The Defendants include Prophet Nana Yaw Sarfo’s ex-wife, Janet Adjoa Sarfo, who is said to have made some defamatory claims through a number of media outlets against the CEO of Dove Television Ghana.
The other Defendants include: STEPRA Communications Ltd (Mynewsgh.com); Kofi Duah, a reporter with the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (Daily Graphic Newspaper); the Editor of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd; the Graphic Communications Group Ltd; Innocentia Nana Adwoa Amoako, a reporter and deputy editor at the GhanaCelebrities.Com and the GhanaCelebrities.Com.
The Plaintiff, whose lawyers filed the civil suit at a High Court in Accra in January 2022, is seeking “damages for Libel in the sum of Thirty Million Ghana Cedis (Gh¢30,000,000.00)” among other reliefs jointly and separately against the Defendants.
“I know [that] it will be very difficult for them to defend. I know doctor (Sophia Asi Ocansey) to be an innocent person. Let go. You have a report, an account, to render. And that report, one day it will appear [that] you could not forgive. We will be accounting for whatever we are doing. I’m still pleading [with her]. Whatever you will do, you will win the case. But I’m pleading, let go. Let go. Forgive them. Forgive them,” he said in a live broadcast on Kingdom FM.
Going down on his knees, he continued with the plea: “Please, forgive them. Forgive them. Forgive them. Forgive them. Forgive them. Vengeance is the Lord’s. If you are able to forgive, [the Lord] will lift you one more time. Forgive them. I know you are in pain. I know you are crying. I know you are worried. I can feel that. But let go. Forgive them. Forgive them. Forgive them. Thank you.”
The Statement of Claim contained in the Writ of Summons says Janet Adjoa Sarfo (the 1st Defendant) and the other defendants have damaged the reputation the Plaintiff took many years to build. Dr. Ocansey owns the S.O. Herbal Centre among other business organisations in Accra.
The 1st Defendant, per the contents of the writ, is said to have wrongly accused the Plaintiff of taking away her husband from her. Janet Adjoa Sarfo further relayed the “false information” to the other Defendants who published and broadcast it extensively for public consumption. The other defendants are said to have published and broadcast the “false information” without hearing the Plaintiff’s side of the story.
“The Plaintiff says that the publication made by the 1st Defendant was naturally and ordinarily understood by right-thinking members of the society to mean that: the Plaintiff is an adulterous woman who goes chasing after other women’s husbands; the Plaintiff, being a married woman, is shamelessly promiscuous and unfaithful to her husband; the Plaintiff is a wicked and abusive woman who uses money to influence 1st Defendant’s husband to refuse to care and provide for the needs of 1st Defendant’s children; the Plaintiff is a morally corrupt woman who has been the cause of the problems the 1st Defendant claims she has been suffering in marriage; the Plaintiff is an insensitive, promiscuous, immoral and irresponsible woman,” says a portion of the writ.
The 1st Defendant reportedly also made a defamatory remark that she (the 1st Defendant) once had an eye problem and that the condition became worse after she applied a medicine offered by the Plaintiff. The 6th and 7th Defendants are said to have published the same defamatory statement
“Plaintiff asseverates that these words in their ordinary and natural meaning were meant and understood by right-thinking members of the society to mean that: the herbal medicine offered by the Plaintiff is totally worthless; the medicine produced by the Plaintiff is capable of aggravating health conditions of patients; it is dangerous for the general public to patronise the drugs produced and offered by the Plaintiff.
“The Plaintiff maintains that these allegations are vile and preposterous to say the least as the 1st Defendant is in full knowledge of the fact that prior to the 1st Defendant meeting the Plaintiff, the 1st Defendant was wearing lenses and it is the treatment and drugs offered by the Plaintiff which have restored the 1st Defendant’s deteriorating eyesight and enabled her to put away her lenses,” the writ stresses.
The Other Reliefs Plaintiff is Seeking in Court
The Plaintiff’s contribution to public health is said to have won her many national and international awards. The “false and malicious allegations” levelled against her by the 1st Defendant and disseminated widely by the other Defendants are said to have caused the Plaintiff untold distress and seriously injured her hard-earned reputation.
“In consequence, the Plaintiff’s reputation has been seriously damaged and she has suffered considerable distress and embarrassment as a result of the defamatory publications complained of. Plaintiff maintains further that in consequence of the publications made by the Defendants, her reputation as one of the revered and renowned herbal medicine practitioners in Ghana has been seriously injured and that the said publications have caused the Plaintiff, its management as well as customers untold embarrassment.
“Plaintiff says the defamatory publications made by the 1st, 6th and 7th Defendants and referenced above have dealt a major reputational blow to the Plaintiff and her business operating in a market that thrives on high reputation, and to the Plaintiff as an accomplished traditional herbal practitioner who has grown a successful business over the last decade, and has further caused considerable distress and embarrassment to the Plaintiff,” the writ adds.
The other reliefs include: “a declaration that the statements made by the 1st Defendant on the 4th Defendant’s Facebook page on the 22nd day of July 2021 and further published in the Daily Graphic newspaper online on the 25th day of July 2021 by the 2nd Defendant reporter under the direction of the 3rd Defendant are defamatory of the Plaintiff; a declaration that the publication made by the 5th Defendant on 26th of July, 2021, is defamatory and a declaration that the statements made by the 1st Defendant on [an online news portal] on or about the 15th of November, 2021, and further published by the 6th Defendant reporter under the direction of the 7th Defendant are defamatory of the Plaintiff.”
Also on the list of the reliefs being sought are: “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants, whether by themselves, their agents, servants, workmen, privies or anyone claiming through them, howsoever described from further writing, printing, publishing and/or causing to be written, printed and published the said words or similar statements defamatory of the Plaintiff and an order directed at the Defendants to retract the said defamatory statements in the manner and with the prominence with which the defamatory words were published.”
She also seeking “An order directed at the Defendants to render an unqualified apology to the Plaintiff in writing and cause same to be published on the Defendants’ respective online pages and portals; an order directed at the Defendants to publish a retraction and an unqualified apology in the Daily Graphic newspaper in three (3) consecutive editions; cost including Solicitor’s fees and any other relief (s) that the Honourable Court may deem fit”.
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