James Kofi Annan, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) ‘borrowed’ parliamentary candidate for Effutu Constituency in the Central Region, has been ordered by court to publicly withdraw defamatory publications he made against Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate and incumbent Member of Parliament.
The court further awarded cost of GHC5,000 against James Kofi Annan and ordered him to publicly apologise to Afenyo-Markin.
The court ordered specifically that the retraction and apology from James Kofi Annan to Alexander Afenyo-Markin should be through the same mass media he, James Kofi Annan, used to unfairly tarnish the reputation of the top-notch lawyer. The ruling mentioned Adom TV, Joy TV and United Television as part of the media houses through which James Kofi Annan must publish the retraction and apology to Alexander Afenyo-Markin.
Afenyo-Markin, plaintiff, had dragged James Kofi Annan, defendant, to the District Court to seek redress in what the former described as untrue but offensive and destructive statements against his person caused to be published by the latter.
On Friday August 28, the court presided over by His Worship Isaac Oheneba-Kuffour Esq ruled that: “The Defendant is hereby ordered to withdraw and apologise to the Plaintiff using the same media outlets in his press conference on 17th March 2020. Those media outlets include Adom TV, Joy TV and United Television.
“The online media outlets are to equally carry the apology and retraction to be rendered by the Defendant between today and Monday 31st August, 2020.
“General damages is assessed at GHC20,000.00 with cost of GHC5,000.00 against Defendant”
Excitement In Winneba
The ruling has caused sporadic excitement across the Effutu Constituency as it is generally seen as a way of discouraging a campaign of hate speeches, offensive language and loose talk that leads to fear, panic and violence.
The NPP candidate, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has also been applauded for restraining his party members and supporters from replying such offensive and provocative language but rather setting an example by allowing the case be settled in an open court of competent jurisdiction.
Panic In Effutu NDC
With less than a hundred days to the elections, some members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Effutu are calling on the party to change the parliamentary candidate, James Kofi Annan.
Mr. Annan, until a few months ago, was an independent candidate who was on a full scale campaign against both the NDC and the NPP.
However the then candidate of the NDC, Mr. Victor Hanson, threw in the towel, abandoned the race and walked away, leaving his party with no candidate.
James Kofi Annan who had already started his independent candidate campaign then switched to the NDC as the party’s candidate.
This move, caused some split in opinions within the party as one school of thought insisted that if the elected NDC candidate has abandoned the race, the runner up in the NDC parliamentary primaries should have been given the nod rather than go in for someone who himself was contesting against the party.
Afenyo-Markin Calls For Unity
Alexander Afenyo-Markin, on his part has called unity within the constituency and Effutuman irrespective of one’s political or religious differences.
He insists, “Our country has gone beyond the politics of ‘name calling’, pettiness, vindictiveness, violence and its accompanying acrimony. I am not interested in that type of backward politics. My target is poverty reduction and enhancing the lives of our people. I am focused on creating jobs that would earn money into Effutu pockets and that is how to reduce poverty and promote growth and development in freedom.
“One of my key focus has been jobs, jobs and jobs. From the very first day I stepped foot in Parliament, I have invested very heavily to boost skills supply and demand to create quality local jobs in Effutu and now some of our artisans we trained and equipped with the necessary tools to start work have become exports into other parts of the country. I have invested very heavily to support enterprise development and growth to create jobs here in Effutu and the records are there”, Afenyo-Markin told The New Publisher.