Kennedy Agyapong vs Anas: Supreme Court dismisses Anas’ suit against High Court

The Supreme Court has rejected a petition submitted by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, seeking to overturn a judgment issued by an Accra High Court. This action follows a prior appeal to the highest court aiming to invalidate the High Court’s decision to dismiss Anas’ defamation lawsuit against Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene-Agyapong.

In a verdict on March 15, 2023, the Court, led by Justice Eric Baah, a Court of Appeal judge serving additionally as a High Court Judge, rejected the case on grounds of lacking substantial merit. Justice Baah stated that while the statements made against Anas were potentially defamatory, Anas failed to substantiate his claims.

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“From the above, I hold that the plaintiff is a blackmailer who uses blackmail to extort money from his opponents and people he does not like.

“What the plaintiff is doing is not investigative journalism but investigative terrorism,” the presiding judge, who awarded cost of GH¢50,000 against Anas had said.

Subsequently, Mr. Aremeyaw Anas filed an application at the Supreme Court to quash the judgment of the High Court.

The investigative journalist explained that the grounds for the application were based on “absence of jurisdiction” by the sitting judge and the “apparent or real likelihood of bias and impartiality on the part of the judge”.

Nonetheless, in a majority decision of 3-2, a five-member panel of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo, dismissed the certiorari application. Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, along with Justices Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu and Samuel Asiedu, formed the majority, while Justices Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi dissented. The panel also upheld the prior decision of the High Court.

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Despite requests from Kennedy Agyapong’s legal representative for Anas to bear costs, the Supreme Court declined to impose them.

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