Hon. Freddie Blay wished for war and now he has it. The Daily Guide owner appears to have bitten more than he could chew by deciding to engage Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketia in a defamatory suit brought against his newspaper by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) General Secretary.
The Appeals Court, last week, added salt to Mr Blay’s injury by throwing out a critical aspect of his appeal case seeking a stay of execution. By this development, Mr Asiedu Nketia is free to enforce the GH˘256,000 judgment against the newly-elected New Patriotic Party (NPP) First Vice Chairman and his newspaper any day that he feels like it.
The indefatigable NDC Chief Scribe has already given a firm notice that he would collect up to the last pesewa of the cost awarded against Mr Blay and his newspaper, and with the gargantuan amount, put up an edifice on which he would inscribe the words: “kwasia bi nti,” meaning ‘because of a fool.’
Following the ruling against Daily Guide by an Accra Fast Track High Court in a libel suit brought against the pro-NPP newspaper and its owners, Western Publications Limited, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Freddie Blay, insists the alleged libellous publication was right, bragging that his newspaper would not obey the order of the court as stipulated in the ruling which found it guilty of a deliberate attempt to tarnish the NDC Scribe’s reputation.
Daily Guide was found liable for defaming Johnson Asiedu Nketia in a publication claiming that he used his position as general secretary of the governing party to build a house for himself in Kumasi.
The court ordered Daily Guide to pay in total, GHC256, 000 to Mr Asiedu Nketia and also render an unqualified apology to him for failing to substantiate the allegations against him.
However, unrepentant Blay had indicated that the paper would neither pay the damages nor apologize to Hon Asiedu Nketia.
An apparently bitter Blay arrogantly told an Accra-based radio station that the case was “one of the worst cases that I have come across. It’s so bad and I don’t believe that thing should have gone to court and we refuse to render any apology,” indicating that over his dead body would his newspaper follow the court’s orders. “We have appealed against it and I think that judgement shouldn’t have gone the way it went,” he revealed at the time.
Arguing its case regarding the stay of execution at the Appeals Court, lawyers for the defendants claimed that if the plaintiff was allowed to enforce the Fast Track High Court ruling, their operations would come to a halt as that would certainly render them bankrupt, considering the huge amount involved.
The court however upheld the argument of counsel for the plaintiff who pointed out the total disrespect displayed by the defendants to the lower court by rubbishing its ruling in the media as shown in the arrogant posturing of Mr Blay, their CEO who doubles as lead counsel for them.
In what has become known as the ‘Kwasia Bi Nti’ Case, Hon. Asiedu Nketia had sued the Daily Guide over a publication alleging that he owned a house in Kumasi as a result of his association with government that has enabled him to amass ill-gotten wealth.
When the case started in court, he had a tough time getting the owner of the said edifice to testify. Sources had it that the owner was deliberately kept in hiding to implicate Hon Asiedu Nketia. Strangely enough, a search at the Kumasi Metropolitan Authority (KMA) had revealed no record on the building.
The NDC Chief Scribe in his ingenuity quickly got a demolition notice placed on the building from the Kumasi Metropolitan Authority (KMA), informing the general public of his intention to demolish the house since it was being named after him and KMA seemed to have no records covering it.
Hardly had he placed the notice on the building than the real owner of the house, one Eric Darko who is a mining engineer and a known NPP supporter, appeared in the office of the KMA boss begging profusely, and later in court with the title deeds.
The NDC Chief Scribe has since issued a stern warning to the NPP and the general public that he would demolish any building he is alleged to have acquired.
He won the legal suit against Daily Guide for publishing a false story that he had acquired the said house in Kumasi, and was awarded GH˘256,000 in damages. He has vowed to collect the money and with it, build a house and put the inscription ‘Kwasia bi nti’ (because of a fool) on it.
Impeccable information obtained by The Catalyst indicates that Mr. Asiedu Nketia’s resolve to clear his name in the public at all cost stems from the fact that Hon Freddie Blay has made it clear to him that he wants ‘war’ and not peace between the two of them.
This is because the paper can state without fear or favor that Hon Asiedu Nketia, who wanted the issue resolved amicably between them if Daily Guide could eat humble pie and apologise to him in a publication, had on at least three occasions extended an olive branch to Hon. Blay who failed to embrace his kind gesture.
Instead, the Daily Guide boss has vowed that he was prepared to fight his former colleague in parliament to the last drop of his blood.
Relishing the opportunity, the NDC General Secretary- who says he will not forgive anybody engaged in a deliberate attempt to impugn criminality to him- has also decided to leave no stone unturned in clearing his name as far as the case is concerned.
As it is now, Hon Asiedu Nketia can decide to go after Hon Freddie Blay and his Daily Guide newspaper for his GH˘256,000 any day, pending the decision of the appeal court which is expected much later.
Meanwhile in a clear case of ‘Oliver asks for more,’ the paper can also attest to a decision by the NDC Chief Scribe to make a substantial counterclaim that could see the amount of GH˘256,000 awarded in damages against Daily Guide by the Accra Fast Track High Court go up at the Appeals Court.
Source: The Catalyst
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