Former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, has sued the host of ‘The Seat’ programme on NET2 TV, Justice Kweku Annan, for defamation.
Mr Annan alleged on his show on 16 June 2021 that Mr Asante-Apeatu shields notorious Ghanaian and Nigerian criminals and was on their payroll.
“Former IGP, Mr David Apeatu’s administration, you know these men whose names I am about to mention. You know them. What did he do? What did you do? I say that you know these notorious armed robbers whose names I am about to mention. Why haven’t you been able to arrest them? Former IGP, you know this. What have you done? What did you do? Mr Apeatu, I say you know these people”, the journalist alleged on his show.
Mr Asante-Apeatu, in his suit, said the allegations were “utterly false”.
“The defendant published the words complained of knowing they were false, or recklessly as to their truth or falsity – having calculated that the benefit to the defendant in his vocation as a TV presenter – by way of popularity and increased viewership base and following as a result of the sensational publication would outweigh any compensation payable to the plaintiff”, the suit said.
It noted: “That the defendant knew that once he made the publication, it would be reproduced on the websites of the various media platforms including social media, and access to countless numbers of people worldwide”.
Also, it added, “the defendant knew and intended that his publication of the words complained of should be so published and/or such publication was the natural and probable consequence of his publication”.
The defendant, the writ continued, “transmitted and/or caused the publication to be published on NET2 TV’s YouTube and Facebook accounts, which the defendant has left to open access to an unquantifiable number of users globally of the internet on the World Wide Web”.
“Consequently, it can be inferred that a large, unquantifiable number of users have watched and are watching the defendant’s publication of the plaintiff and that the defendant was malicious in his publication of the words complained of”.
Mr Asante-Apeatu is seeking the following reliefs:
- General damages for libel contained in the defendant’s publication of the plaintiff.
- Aggravated damages arising from libel published by the defendant of the plaintiff
- Costs, including lawyers’ fees.
Following the allegations, the Nigerian community in the diaspora called on Ghanaians to stop tagging all Nigerians as criminals.
Mr Samuel Bamidele Temitope Ojo, Director of Corporate Affairs, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisations, Ghana, told Kwame Appiah Kubi in an interview on Accra100.5FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Yensom’ on Friday, 25 June 2021, that stereotyping a whole country based on the alleged criminality of a few people, is unfair.
“I believe we should tackle the issue on individual basis and not nationalise it as a country because we have good and bad Nigerians.
“We are not saying that we don’t have bad Nigerians but we all have names”, he said.
“Mention their names and take it to the appropriate quarters, send it to the national security, send it to the police, let them do an investigation so that those people can be dealt with”, he said.
“We, as Nigerians, are saying that whichever issue that you have, whichever investigations that you’re carrying out, go to the appropriate quarters, we have the national security, we have the BNI and we have the police”, he added.