Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, has demanded an unqualified apology from a local Television station for publishing a misleading, offensive and defamatory words against him.
A letter from Solicitors of the Minister to the TV station read: “our client informs us that, your TV station has published the following misleading offensive and defamatory words- “in the North some of these smugglers load fertilizer on donkeys.
“These animals are able to enter Burkina Faso unaided, to deliver the fertilizer. l was there; l saw some of these things, but I can’t question the donkeys”, all concerning and of him, and which has also been circulated on the internet on various websites.
The Solicitors’ said it was pertinent to emphatically state from the outset that, the accusations and or comments made against their client were baseless and distant from the truth.
“Indeed, if you had committed yourself to a careful and diligent investigation of the matters raised in your publication, you would certainly have come to the same conclusion,” it told operators of the Television station.
In view of the extensive nationwide coverage of your television station, our client has received varied comments from friends, relatives and well wishers, in the country and abroad, and by reason of the publication of these misleading, offensive and defamatory article, and the innuendoes contained therein; our client has been incalculably injured in his credit and reputation in the eyes of right thinking members of society, to all of who his standing is well respected.
ln fact, in the way of his position as Minister for Food and Agriculture, he has been brought into public scandal, odium, opprobrium and contempt, the letter said.
It is needless to also state that your publication was primarily borne out of malevolence and spite towards our client, knowing same to be patently false or without belief in its truth.
lt is at least useful to inform you that our client is a hardworking, noble and diligent Minister of State and a member of cabinet, who has served in that position and or capacity for upwards of four and a half years.
“We have our client’s instructions to NOTIFY YOU and WHICH WE HEREBY DO, that your misleading, offensive and defamatory publication, has caused him considerable distress, anguish and embarrassment.
“We swiftly demand of you to retract the publication in not less than two publications on your TV station, and also render an unqualified and unreserved apology with the same prominence as the publication complained of, within three days of receipt of this letter, failing which, we shall promptly advise our client of his legal options without any further recourse to you.”
Meanwhile, Management of the Television Station has promptly responded to the Minister’s letter, agreeing to retract the publication and render an unqualified apology as soon as possible.
The station in a letter, indicated that “in order to settle all issues in this matter we are agreeable to your client’s request to retract the publication in two publications on our TV station on the programme on which the publication was made and also render an unqualified apology.”
“Kindly note that, since we wish to settle this matter as soon as possible we have decided to publish the apology and retraction on Business Focus at 6pm on the 26th of July where the original material was aired and streamed on our Facebook channel and our Midday Live bulletin on Tuesday 27th July 2021,” It stated.
We hope this brings to finality matters between the parties, it added.