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General News of Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Source: Daily Guide

Asabee sues Raymond Archer

THE WOES of the Editor-In-Chief of The Enquirer newspaper, Raymond Archer, seem to be far from ending as former Information and National Orientation Minister, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has sued him for a whopping amount of GH¢ 1million in damages for defamation.

This follows a story published in the Wednesday September 23 to Thursday September 24, 2009 edition of The Enquirer newspaper under the headline “Busted: Asabee’s juju act, now see why Attorney General is under spell”.

In an order of substituted service, which was published in yesterday’s edition of the Daily Graphic newspaper, lawyers for Mr. Asamoah-Boateng, Sam Okudzeto and Associates, noted that the defendants; Raymond Acher, together with The Enquirer and publishers of the paper, Focal Media Limited, falsely and maliciously wrote, printed and published his photograph in a manner that ridiculed him in the estimation of the right-thinking members of the society, indicating that the former minister is a ‘jujuman’.

In the said publication, the paper made reference that “Asabee arrives @ the Fast Track High Court, and then heads for his car booth instead of walking to the courtroom”, “Asabee then pulls from his bag a yellow bottle which he poured into his left hand as he recites some incantations”.

The paper is also quoted as having written; “Asabee rubs the concoctions on his forehead as he enters into a period of chanting” and “Asabee finally shifts into a higher gear and with a clenched fist goes into more chanting, check side pictures 1 to 4”.

In his statement of claim, Mr. Asamoah-Boateng, popularly referred to as Asabee, is praying the court to place an injunction to restrain the defendants or their agents from further publication of the said untruths or any of them or any other of them or any similar false words or libel against him.

Asabee noted that in their natural and ordinary meaning, the words meant and were understood to mean that he practices black magic, he has by means of black magic cast a spell on the Attorney-General, who is prosecuting him for alleged criminal offences at the Fast Track High Court, to disable her from successfully prosecuting him because she started with 12 charges against him, reduced it to 7 and then 2 charges.

He also averred that the contents of the publication were given wide media attention without any proper investigations or interview with plaintiff to confirm or otherwise deny the allegations, stressing that the said words, which are false, referred and were understood to refer to him.

The plaintiff declared that he is a practicing Christian and that this fact is known to all his friends and family members, both home and abroad, his political party members and other political parties.

By this publication, Asabee claims that he will be seen as a hypocrite who does not practice his religion but rather dabbles in occultism and voodooism, which is an anathema within his community and the class of people he associates with.

Aside that, he noted that not only has his reputation been injured, it has also been brought into public scandal, odium and contempt, indicating that they published the story out of spite.

That notwithstanding, he said the words in the publication were meant to disparage his reputation among the Ghanaian public, who will believe that he did commit the crimes he was charged with and is using black magic to shield himself from prosecution.

For this reason, Mr. Asamoah-Boateng claims that he has been put to public ridicule and made to suffer damage and therefore seeks the reliefs from the court.

He has consequently asked the court to cause Mr. Archer and the paper to retract the said publication and render an apology to be delivered in four issues of the Daily Graphic, the papers that carried the story, as well as on radio stations where the news item were serialized.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu