Ghana ALERT: Newspaper wins defamation case

An Accra High Court dismissed a four year-old defamation suit brought against “Akosua”, a cartoonist of the privately-owned Accra-based Daily Guide newspaper.

Jointly sued were Gina Ama Blay and Western Publications Limited, editor and publishers respectively.
The suit was filed by Enoch Teye Mensah, a member of parliament and minister-designate for Employment and Social Welfare, in reaction to a cartoon published in the August 30, 2006 issue of the Daily Guide. The cartoon depicted a sheep with facial tribal marks following a man said to be the former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor.

The cartoon came in the wake of a speech by the former president in which he was reported to have said that the MP followed him around “sheepishly” when he (the ex-president) visited the MPs constituency. Teye Mensah said the cartoon was meant to damage his reputation and make him unpopular.
However, the court presided over by Justice Ofori Atta dismissed the application on the grounds that the cartoon was meant for humour but not to ridicule plaintiff. The court awarded no costs against the plaintiff.

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