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General News of Monday, 21 January 2008

Source: GNA

Courts dismisses Ghana Palaver's application

Accra, Jan. 21, GNA - An Accra Fast High Court on Monday dismissed an application filed by the Ghana Palaver newspaper that it lacked capacity to defend a two billion cedi suit brought against it by Major General Francis Adu-Amanfoh, Ghana's High Commissioner to Sierra Leone.

The court ruled that the defamatory story was published in the Ghana Palaver newspaper and an application that the newspaper was not properly registered could not be accepted.

Mr David Annan, counsel for the Ghana Palaver Newspaper had filed two applications at the High Court that the newspaper should not be attached to the suit because it lacked capacity in the matter and that it had not been properly registered and did not constitute a legal entity.

Major General Francis Adu-Amanfoh has filed a suit at the High Court against the newspaper demanding two billion cedis in damages for publishing four defamatory stories, which sought to create the impression that he was a liar.

The court, presided over Mrs Justice Iris May Brown adjourned the hearing to Tuesday to allow counsel for Ghana Palaver to study a supplementary application filed by the plaintiff. Mr Annan in his submission had argued that the newspaper had not been registered with the Ghana Post and that it was not a legal entity.

He said the plaintiff had not specified whether the application was for general or special damages.

Counsel said if the suit was for general damages then the plaintiff's counsel had no power to demand the two billion cedis compensation from the court.

He said the power to grant such damages did not lie in the bosom of the plaintiff's counsel but only in the powers of the court. Mr Egbert Faibille, counsel for Major General Adu-Amanfoh refuted the claims of the defence counsel and said it was not the Ghana Post that granted authority or licenses to a newspaper to operate. The 1992 Constitution mandates only the National Media Commission to register and grant licenses to newspapers.