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12.12.2005 General News

E T Mensah sues Daily Guide

By Statesman
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ENOCH Teye Mensah National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for Ningo/Prampram, has sued the cartoonist of the Daily Guide newspaper, Akosua, the paper's Managing Editor, Gina Blay, and its publishers, Western Publications Limited, for a caricature of a sheep in tribal marks which he claims was designed to portray him and in a manner that sought to ridicule him.

In the November 14, 2005 suit filed at the Accra High Court, Mr Mensah is seeking general damages for libel contained in the cartoon, published on the front page of the Tuesday, August 30, 2005 edition of the paper, and a perpetual injunction restraining the paper from further publishing any such material again.

In his statement of claim, the former Youth and Sports Minister says the cartoon, in which his effigy was grafted onto the body of a sheep, and was depicted as following the President, John Agyekum Kufuor with the latter reciting the popular Nursery school rhyme “Black, Black [sic] Black sheep, have you any wool? Yes Sir, Yes Sir, three bags full” while Mr Mensah responded “Mmeeh, Mmeeh” was meant to portray him, among others, as having “sycophantic traits,” and “unfit for office”.

This portrayal, he insists, is “absolutely false” and “unjustifiably libels” him and assails his “character, reputation and office” as MP and NDC Vice Chairman. The publication, he continues, has caused great injury to his “character, credit and reputation.”

He insists the effigy in the cartoon was meant to portray his image because it bore a striking resemblance to him, including the “tribal marks on all sides,” while the Ningo Prampram Bridge in the background of the cartoon is in his constituency.

Mr Mensah is being represented by the law firm Bram-Larbi, Beecham & Co.