9th September 2020
TO: The Chief Executive Officer
Multimedia Group Limited
No. 1 Farrar Avenue, Adabraka,
THROUGH: The News Editor
Joy News Channel
Retract and Apologise for Defamatory Statements Made Against Hon. Kofi OseiAmeyaw
We act as lawyers for Hon. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw (hereinafter called the “Client”) in respect of the subject matter mentioned above and hold his firm instructions to write to you in respect of same.
1. Our Client says that on or about the 8 th September 2020 his attention was drawn to a teaser promoted by the Joy News Channel for a Hotline Documentary programme with inscription “THE LOTTERY BUSINESS” to be shown in September 2020 wherein your outfit deliberately and maliciously published defamatory statements against him.
2. Our Client instructs us that your outfit stated in the teaser that the documentary is on the investigation of Point of Sale Terminals acquired by the National Lottery Authority from NEXGO which you state is currently under investigation by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
3. Our Client says that you showed an extract of a letter purporting to have emanated from him requesting the approval of the Public Procurement Authority to purchase the said Point of Sale Terminals via Single-Source 9
Procurement method. Thereafter, your outfit categorially stated that “The Price of the POS Terminal has been inflated by more than Ten Million United States Dollars”.
4. Our Client contends that, the said statements are untrue. Consequently, it is most regrettable for your platform by way of innuendo to portray our Client as corrupt, dishonourable and a morally reprehensible person with malicious intents against his beloved country.
5. It is our view that you published the said teaser with the sole aim of bringing into disrepute, the hard-earned credentials of our Client; to ridicule him in the eyes of right-thinking members of the Ghanaian society and beyond; mischievously reduce his integrity and to cause disaffection for him and his office. Although the documentary is yet to be broadcast, we contend that a publication of the said documentary with these statements and commentary would further aggravate the already established damage to our Client’s reputation.
6. Our Client says under no circumstances or at any point in time was he informed either verbally or in writing of any purported investigation or even given an opportunity to speak on matters relating to the acquisition of POS terminals by the NLA under his stewardship. Our Client further says that, per the code ethics of journalism, you were under an obligation to inquire from him about the circumstances regarding the acquisition of the said devices if you firmly held the view that he had allegedly engaged in illegal acts. In this regard you failed to make adequate enquiries and to cross-check your facts before publishing the said teaser. We further contend that in publishing the said teaser and story you failed to verify the source of the purported information for which you made a false statement of “price inflation” by our Client.
7. It is also unfortunate that your reputable organization did not even seek to take advantage of the Right to Information Act, 2019, (ACT 989), a law that you championed to bring into existence, if you were minded to request for information from our Client’s agency.
8. Our Client posits further that, your malicious publication has caused considerable damage to his character and has caused him to receive unwarranted calls, suspicions, denigrating comments and unnecessary exposure by other media entities and social commentators.
9. We have the instructions of our Client to give you notice, which we hereby do, to within forty-eight hours (48) upon receipt of this letter to undertake the following:
a. Stop airing the prolno on any and all of the various multimedia platforms including the Joy News Channel that contains words defamatory to our Client;
b. Issue an unqualified statement of retraction and an apology on your platform and social media handles to our Client and give it the same prominence that you gave to the publication on the teaser;
c. Cause a written unqualified retraction and apology to be sent personally to our Client.
d. Delete portions of the documentary yet to be aired which is defalltatory of our Client and if the entire documentary borders on the issues for which our Client was entitled to be given an opportunity to be heard, same should NOT be aired, discussed or published in any form on your station or your sister stations.
10. We have our Client’s instructions to without further notice to you upon your failure, neglect or refusal to satisfy our Client’s demands fully, take out a suit against you, and hold you legally accountable for carelessly and maliciously making the said defamatory statements.
11. We have put the Board of Directors of Multimedia Group Limited in copy of this letter in view of the Courts of Ghana holding that the directors and officers of every media house “bear ultimate responsibility for things done in the name of a media house and, therefore, must take more than a casual interest in (Ohat is aired from their station. ” and the Directors will not be allowed to parrot that they were not ..paying close attention to what happens on their radio station since there is a management body in charge of its operations. ” 9 8
12. Be advised that our Client intends to exercise his full rights under the law, should you fail, refuse and neglect to act or perform as requested. Our Client appreciates the role that your various media houses play in the country and consequently hopes this matter could be resolved amicably.
cc: Hon. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw
Kweku Andoh Awotwi, Board Chairman
Roland Okyere Akosah, Member
Emmanuel Twum Obeng, Member
Francis Koranteng, Member
Florence Afua Mangwe Hutchful, Member
Marian Barnor, Member
Segun Adebanji, Member
Andrew Gill, Member
Vernon Matzopoulos, Member
Executive Secretary, National Media Commission