Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi has slapped two sports presenters Patrick Osei- Agyemang and Kofi Asare Brako as well as their media outfit Multimedia Group Limited with a gargantuan defamation lawsuit.
The GFA boss is suing the two controversial figures nicknamed ‘Countryman Songo’ and ‘Abatay’ respectively and their media outfit for $2m in the defamation and libel lawsuit after ‘years of consistent lies and calculated negative campaigns’.
This comes just two weeks after three journalists were jailed in Ghana to threatening some judges in the country on their radio station Montie FM.
The two presenters and Multimedia Group Limited, the holding company of Asempa FM, have been served with the comprehensive lawsuit.
The presenters and their media company are required by the court to file their witness statements by the end of the month after Nyantakyi produced over 100 recordings of lies calculated to defame him and the football federation.
The recording dates back from 2012 until 2014 when Abatay was a presenter at Asempa FM before switching to Atinka FM. As such the two presenters are being held to account over their claims on Asempa FM against Nyantakyi.The radio station and its parent company have also been accused of giving an unfettered platform to damage the reputation of Nyantakyi – as some its other Twi language stations toe a similar line.
The lawsuit claims false reports about Nyantakyi were “broadcasted by Asempa FM throughout the world” via the internet and has severely damaged his reputation good name.
Led by one of Ghana’s best legal brains Teddy Sory, lawyers for Nyantakyi are seeking punitive damages for libellous statements calculated at damaging his reputation in the eyes of the public.
Ghana’s leading football official says Asempa FM and its reporters damaged his reputation and he is seeking Eight Million GhC8m ($2m) in the suit.
The lawsuit comes two weeks after the country was rocked with the jailing of three journalists but the legal experts say the action of Nyantakyi is ‘long overdue’ because of the consistency and ferociousness of attacks on his personality.
Two years ago Ghana FA announced a public boycott of Asempa FM for the ‘consistent lies calculated to demonize the federation in the eyes of Ghanaians with false and one-sided reports’.
Delegations were sent to the federation to beg the leaders to renounce the boycott but reversing of the decision only escalated attacks on the GFA.
The lawsuit, filled at the Fast Track court in Accra, said the reports on Nyantakyi by the radio station were “false and malicious” and he is armed with over 100 recordings of the programmes which have been marked as slanderous.
Nyantakyi said their claims have caused him “humiliation” and “distress” and that he “has been subjected to unfathomable amounts of ridicule and public scorn”.
The legal challenge has got wide implications for Asempa FM as Nyantakyi holds international positions on Swiss-based organisation FIFA, CAF and he is also the leader of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU).Despite complaints to the owners and manager of the radio the attacks went on unabated as it reached its apex on 11th November 2014 when Brako called Nyantakyi ‘a thief’ and ‘has defrauded Ghanaians for far loo long’.
Under Ghanaian law, damaging someone’s reputation with false information is a crime that can carry a huge fine which was recently witnessed between a newspaper and a high-ranking official of the ruling government.
Songo’s Fire for Fire programme has mainly been modelled on Nyantakyi who has been the subject of discussion on his sports show for the past five years. The CAF Executive Committee member wants an end to the bad-mouthing and unprofessional conduct of the above-mentioned journalists to end.
Songo was arrested by police in Ghana some months ago for the possession of narcotic drugs before his show.
This lends to the widespread suspicion that his foul-mouthed presentation on the radio show is drug-fuelled.