The High Court has ordered Asamoah Gyan, former Black Stars captain, to pay GhC1,000,000 to Ghanaian journalist Osarfo Anthony, following a lawsuit of malicious prosecution.
Osarfo was prosecuted for conspiracy to extort money from the former Sunderland Striker and his manager Samuel Anim Addo in 2015. After almost four years of prosecution, Osarfo was acquitted and discharged on March 20, 2019.
The plaintiff after his acquittal, sued the former black stars captain and his manager for malicious prosecution.
Praying the court to award a cost of one million Ghana cedis as general damages, legal fees, and any other cost the court deems right against the Defendants, Osafo Anthony on Friday, December 8, won the lawsuit.
” I just won my Ghc 1m malicious prosecution suit against former Ghana Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan, and his manager. It is been a gutsy-8-year criminal and civil legal battle. Time vindicates me, so here I am,” Osarfo told the media after his victory.
He added, “It’s a pyrrhic victory, but there’s nothing nobler than facing your accuser mano-a-mano, clearing your name, and compensation ruled in your favour for damages suffered.
“With malice, they sullied my image with unfettered, ill-themed allegations – and subjected me to public animus. In the end…there’s no harvest justification. To all who have in one way or the other been accused falsely before, you can relate, let’s ride on the crest of a new wave together.”
RULING ON THE CIVIL CASE
The judge for the case, His Lordship Justice, Dr Ernest Owusu-Dapaa (Justice of the Court of Appeal) sitting with additional responsibility at the High Court, passed his ruling at 10:00 AM in Financial Court 1 of the High Court.
Osarfo was represented by Yaw Dankwah, Esq. of Dankwah and Associates (Divine Chambers), while veteran, legal luminary, Alexander Abredu Somuah-Asamoah, Esq. (Appiade Chambers) represented Gyan and his manager.
BACKGROUND OF THE CASE
In June 2015, Daily Guide newspaper exclusively broke a story, which claimed that one Sarah Kwabla is pressing rape and sodomy allegations against the famed, former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan, now a retired footballer.
The story, which gained wild national attention, was published by the newspaper without the victim’s (Sarah Kwabla) side of the story. Sarah contacted Osarfo with graphic photos of her bloody butt and thighs, WhatsApp chats with Asamoah Gyan, and Gyan’s voice note — in which he can be heard — appealing to the girl not to show any evidence to the public.
Osarfo got in touch with Gyan’s lawyer for Gyan’s side of the story. The lawyer flatly denied Sarah’s allegations. He maintained that Gyan had consensual sex with Sarah. Having had a balanced story, the blog Osarfo worked for, GHBase.com, published a series of stories on the rape and sodomy allegations.
One of the handlers in Gyan’s camp named Nii Armah Amarteifio, acting on the instructions of Gyan’s manager, contacted the editor/publisher. Nii pleaded for the stories to be pulled down, and further publications discontinued. The said Nii also assured the publisher that Gyan is prepared to offer financial tokens to register his appreciation.
On the blind side of Osarfo and his media house, the Gyans had reported them to the police – accusing them of attempting to extort money from Baby Jet. Upon receiving the funds on behalf of the publisher, Osarfo was rounded up by the police.
CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF JOURNALIST
In the criminal trial titled The Republic vs. Osarfo Anthony and 3 others, suit number: D2/60/16, Circuit Court 9, Accra, Osarfo was prosecuted for conspiracy to extort and extort money from Asamoah Gyan. Osarfo’s defence counsel was popular lawyer Maurice Ampaw, and lawyer Lamtiig Apanga.
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