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General News of Monday, 18 February 2008

Source: GNA

CJA suit on advert thrown out for want of prosecution

Accra, Feb. 18, GNA- A Fast Track High court in Accra on Monday struck out a motion for declaration and an order of prohibition filed by the Committee for Joint Action (CJA), a pressure group, against the Attorney-General and three television stations for using video footages of its demonstrations for advertisements.

The three media houses are the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, TV 3 Network Limited and Metropolitan Television Limited. The court presided over Mr Justice K.A. Ofori-Atta, struck out the case for want of prosecution and the absence of the CJA. The court ordered CJA to pay GH 150 cedis to each of the respondents.

Mrs Ama Jantuah Bamful, a Chief State Attorney, who represented the Attorney-General on behalf of the respondents, said they had just received the motion and asked for a short date to respond to it. However, Mr Anthony Matthews, who represented GBC, prayed the court to strike out the application and drew the court's attention to the fact that the CJA was not represented in court.

In a motion on notice by Mr Mahama Ayariga, counsel for the CJA, contended that the use of video footages of its demonstrations for certain advertisements by the respondents violated its rights. It was therefore seeking an order of prohibition to restrain the respondents from continuing to use the video footages and further orders as the court may deem fit.

In an affidavit in support of the motion for declaration and an order of prohibition, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a resident of Dansoman and a spokesperson of the CJA, said the Committee had organized a series of demonstrations in various regional capitals in the country to protest against some government policies and hardships of Ghanaians due to imposition of taxes.

According to him the respondents were using the video footage of the demonstrations to advertise the imposition of tax on mobile phone talk, a policy the CJA is against.

"On the said advertisements certain false and misleading statements regarding the employment status of the demonstrators have been made by the respondents," Mr Ablakwa said.

He said the Committee had the right not to have their images associated with messages that were false and misleading. Mr Ablakwa was therefore seeking a declaration that the inscription accompanying the images used in the advertisement to the effect that the demonstrators were unemployed was misleading and wrongful.

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