The High Court in Accra has ordered the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central Kennedy Ohene Agyapong to furnish the court with the name of the judge who he claims confided in him that judges are afraid of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Ken Agyepong, who is the subject matter of a GHc25 million defamation suit from Anas Aremeyaw Anas had told the Court in Accra that, due to intimidation from Anas, judges fear him.
Under further cross-examination from lawyers of Anas, led by Odei Kow, the MP said two judges confided in him including one who was on the panel who investigated Anas’ Judicial Service expose’ and later rose to the Supreme Court.
The said Supreme Court judge according to Ken Agyepong has since passed on to eternity and cannot mention his name.
But for the other judge, according to Ken Agyepong who presides at a court at Ejisu/Efigyase, came to his TV station to confide in him.
The order of the Court came after Ken Agyepong had said, he does not have the name of the said judge in his memory but when given time he can produce the name to the court.
Lawyers of Anas as part of their Cross-Examination of Ken Agyepong asked him if he still maintains his accusation against Anas (plaintiff) of intimidating judges.
While responding in the affirmative, Ken Agyepong explained that “I have a judge who came to me at my TV station” and another who admitted that he was part of the panel that investigated the judges.
He added that “because of his (Anas) investigations, some judges…were sacked and this made many of the judges panic.”
Asked to tell the court who the names of these judges he alluded to were, he said the second judge was dead but the first was at Ejisu/Efigyase.
“My lord, if my memory serves me right, I think Ejisu/Afigyase. He came to my TV station and I have the video and he was a judge and the second one who regretted and died rose to the Supreme Court. He was among the panel that investigated the judges so I can’t mention his name,” he said.
While clarifying whether these two judges all came to his TV station to tell him, he answered in the negative.
He added that “the one presiding at Ejusi/Afigyase was the one who came to my TV station so my lord, is not the one who rose to the Supreme Court, he never came to my station.”
When asked if, a judge who he claimed he cannot mention his name came to confide in him, the Respondent said, “Because of his position as a Supreme Court judge, that, is why I didn’t want to mention his name.”
When it was suggested to him by counsel for plaintiff that, he was unable to mention the name of the said Supreme Court judge because his allegations were untrue, Ken Agyepong disagreed.
“I said two judges why is he (Counsel) narrowing it down to the Supreme Court judge because the other one is still alive,” he noted.
He said if the court could give him five minutes, “I can call my office for them to get me the name” when counsel asked to tell the court the name of the said judge who was at his station.
At this point, counsel for Plaintiff indicated his further line of questions will require the Respondent to make available the name of the judge.
The court presided over by Justice Eric Baah, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, ordered Ken Agyepong to furnish the court with the name of the said judge at the next court sitting.
Intimidation and setup
When it was further put to him, if he maintains, that, as a result of the alleged intimation and fear from Anas, judges decline to hear matters involving the plaintiff, Ken Agyepong said, “they (Judges) are afraid of Anas but I didn’t use decline.”
He explained further that, “they are afraid of Anas because of his intimidation and setup,”
“I have spoken to several judges who lost their jobs because of the plaintiff’s investigation which clearly shows it is a setup,” he told the court.
To buttress his point, Ken Agyepong said, “Looking at the videos in the hotel room in Dubai, (where Anas allegedly up some NDC boys) it shows clearly he was setting people up and not investigating.”
When it was further put to him that deep undercover journalism involving taking on the identity of another person to expose wrongdoing is not the same as setting people up, Ken Agyepong disagreed.
He explained that “because the plaintiff under a pretext that he was investigating, will rather give people money as a gift and later show the video to the whole world that the person has taken a bribe.”
He pointed to the Anas #Number expose’ which implicated former Ghana Football Association president lawyer Kwasi Nyantakyi.
The case has been adjourned to January 27, for continuation.
Sometime in 2018, the ace international investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas dragged the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, to court for defaming him.
Anas was asking the High Court to award aggravated damages to the tune of GH¢25 million arising from defamatory materials published by the MP.
He said, the MP had been publishing materials in his bid to discredit the investigative journalist, who has released an explosive piece on the rot in Ghana football.
Displeased with the MP’s actions, Anas has, through his lawyer, Mr Kissi Agyebeng, sued Mr Agyapong for the award of general damages for defamation in the defendant’s publications.
A journalist, Mr Listowell Yesu Bukarson, has been granted the lawful attorney to stand in for Anas.
The publication complained of are a May 29, 2018 live programme in Twi on Adom TV, where Mr Agyapong categorically stated that Anas was a blackmailer, corrupt, an extortionist and evil.
According to the statement of claim, the defendant, in a similar manner, published defamatory words on May 31, 2018 via Oman FM, a private radio station owned by the defendant.
The statement of claim also stated that the defendant published more defamatory materials against the plaintiff via other platforms to the extent of releasing pictures purported to be those of the investigative journalist in his bid to blow the latter’s cover.