Asiedu Nketia thrown out again

Johnson Asiedu Nketia and Prof Dua Agyeman
Johnson Asiedu Nketia and Prof Dua Agyeman

An Accra High Court has dismissed another application by the General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, to set aside the GH¢20 million defamation suit brought against him by the Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Prof. Dua Agyeman.

The application was seeking to set aside Prof Dua Agyeman’s amended statement of claims but because Mr. Asiedu Nketia’s lawyer did not follow the orders of the court, it was rejected.

His lawyer, Johnson Normesinu, moving the application before Justice Sophia R. Bernasko-Essah, said he was invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the court because the plaintiff’s amended writ does not state anything of substance.

According to him, the court’s order for the plaintiff to amend his statement of claim to include the exact word complained to be defamatory in the Twi dialect was specific and did not include anything else.

It is his argument that the plaintiff had amended one of the reliefs being sought to include an increment in the compensation demanded from GH¢15 million to GH¢20 million.

This, Mr. Normesinu argued, was not part of the court’s order.

He added that the plaintiff in his amended statement did not include an endorsement to indicate that it was amended subsequent to the orders of the court.

This argument was opposed by Gary Nimako, counsel for the plaintiff who averred that the application was just one of the tactics adopted by the defendant to avoid filing his defence in the matter.

According to him, an amended writ is a fresh case on its own and the court cannot be invited to dismiss an amended statement of the case because certain amendments were not specifically ordered by the court.

He described the application by the defence lawyer as an abuse of the court processes and this shows that the NDC scribe has a case to answer.

In the ruling, the presiding judge said although the plaintiff did not follow the exact orders of the court in amending his statement of claim, it cannot be the grounds to dismiss the entire process.

According to her, the plaintiff had the right to amend his statement even without the leave of court once the pleadings had not closed.

She held that there was no record that the plaintiff had amended his pleadings already, hence was within time to amend the statement as has been done.

She, however, held that the plaintiff did not follow the court’s order to the fullest as the amended statement of claims should have reflected that the amendment was done pursuant to orders of the court.

She therefore ordered the plaintiff to amend his pleadings to reflect the orders of the court and file same within 10 days.

The court also awarded a cost of GH¢600 against Asiedu Nketia.



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