The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the S.O. Herbal Centre, Dr. Sophia Asi Ocansey, has initiated a defamation lawsuit against the ex-wife of a Kingdom FM presenter, three media practitioners and three media houses.
The Defendants in the case include: Janet Adjoa Sarfo, former wife of Nana Yaw Sarfo; 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; STEPRA Communications Ltd (Mynewsgh.com); Innocentia Nana Adwoa Amoako, a reporter and deputy editor at the GhanaCelebrities.Com and the GhanaCelebrities.Com.
According to the Statement of Claim contained in the Writ of Summons issued by a High Court in Accra, Janet Adjoa Sarfo (the 1st Defendant) and the other defendants took aim at tarnishing the hard-won reputation of the Plaintiff.
The 1st Defendant, per the contents of the writ, is said to have wrongly accused the Plaintiff of “snatching” her husband and caused the allegation to be published by the other defendants and widely circulated on social media platforms and on the internet for global consumption.
“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 is also said to have made a defamatory statement that she (the 1st Defendant) once had an eye problem and that the problem got worse after she applied a medicine offered by the Plaintiff. The same defamatory statement is said to have been published by the 6th and 7th Defendants.
“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 underscores.
Reliefs being sought by Plaintiff
The reputation of the Plaintiff, who has received several national and international awards in recognition of the impact of her medical practice, is said to have been damaged by the allegations levelled against her by the 1st Defendant and spread comprehensively by the other defendants through publications (online and print) and broadcasts (radio and television).
“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.
Dr. Ocansey is seeking a number of reliefs against the Defendants jointly and separately for the reputational damage which she and a number of witnesses say she (the Plaintiff) has suffered as a result of the “false and malicious” allegations and publications disseminated against her.
The 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: “damages for Libel in the sum of Thirty Million Ghana Cedis (Gh¢30,000,000.00); 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.”
“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,” are the rest of the reliefs contained in the Statement of Claim signed by Sammy Kwame Domeh, one of the Plaintiff’s Solicitors.
Source: Daily Mail GH