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Opinions of Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Ken Agyapong ought to have sued, not threatened Ato-Kwamena

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Feb. 16, 2016

I personally like his deft use of humor, even on the couple of occasions when Mr. Ato-Kwamena Dadzie had launched an oblique salvo or two in the direction of yours truly. He is arguably the best among the Joy-Fm staff writers; and I have been wondering for quite some time now whatever happened to this young journalist with quite an inimitable flair for the language in which he plies his trade. Well, I have been following the widely reported to-do, or fracas, between the Assin-Central New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament and the talk-radio woman who shamelessly sports the last name of Terminator’s Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger from a safe distance.

Which simply means that I have been peeking at the news headlines and hearing one or two friends and acquaintances talk about it without bothering to delve into the innards of the colorless language which the two hip-shooting verbal pugilists have been carped for appropriating either on-air or somewhere in the public marketplace. And now, I have just perused this brief news item in which Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong is reported to have driven himself to the Kokomlemle studious of Joy-Fm and literally threatened to get physical with Mr. Dadzie, because the latter recently decided to weigh in on Mr. Agyapong’s conflict with Ms. Schwarzenegger but heavily on the side of the latter.

At any rate, I find Mr. Dadzie’s decision to sue Mr. Agyapong to be rather strange and ironic, because it is the plaintiff rather who ought to be thanking his stars that the target of his Facebook barbs does not appear to have been blessed with a flair for legal battles. Straight to the point: I guess what I am trying to say here is that short of Mr. Agyapong’s being sharply upbraided by a bewigged denizen of the bench, it is highly unlikely that Mr. Dadzie would gain anything from his alleged lawsuit against the Oman-Fm media proprietor. Dear Reader, you just take the following reading of the rather caustic sally which the Joy-Fm Senior-Editor is alleged to have written on his Facebook Wall which had provoked Mr. Agyapog to storm Cousin Kwasi Twum’s workplace and threatened Mr. Dadzie: “I believe that since his party left power and he is no longer able to waltz through the airport with his merchandise, that drug dealing MP from the Central Region has been sniffing his own stuff and getting disproportionately high.”

Now, I don’t know what a “proportionate high” would seem or feel like in the “Agyapong-roasting” vocabulary of Mr. Dadzie, but I am naturally inspired to think about that tired old maxim which says that “It takes one to know one.” I also don’t know that anybody, least of all a prominent media operative, can away with this patent case of character assassination and downright defamation. The preceding Facebook post attributed to Mr. Dadzie is inescapably problematic on several fronts and could well open a broadside of lawsuits against the author. First of all, there is the clearly unintended but nevertheless damning implication that MPs from the Central Region may significantly have a unique penchant for drug dealing.

Mr. Dadzie clearly intended his readers to be able to readily identify the prime target of his animadversion or abuse. It would have been tantamount to “slander” if he had merely spoken it during the course of a radio program. In this case, however, his abusive language was etched in frozen language or written language, thereby making it indelible and even more serious. Then also, Mr. Dadzie appears to want his readers to believe that the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party government was a political repository for drug-dealing MPs, a legally defamatory statement for which any leader of the NPP could sue to force Mr. Dadzie to appear in court in order to either defend himself against or clarify.

Indeed, Mr. Agyapong could still go ahead and sue Mr. Dadzie for huge monetary damages, especially if the accuser turns out to have no forensically sustainable evidence to prove the validity or truth of the use of defamatory language in his favor. And so, really, but for his behavioral ineptitude, or gauche reaction to abuse, it is Mr. Ato-Kwamena Dadzie who is in hot waters, not the notorious hip-shooting Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong.

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