State asked to settle alleged assault case with Joy FM journalist
The Accra High Court has given the state one month to reach a settlement with Latif Iddrisu, broadcast journalist of Multimedia (Joy FM), who was allegedly assaulted by the police, in 2018.
Mr Iddrisu, the first plaintiff, was assaulted in line of duty at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Headquarters, Accra, where he was assigned to report on a demonstration against the former Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Koku Anyindoho.
The state, being represented by the office of the Attorney-General wanted the court to grant two months out of court settlement, in the suit in which Mr Iddrisu and his employers are asking for GH¢10 million compensation for assault on the victim.
But the court declined the request and asked the parties to try and settle the mater in a timely manner.
In 2018, the first attempt at settlement mediated by the National Media Commission (NMC) truncated and delayed the trial.
On Monday, when the first attempt for settlement was made by Nancirita Twumasi Asiama, a senior state attorney, the court presided over by Justice Cynthia Wiredu, declined the request and commenced trial.
Mr Iddrisu was led in evidence by his counsel, Samson Lardi Anyenini, and crossed examined by Mrs Asiama.
The court adopted his witness statement, and adjourned the case to Tuesday, January 31.
However, when the case was called, Mrs Asiama made an appeal for settlement, with the support of the counsel for Mr Latif, Mr Anyenini, who had earlier intimated that he was amenable to settlement.
Mr Anyenini, however, urged expeditious settlement, noting that Mr Iddrisu continued to bear the cost of medical treatment in Ghana and the United States of America.
Justice Wiredu advised the parties against taking entrenched positions in trying to reach a settlement.
Mr Iddrisu and his employers sued the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the A-G for GH¢10 million in compensatory damages for the alleged assault on the journalist, on March 27, 2018.
The defendants filed their statement of defence and indicated that they would not object any of the issues that the plaintiffs wanted the court to set down for trial.
The court adopted all the issues filed by the plaintiffs for trial and asked the parties to file their witness statements.
Multimedia Group Limited, the second plaintiff, said that Mr Iddrisu was assaulted in line of duty on the day of the incident.
Mr Iddrisu said he angrily shouted “to get off ” for asking a harmless question to assist him make an accurate report of the event.
Plaintiff said that he was embarrassed and put in fear of harm by the threatening conduct of the police officer who was standing by a police crowd control vehicle which plaintiff enquired to know the specific name for same.
Mr Iddrisu said the police personnel, whose identity was yet to be known, violently held him (Mr Iddrisu) by his shirt, pulled and slapped him in the face.
The plaintiff fell on the ground whilst other policemen subjected him to severe beatings and allegedly used the butt of a gun to hit Mr Iddrisu several times in the head.
Mr Iddrisu was badly injured and begun to vomit blood.
The Multimedia Group Limited is seeking an order for special damages of GH¢10 million, an order for exemplary and aggravated damages, an order for general damages and costs including legal fees.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA