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"Daily Guide" newspaper wins defamation case

(MFWA/IFEX) - On January 28, 2010, an Accra High Court dismissed a four-year-old defamation suit brought against "Akosua", a cartoonist at the privately-owned Accra-based "Daily Guide" newspaper.

Jointly sued were Gina Ama Blay and Western Publications Limited, editor and publishers respectively.

The suit had been 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 former's constituency. The MP said this 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, and not to ridicule the plaintiff. The court awarded no costs against the plaintiff.

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