National Tribute slapped with GH¢2.3m fine for defamation

A Cape Coast High Court has awarded a total of GH¢2.3 million in damages against the National Tribute newspaper for defaming the Vice-Chancellor and Director of Development of the University of Cape Coast.

Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, the Vice-Chancellor and Mr Phillip Ntim Owusu brought the action against the newspaper for defamatory publications against them.

The plaintiffs joined the Managing Editor of the newspaper, Mr John Ackaah Alulba and the publisher, Angenubibi Media Next Work Company Limited as defendants.

The newspaper, in its issue of June 21, 2018 and July 12, 2018 respectively published two stories headlined “UC VC, others hot over dubious deals as BNI starts investigation and VC and others in more trouble.”

The stories sought to suggest that the VC and his colleague were engaged in wrong doing by awarding ICT related contracts and appointment of staff of the university.

The defendants also stated that the appointment of the Director of Development was not based on merit.

Counsel for the defendants, Mr Chris Ackumey told the court presided over by Justice Emmanuel Lodoh that his client had already retracted the story and apologised to the National Media Commission.

He urged the court to tamper justice with mercy as any judgement would amount to double jeopardy to his clients.

Mr Solomon Faakye, counsel for the plaintiffs asked the court to ignore the prayer of the defendants and that the action was actuated by malice.


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