Libel suit against Holy Trinity Spa Boss
Mr Tony Lithur, Lawyer for Mr Francis Ameyibor, a Journalist have filed notice of intention to proceed a libel suit at an Accra High Court against Dr Felix Kwaku Anyah, Chief Executive Officer of Holy Trinity Spa and Health Farm Centre.
The notice dated March 21, which was obtained by Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Thursday states: “Take notice that the plaintiff shall proceed with this case ‘Suit No. BD 12/2010’ 28 days from the day of service of this notice.”
It would be recalled that Mr Ameyibor, a journalist with the GNA sued Dr Anyah, for libel in March last year seeking general aggravated damages.
The Plaintiff is also seeking for exemplary damages for libel; an order restraining the Defendant from publishing similar or other materials or statements defamatory to him; further or other relieves and costs.
In June 2010, An Accra High Court ordered that copies of service of writ of summons and statement of claim be posted on the properties of Dr Anyah.
The order of substituted service was directed by Mr Justice Patrick Baayeh on June 10, 2010 that the writ of summons be posted on the High Court’s notice board in Accra.
Other places include Holy Trinity Clinic at North Kaneshie and Dr Anyah’s residence at House No. 96, Trassaco Estate in Accra for 10 days.
The statement of claim said on November 23, 2009, Mr Ameyibor, Chief Reporter with GNA covered the launch of a Handbook on Tourism in Ghana in Accra.
During the programme Former Majority Leader, Mr Alban S.K. Bagbin, the Special Guest of Honour, complained about the poor services at SPA centre and the bad work ethics of the waiters.
The plaintiff said at about 1700 hours on that day, he submitted the story to the sub-editors who agreed that he (plaintiff) should contact the defendant, Dr Anyah for his reaction to the comments made by Mr Bagbin.
Plaintiff said he obtained defendant’s mobile number from a friend and despite several attempts to get him on phone the defendant failed to answer the call.
He called his friend who gave him the mobile number and requested him to give his name and mobile phone number to the defendant for his reaction.
Plaintiff said his friend called back to say that the defendant refused to make the call and rather sent a threat that he would deal with the plaintiff if he published any story about the centre.
He said in the Monday, November 30, 2009 edition of the Ghanaian Chronicle newspaper, the defendant caused the publication of a story saying plaintiff was demanding GH¢5,000 from him to kill what he called “a negative story”.
The defendant was quoted as saying: “What is the code of ethics including checks and balances in the Ghana News Agency that would prevent their staff to demand ransom or alternatively paste a one-sided investment-damaging view of one person on Ghana web?”
The statement of claim said the defamatory words were the subject of newspaper reviews on radio stations. Plaintiff said the publication was calculated to ridicule, belittle and bring his reputation into disrepute.
“By reason of the said publication, the plaintiff has severely been damaged in his character and reputation and has suffered considerable distress,” it added.
Plaintiff said at no point in time did he speak to the defendant or any member of staff of the centre as alleged in the advertiser’s announcement of Monday 30, 2009.
He is therefore seeking general aggravated and exemplary damages for libel; an order restraining the defendant from publishing similar or other materials or statements defamatory to him; further or other relieves and costs.