Fortune Alimi, the editor of DAILY GUIDE, has told an Accra Fast Track High Court that the newspaper had no malicious intention in its publication that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, acquired two houses in Accra and Kumasi.
Mr Alimi said a publication suggesting the politician’s acquisition of two houses could never be described as malicious.
Mr Asiedu-Nketia has sued DAILY GUIDE for publishing that he had built two houses in Accra and Kumasi, although the NDC man had told the court that he had more than one.
He however denied ownership of the Kumasi house.
Led in evidence by Freddie Blay, counsel for DAILY GUIDE, Mr Alimi told the court, presided over by Mr Justice N.M.C Abodakpi that the publication was made with no malice and that thorough investigations were conducted before the publication.
The editor said in the course of the investigations, it was established that the same contractor, Nickseth Company, built both the Accra house at Oyarifa and the Kumasi house at Dabaan Payin.
The two houses have the same architectural design and were indeed designed by the same architect, who is at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
He therefore told the court that the NDC general secretary did not deserve a dime for defamation because the story was published in the public interest in line with the watchdog role of the media.
Mr Alimi told the court that nowhere in the publication was it stated that Mr Asiedu-Nketia stole money or was involved in any corrupt practices in order to put up the buildings.
He insisted that the GH˘1million damages being asked by the NDC secretary were unwarranted, especially when he had not been defamed by the newspaper.
Counsel for the NDC secretary, Samuel Cudjoe, told Mr Alimi that he was reckless in publishing the story and that if thorough investigations had been carried out, the ownership of the Kumasi house would have been established.
In cross examining the editor, counsel said DAILY GUIDE deliberately published the story to malign his client in the estimation of right thinking members of society.
But Mr Alimi said it was counsel’s opinion and that the paper did a thorough investigation, after which it called Mr Asiedu-Nketia for his version but he flatly turned down the request.
“My Lord, we have no malicious intention since we did not say Mr Asiedu-Nketia stole money to build the house,” Mr Alimi told the court.
The plaintiff had told the court that the paper had maliciously used the same picture to represent the two alleged houses.
Mr Asiedu-Nketia, a former manager of the Seikwa-based Nkoranman Rural Bank, conceded that Nickseth, a Kumasi-and-Sunyani based contractor, built the Oyarifa house but he was not aware whether the company constructed the Kumasi one as well.
According to him, he was not complaining about the ownership of the building but the publication that he was into ‘property grabbing.’
Source: A Daily Guide Report
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|