Supreme Court Throws Out Anas

Anas Aremeyaw Anas


The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a certiorari filed by Anas Aremeyaw Anas seeking to quash the decision of a High Court in Accra which dismissed his GH¢25 million defamation suit against Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong.

The court, in a 3:2 majority decision with Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, Justice Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu and Samuel Asiedu forming the majority, dismissed the application and said its full reasons would be made available on March 4, 2024.

Justices Omoro Tanko Amadu and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi dissented and formed the minority view.

A High Court on March 16, 2023 dismissed a defamation suit filed by Anas against Mr Agyapong, holding that, based on the evidence before it, the MP was, “justified in calling the plaintiff evil, criminal, corrupt, extortionist and blackmailer.”

Anas had filed the suit against the MP in 2018 claiming damages of GH¢25 million over comments the MP made against him after the airing of his investigative piece titled ‘#12’ which allegedly exposed corruption in Ghana football.

Anas had argued that the MP had been publishing defamatory statements about him, some of which he claimed portrayed him as a criminal, murderer, land grabber, extortionist, among others.

The court, presided over by Justice Eric Baah, a Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional High Court judge, in his judgment, held that the statements made by the MP have the tendency to defame but Anas did not prove that he was defamed by those words due to the evidence before it.

The court held that a video on the 2009 infamous US$1.9 million gold scam trial tendered by the MP captured Anas confessing to taking a $100,000 bribe from Baba Tunde and also paying bribe to the prosecutor to twist the case.

“If the plaintiff (Anas) says that Baba Tunde bought him for $100,000, no-one else can challenge it. True to the scheme Baba Tunde who had confessed to a crime involving $1.9 million on the tape in the possession of the plaintiff was excluded from the charges. The video of his confession was never showed to the public,” Justice Baah stated.

The court found that Anas’ modus operandi involved capturing his targets on tape, then later showing the tape to them and those who pay get their tapes shelved and those who refuse or are unable to pay are shown to the full glare of the public for reputational damages.

“Such conduct is deliberate and morally wrong, it is evil. Based on evidence, defendant was justified in calling the plaintiff evil, criminal, corrupt, extortionist and blackmailer,” the court held.

The court further found that the plot by Anas and his group in the evidence before it has nothing to do with investigative journalism but what he described as ‘Investigative terrorism’ and scheme for grabbing power by the back door and satisfying Anas’ “insatiable chase for power, publicity, fame, awards and rewards.”

Justice Baah added that the facts and the evidence before him established Anas as a self-confessed criminal, so the MP’s statement about him is factual and justified.

The court concluded that Anas could not prove his case and subsequently dismissed it for lacking merit. He awarded a cost of GH¢50,000 in favour of Mr. Agyapong against Anas.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak