, has filed an application to set aside an interlocutory judgment entered by an Accra Fast Track High Court against him.
The Country Director of Kosmos Energy, George Owusu dragged Focal Media Limited and Raymond Archer to court for allegedly publishing a libelous article against him, and in the process obtained a judgment in default against Mr. Archer.
The Editor is said to have published that Mr. Owusu, among other accusations, was the exporter of the ceramics containing the cocaine which landed Eric Amoateng, a former MP, into trouble for which he is serving a jail-term at the United States.
The judgment was as a result of the Editor's failure to appear before the court on March 19, 2009 when the motion was to be moved, although there was a proof that he had been served with the writ.
The trial judge had adjourned the matter to yesterday to enable him assess the gravity of the damages caused by the said publication to guide him deliver his final judgment.
However, Mr. Archer who is yet to file his defence, indicated that his first time of receiving the writ was on March 19, when the interlocutory judgment had already been entered.
According to him, when he received a copy of the judgment, he conducted a search at the Registry to ascertain whether or not the writ of summons and statement of claim had been formally served on his company.
The results, he said, suggested that it was served by a certain Joshua Adametey on one Mr. Freddy who works with the newspaper as a sport and business reporter; but his investigation revealed that Freddy did not accept the writ because he was not authorized to do so.
“It was therefore a matter of surprise to me that the search results indicated that Freddy had been served with the court processes” since he had denied ever receiving any court processes relating to the suit, he disclosed.
Mr. Archer, who prayed the court to grant the instant application, said he was ready to lead evidence to show that he made a fair comment within the law on libel concerning the subject matter.
According to him, the link between Amoateng and George Owusu was not made by “Enquirer” but the Narcotic Control Board.
He disclosed that the information he published was from interviews held with Hon. Kan Dapaah and a report by the Narcotic Board in which the name George Owusu featured prominently.
The investigations leading to the report, Mr. Archer said, stated that a certain George Owusu was a conduit used by the jailed MP and his accomplice in the trafficking of drugs between Ghana and the United States.
The report, he further disclosed, showed that there was a reverse export of ceramics from the United States into Ghana by a certain George Owusu which appeared to suggest that the process might have been used by Eric Amoateng to launder the proceeds of the drug trade into the country.
The case has been adjourned to April 5, 2009.
By Mary Anane