An Accra High Court has ordered the Daily Guide newspaper to pay a sum of GHC32,000 to Sarah Kwablah.
The court, presided over by Justice Sophia Rosetta Bernasko Essah, in its ruling, noted that the newspaper wrongly used the lady’s pictures for a story.
Sarah Kwablah filed a case against the Daily Guide newspaper after it used her pictures for a story in 2015.
The court found that the newspaper, in fact, used the Facebook pictures of the lady to tell a story about another lady bearing the same name without verifying the accuracy of the images.
The newspaper, apart from the ¢32,000 fine, has been ordered to retract and render an unqualified apology to the Plaintiff giving it same prominence as the 2015 story it falsely attributed to her.
It has also placed a perpetual injunction on the newspaper restraining it from ever using her images again.
The court, in its ruling Tuesday, however, declined to award damages of ¢600,000 for libel because the Plaintiff did not provide evidence to prove, among others, that she had a reputation or that she had been defamed by the story.
Daily Guide insisted throughout the trial that the Plaintiff was the real Sarah Kwablah who allegedly threatened to leak a sex tape with Asamoah Gyan if the footballer did not pay some money for allegedly impregnating her.
But the court ruled that the real Sarah Kwablah came to testify that the pictures published by Daily Guide were not her.
According to the court, the newspaper’s defence was not credible and it could have amicably resolved the matter long ago, noting, however, that such mistakes are bound to occur in the journalism profession.
The judge noted that their mistake was that they over-relied on Asamoah Gyan’s lawyer Kissi Agyabeng’s assurance that they were right.
The Plaintiff submitted the dresses she used in taking those pictures and her phone memory chip which contained the pictures uploaded on Facebook and wrongly used by Daily Guide.
The lawyer for the Plaintiff, Samson Lardy Anyenini, told Hitz FM that, his client has been vindicated.
He cautioned journalists against using materials or information without painstaking efforts to first verify them.
He wished they had been able to supply a lot more evidence to get the damages for libel granted, but says the most important point of the case has been achieved.