Asiedu Nketia fights GHC15m libel suit
General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Asiedu Nketia, has finally come out to defend himself in a high profile defamation suit by former Auditor General, Edward Dua-Agyaman.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia was ‘forced’ to come out after realizing that he stood the risk of paying GH¢15 million in the suit, following an application for judgment in default filed by lawyer for the plaintiff against the NDC General Secretary.
On December 10, 2018, Mr. Asiedu Nketia popularly called General Mosquito, was served with a motion on notice for judgment in default of appearance filed by Lawyer for the plaintiff, Gary Nimako Marfo of Safo & Marfo Law firm, on December 5, 2018.
That was after an Accra High Court had on November 8, 2018 granted a relief for substituted service by the plaintiff’s lawyers after Asiedu Nketia was reportedly said to be swerving bailiffs.
The substituted service process did not materialize and the plaintiff’s lawyers went back to the court with an exparte motion seeking a default judgment against the NDC General Secretary who seems to be playing hide-and-seek with the plaintiff and his legal team.
The court presided over by Justice Sophia Rosetta Bernasko Essah, after hearing the motion, directed the plaintiff to attempt service on Asiedu Nketia “in the ordinary way and if same fails, leave is granted to serve him in the mode prescribed by the court on 8th November, 2018”.
The plaintiff’s lawyers were further directed to use the process of substituted service by posting the application at the Headquarters of the National Democratic Congress for 14 days if the service through the ordinary means fails.
But Mr. Asiedu Nketia, has through his lawyer, Samuel M. Codjoe of Law Trust, filed an affidavit in opposition to the claims of refusing to appear before the court even after the substituted service which led to the publication of a writ of summons and statement of claim filed by the applicant against him on November 12, this year.
In his affidavit, the NDC General Secretary observed “that at the time the publication was made on the 12th day of November, 2018, respondent (Asiedu Nketia) was in the hinterlands campaigning to retain his position as the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and as such had no notice whatsoever or howsoever of the content of the publication of the writ of summons and statement of claim
The affidavit, a copy of which is available to DAILY GUIDE, indicates “that acting proactively, I entered appearance to the said writ of summons and statement of claim through my lawyers.”
Claims are true
Mr. Asiedu Nketia stood firm on the allegations he made against the former Auditor General, by saying “that the statements I made on Neat FM concerning applicant are statements of fact and are true in substance.”
“I add that some of the panel members who sat on applicant’s case which resulted in his dismissal are alive. The statements made are therefore justified.”
Background To Suitname
Former Auditor General, Prof Dua-Agyeman, who is now the board chairman of the Audit Service has dragged Asiedu Nketia before an Accra High Court over comments he made on radio intended to damage his reputation, demanding GH?15 million.
The NDC scribe has been accused of making slanderous statements against the former Auditor General that he was fond of churning out fake audit reports based on which he was sacked by the accountants association.
According to the suit, without basis or probable cause, Asiedu Nketia “ostensibly sought to impugn the integrity, dignity and reputation of the Plaintiff and to ridicule him in the eyes of right thinking members of society”.
The plaintiff avers that Asiedu Nketia on October 2, 2018 made some unsubstantiated and disparaging statements on Accra based radio station, Neat FM accusing him of producing fake audit accounts in 1983 while he was at the Audit Service leading to his dismissal.
But the former Auditor General has taken exception to the comments, saying it has generated several comments and media attention in Ghana and abroad ostensibly to tarnish his hard won reputation.
In the suit filed by his lawyer, Gary Nimako of SAFO&MARFO@LAW avers that the plaintiff understands the comment to mean that he produced a fake audit report for a non-existent company in 1983 which caused him to be banned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ghana) “to mean that he is a person who is dishonest or acted dishonestly in return for personal gain”.
Contrary to claim by Asiedu Nketia, Prof Dua-Agyeman avers that a letter authored by Prof Kwame Adom-Frimpong, President of Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ghana) Council (ICAG) dated 15th October, 2018 shows that he has been in good standing since 1978 and has never been banned.