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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Source: GNA

NDC MP to pay over GH¢100,000 for defaming Cape Coast MCE

Mr. George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, MP for Cape Coast South constituency Mr. George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, MP for Cape Coast South constituency

Kweku George Ricketts-Hagan, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast South constituency has been ordered by a Cape Coast High Court to within three weeks retract defamatory statements he made against Mr. Ernest Arthur, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Cape Coast.

The court awarded general damages in the sum of GH¢100,000 in favour of Mr. Arthur against the MP.

The court also asked Mr. Ricketts- Hagan to retract the defamatory statements through a press conference and render an apology to the MCE.

A cost of GH¢5000.00 was awarded in favour of the MCE.

The court also restrained the MP together with his assigns, agents and privies from making further defamatory comments against the MCE.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Mrs. Patience Mills-Tetteh ordered that a motion on notice to set aside the earlier judgement was not granted.

The MCE on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, filed a defamation suit against the MP following what he described as ‘defamatory comments’ about him by Mr Ricketts-Hagan after his confirmation as MCE.

In reference to a press conference held by Mr Kweku Ricketts-Hagan after the confirmation of Mr. Arthur as MCE, the MP was alleged to have used unsavoury words to describe the MCE, saying he was unfit to lead the Metropolis.

In the writ, Mr. Arthur prayed the Court to restrain Mr. Ricketts-Hagan, his agents from further publishing defamatory statements against his person.

A statement of claim accompanying the writ of the MCE said the defendant Ricketts -Hagan knew that the statements he published about him were untrue but went ahead to publish same.

Mr. Arthur said in the writ that although he was successfully approved by the Assembly members as MCE, the MP was bent on tarnishing his image with unprintable words.

The claim said the statements were made in an environment where the plaintiff (MCE) was well known and was still performing his political duties.

Mr Arthur said the statements by Mr Ricketts-Hagan which were broadcast in the media nationwide had seriously injured his reputation and brought it into public ridicule and contempt.

Meanwhile, the National Democratic Congress in Cape Coast, has expressed disappointment over the decision by Mr. Arthur to sue Mr. Ricketts-Hagan in court for defamation.

At a press briefing, Mr. George Justice Arthur, the NDC Secretary for the Cape Coast South Constituency, said the MCE’s decision to initiate a court action against the MP would set a bad precedent and delay development in the Metropolis.