Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, Director General, National Lottery Authority (NLA), has filed a GHC10-million defamatory suit at an Accra High Court against Multi Media Group following an expose dubbed “The Lottery Business”.
The expose or documentary telecasted on JOY News Channels alleged that the NLA Boss, Mr. Osei-Ameyaw in a letter requested the approval of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to purchase 30,000 pieces of Point of Sale (POS) Terminal via single source procurement method.
The documentary also seeks to indicate that the NLA Director General who is a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Asuogyaman Constituency inflated the prices of the POS Terminal by more than $10 million.
These, the NLA Director General has vehemently denied noting that, “the defamatory statements of the defendant in the documentary were “palpable lies and same were made without justification.”
The former MP in his statement of claim filed by his lawyer, Mr Dennis Agyei Dwommoh, noted that Multi Media Group failed to contact him to get his side of the story before publication.
According to the NLA Boss, the defendant’s action of not contacting him before the publication constitute a breach of the Ghana Journalists Association code of ethics.
“The Plaintiff is therefore before the General Jurisdiction (a High Court Division) seeking a declaration that Multi Media Group’s documentary on him as the NLA Boss, has “a right to be heard” in relation to the Ghana Journalists Association of which the defendant Journalists are members”.
He is seeking perpetual injunction against the defendant, its agents, assigns and servants from further publishing, debating or discussing any defamatory words against him.
The Plaintiff is further seeking GHC10-million for defamation and an “exemplary damages for defamation.”
He is further seeking the orders of the court directed at defendant to publish on three occasions on its platform it published the defamatory words as well as render an apology and retraction with the same prominence it gave the said documentary.
Plaintiff contended that the said documentary has not only damaged his character and reputation, but has subjected him to public ridicule in the eyes of right thinking people including his family, friends and relations.
The NLA Boss said on September 7, this year his attention was drawn to a promotional advert teaser showing on JOY News Channels dubbed “the Lottery Business,” which was aired from September 1 to 9, 2020.
Plaintiff said the investigative piece was on the purchase of POS procured and acquired by NLA from NEXGO.
The NLA Boss further denied that the Authority had purchased 30,000 POS machines.
According to him although the PPA had approved the purchase of the 30,000 POS machines, due to the financial strength of the Authority, only 5,000 had been bought.
The NLA Boss averred that at all material time, he was not either informed verbally or written to so he could speak on matters raised in the acquisition of the POS.
In the said documentary, Plaintiff said the defendant contended that he had engaged in an illegal act but he failed and refused to make adequate enquiries and cross-checks from him before publishing the teaser.
According to the Plaintiff, the said teaser was disseminated widely on the internet, radio and defendant Television and news channels.
Plaintiff further averred that prior to the showing of the teaser, his lawyer asked the defendant to retract and apologize but the defendant “failed, neglected and refused to do the needful”.
In his view, Plaintiff said the innuendos in the commentary being run by the defendant sought to suggest that he had criminally inflated the prices of the POS.
That by inflating the prices, Plaintiff said the defendant also seek to portray that he had defrauded and caused financial loss to the state.
Additionally, the innuendos further suggested that he lacked honesty.