Court awards Hackman GHS800k in Dokosi suit
An Accra High Court has ordered publishers of the Daily Post newspaper and its editor Michael Dokosi to pay GHS800,000 to the Board Chair of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), Hackman Owusu Agyeman, as damages for a defamatory publication against him.
The former Minister in the Kufuor administration filed the suit in 2015 after the paper had published that he recorded and leaked a secret conversation Mr Kufuor had with some clergymen and party elders at his residence in Accra.
The former MP also named one Mahama Haruna in the suit (number BC 707/2015).
The paper had quoted Mr Mahama Haruna as saying Mr Owusu Agyeman leaked the conversation to embarrass the former president and to undermine the chances of the New Patriotic Party’s flag bearer in the 2016 elections.
Among the claims sought by Mr Owusu Agyeman were: “Damage for libel in the sum of GHS5million, an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the Defendants, whether by themselves, their agents, servants, workmen, privies or any of them or otherwise from further writing, printing, publishing and/or causing to be written, printed and published the said words or similar statements defamatory of the plaintiff.”
Mr. Owusu Agyeman had expressed serious concern about the allegations. He said as an elder within the party and after serving the Danquah, Busia, Dombo tradition for decades, he found such an attempt to tarnish his hard-earned reputation both in politics, public life and business life very worrying. He said the allegations were preposterous hence the court action.
Apart from the GHS800,000 damages, the court also ordered the publishers to retract the defamatory comment and publish an express apology on the front page of the newspaper in two weeks.