… As He Prepares To File Motion For Stay Of Execution Pending Appeal Against June 26th High Court Judgment In Defamation Case With Kweku Baako!
By Our Court Correspondent
The member of Parliament for Assin Central on the ticket of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong has instructed his lawyer to file for a stay of execution of the judgment delivered against him in favor of Abdul Malik Kweku Baako by an Accra High Court on 26th June, 2020.
“Please take notice that Counsel for and on behalf of the Defendant/Applicant herein shall move this Honourable Court praying for an order for stay of execution pending appeal upon the grounds contained in the accompanying affidavit. And for such further order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem just and proper”.
This was contained in a “Motion On Notice For Stay Of Execution Pending Appeal” signed by Mr. Kennedy Agyapong’s Counsel/Lawyer, Mr. Raphael Agyapong, and dated 14th July, 2020.
“Court to be moved on Wednesday, the 29th day of July, 2020 at 9 O’clock forenoon or so soon thereafter as Counsel for Defendant/Applicant may be heard”, pleaded Raphael Agyapong.
In an Affidavit accompanying the “Motion On Notice For Stay Of Execution Pending Appeal”, Mr. Kennedy Agyapong in his capacity as the Defendant/Applicant/Judgment Debtor and Deponent, indicated that in view of his dissatisfaction with the 26th June, 2020 High Court judgment in favor of Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, he had “filed an appeal at the Registry of this Court (attached herewith and marked as exhibit 2 is a copy of the Notice of Appeal”.
“THAT I am advised by Counsel and I verily believe same to be true that the Defendant/Applicant exercising his right of appeal is entitled to obtain an assurance from the Court that the appeal if successful would not be rendered nugatory”, articulated Mr. Kennedy Agyapong.
He continued: “THAT I am advised by Counsel and I verily believe same to be true that with respect to the reliefs if executed by Defendant upon refusal of this application and the appeal becomes successful it shall render the appeal nugatory”.
He further pleaded that “….if the execution is not stayed pending the appeal and subsequently the appeal becomes successful it shall render the appeal nugatory”.
Concluding, Mr Kennedy Agyapong argued that the preceding submissions in his Affidavit “qualify as exceptional circumstances for the Honourable Court to exercise its discretion” in his (Kennedy Agyapong’s) favor.
It would be recalled that the High Court (Financial and Economic Crime Division 2), Accra, presided over by Her Ladyship Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe on 26th June, 2020, found Mr. Kennedy Agyapong guilty of making a series of defamatory statements against Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, the Editor-In-Chief @large of The New Crusading GUIDE. This was after 20 months of protracted litigation in the court under reference.
Mr. Kennedy Agyapong was ordered, “within thirty (30) days of this judgment to publish on three consecutive occasions, on the same platforms that he published the defamatory words, an unqualified retraction and an apology, with the same prominence as given to the issuance of the defamatory words against the plaintiff “.
The implication of the Court’s judgment was to the effect that Mr. Kennedy Agyapong was to render unqualified retraction and apology twelve (12) times on the following media networks (three (3) per each); Net 2 TV, Oman Fm, Adom TV and Asempa Fm.
An order of perpetual injunction was also granted restraining him, his agents, assigns and servants from further publishing any defamatory words against the plaintiff (Abdul Malik Kweku Baako).
In assessing damages, the Court noted the dictum of His Lordship Jones Dotse JSC in the PROFESSOR E. O. ADEKOLU CASE quoting GEORGE WASHINGTON on November 28, 1796, who wrote as follows:
“To speak evil of anyone unless there is unequivocal proofs of their deserving it, is an injury for which there is no adequate reparation”.
“The Court notes further that the matter complained of were really serious in nature in which the names of highly placed people were unfortunately bandied about. This Court adjourned this suit for lengthy periods to allow for reconciliation but the Defendant failed to take advantage of it, despite having been served with the evidence to be used by the Court. Damages is therefore assessed at One Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢ 100,000). Cost is assessed at Thirty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢ 30,000) “, the presiding judge concluded.
Reacting to the latest development, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako said: “This is the rule of law in motion. The Defendant is entitled to the right of an appeal. And he has opted to exercise his right. Nothing unusual or abnormal about it. We engaged in litigation for nearly 20 months in Round One. I won, he lost. Round Two is here with us. I am prepared for it. I am a very patient and resilient person. The truth shall triumph again. Mark my words”.