Mr Ebo Barton Odro, Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister of Justice on Thursday filed a writ at an Accra High Court against Mr Ken A. Kuranchie, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Searchlight Newspaper and four others for defamation.
The rest in the writ are, Mr Darlington Antobam, Acting Editor, Mr Dennis A. Boateng, Journalist and Swift Media Ventures, Publishers of the newspaper.
The writ filed by Nana Ato Dadzie of Dadzie and Associates of Sambah Chambers in Accra is praying the court for a declaration that a publication in the newspaper on March 27, 2012 against Mr Odro who is also the Member of Parliament for Cape Coast were complete fabrication and defamatory.
In addition, a GH?1,000,000.00 aggravated or exemplary damages against the defendants jointly and severally for defamation and an order to them to publish a retraction of the publication within seven days from the date of judgement with equal prominence as the offending publication.
The writ prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and each of them either by themselves or by their servants or agents or otherwise from further publishing the said words or any of them or any words to the like effect of and concerning the plaintiff.
It sought costs for prosecuting the present suit on a full indemnity basis.
In a statement of claim, the plaintiff said in the newspaper's edition published under a banner headline "Barton Odro Grabs Woyomic Mansion...House Grows Like Weeds In Five Months," insinuated that the plaintiff was building the alleged house from ill-gotten funds.
Plaintiff avers that the said publication of an almost completed building was made with his photograph prominently displayed on it to give the impression to the public that the publication is credible.
"The defendants proceeded to describe in detail the location and nature of the house allegedly being hurriedly and secretly built by the plaintiff at Roman Ridge in Accra which the plaintiff secretly visits disguised in the night in the company of his police orderly.
"Plaintiff denies ever visiting any such site either alone or with any police guard, and avers that he has no police guard or any official police guard being assigned to him."
The statement said :"The plaintiff denies ever putting up a building or owning a building at Roman Ridge or in any part of Greater Accra Region as alleged and states that the entire publication is a complete and despicable fabrication intended to lower the reputation of plaintiff in the eyes of right thinking members of the society generally".
The publication meant and was understood to mean that plaintiff is secretly putting up a building from illegal and criminal sources.
In addition, it is being funded from his share of the alleged fraudulent 'Woyomic booty' and therefore, is a corrupt, fraudulent, dubious and dishonest public officer and indeed a common criminal, corruption and stealing being criminal offences in Ghana.
The plaintiff noted that the publication meant he abused and misused his official position to his personal and private advantage and therefore, unfit and not deserving of the trust and confidence reposed in him by the President and people of Ghana.
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