Justice Dery lawyer sues Starr FM, 3 others for defamation; demands GHC500, 000 each

Lawyer for embattled High Court Judge Justice, Paul Dery, has sued Accra-based Starr FM, the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council and two individuals for defamation.

Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo wants the High Court to fine each of the Defendants GHC500,000 for actions “calculated to damage his reputation in the eyes of right thinking members of society”.

The two individuals are Secretary of the Committee, Bernard Bentil (1st Defendant) and Committee Chairperson, Justice Sophia Akuffo (2nd Defendant).

According to the suit filed at the High Court in Accra, Mr Bentil, acting under the instructions of Justice Sophia Akuffo and on behalf of the Disciplinary Committee caused to be posted at the court premises a purported notice of an invitation to Mr Addo and eight others to appear before the Committee on 25 February, 2016, for a preliminary hearing of respective complaint of professional misconduct lodged against them.

The suit says Starr FM subsequently republished the contents of the notice on February 17, 2016 on its website, www.Starrfmonline.com with the headline “Dery’s lawyer, 8 others hauled before DC for misconduct”.

Nii Kpakpo Somoa Addo’s suit says that “at all material times the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants knew or ought to have known that the notice was likely to be read and republished by other persons as has been done by the 4th Defendant”, adding the notice conveyed the meaning that “the Plaintiff is an incompetent and unethical lawyer who is engaged in professional misconduct.”

“The plaintiff averred that the said publication and republication were made without any justification and or lawful excuse and calculated to injure his reputation and also to expose him to hatred, ridicule, damage to his person and profession,” the suit stated.

Nii Kpakpo Somoa Addo is therefore praying the court to grant the following:

a. General damages of Five Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHȻ500,000.00) each for the defamatory contents of the notice published and republished by the Defendants.

b. Aggravated damages for the malicious publication and republication of the said notice.

c. Exemplary damages for the reckless publication and republication of the said notice.

d. Compensatory damages for the damage done to the Plaintiff’s reputation.

e. A perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants from publishing any further defamatory material about the Plaintiff

f. Legal costs.

g. Any other orders that this Honourable Court may deem meet.

Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com

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