True to his threat, Mr. Kofi Osei Ameyaw, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry has taken three newspapers “The Insight, The Ghanaian Democrat and The Ghana Palaver to court for what he calls defamatory stories serialized about him.
Mr. Osei Ameyaw is seeking damages to the tune of two billion cedis (¢2billion) for the said stories which alleged that he was involved in a ritual murder, the removal of a woman's tooth with a pair of pliers and the exportation of narcotic drugs under the guise of soya beans.
The publication also alleged that when the deputy minister was practicing as a lawyer in Australia he fraudulently misled a Phillipino couple to invest their money. Filing the suit on behalf of the Minister, Charles Luwanga from Kulendi At Law, is also seeking perpetual injunction to prevent the newspapers from further publishing such stories about him.
Mrs. Elizabeth Agyepong, who is alleged to be the source of the said stories and is currently at large and on the police service wanted list was also included in the suit.Meanwhile, Mr. Peter Kojo Apisawu, Editor of the Insight has argued that his paper contacted Osei Ameyaw and carried his version in each of the said stories.
The Ghanaian Palaver Editor, Ekow Essuman said his paper tried in vain but failed to get Mr. Osei Ameyaw's comments on the said stories. He continued that his paper thought Mr. Osei Ameyaw did not want to comment on the issue because the story kept running for weeks but the deputy minister never commented. The deputy minister noted that it is with pain that he reluctantly initiated the law suits. Mr. Osei Ameyaw said he believes in freedom of the media but thinks that it should be done responsibly.