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DEM EYE RED: DE-EYE SUES MANASSEH, MULTIMEDIA FOR GHC10m

General News

De-Eye Group Ltd, which was recently accused of operating a militia group at Christiansborg Castle by Manasseh Azure Awuni of Joy FM, has sued the parent Multimedia Group and its investigative journalist for defamation.

De-Eye Group Ltd, which was recently accused of operating a militia group at Christiansborg Castle by Manasseh Azure Awuni of Joy FM, has sued the parent Multimedia Group and its investigative journalist for defamation.

De-Eye Group, the plaintiff in the case, prayed the court that a declaration by the defendants that De-Eye Group was operating a militia group from the former seat of heads of state with the consent of the New Patriotic Party government was not only defamatory and slanderous but was made “without any reasonable, just or probable cause”.

The group prayed the court to direct Multimedia and Manasseh Azure Awuni, its agents and privies from continuing to air the documentary, in which De-Eye is labelled as a militia group operating from Osu Castle.

The writ demands “an order of court directed at the defendants to retract the said defamatory publication and render unqualified apology [with] the same prominence on Joy TV and four publications in the state-owned Daily Graphic”.

Apart from asking for general damages, the group is demanding compensatory damages for loss of reputation in the sum of GHC10 million against the defendants, as well as costs including legal fees.

Joy News, a subsidiary of the Multimedia Group of Companies, last Thursday aired a documentary in which the NPP was accused of aiding one Nana Wireko Addo ‒ popularly known as Choman, a former bodyguard of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo while he was still preparing to stand for election as the NPP’s 2012 flagbearer ‒ to use Osu Castle as a base for training militias.

“Misleading”

The government, speaking on Sunday through the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the documentary features significant misrepresentations and offers misleading impressions which must be highlighted.

According to a press release signed by Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the new work by Manasseh Azure Awuni is unfortunate, as its narrative and advance publicity state emphatically that a “militia” has been uncovered training and operating from a “security zone”.

The film further alleges that the “militia” has operated with the complicity of the current government and identifies its members as belonging to the NPP.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said that the 20-minute documentary does not show any evidence of any such militia or vigilante group training and operating in the putative “security zone”. Rather, it shows a group of young men and women, dressed in white shirts and black suits, converging at Osu Castle in the belief that jobs will be found for them.

NPP reacts

Adding his voice to the debate, NPP deputy general secretary Nana Obiri Boahen has downplayed the significance of the documentary.

“Let Manasseh Azure Awuni provide further and better particulars of his investigations. Whom did he speak to from the Interior Ministry?” the private legal practitioner quizzed, adding: “Which correspondent did he write to seek clarification?”