The former MP for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini has described as surprising, a decision by an Accra high court to dismiss a defamation suit filed by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, against the MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong.
An Accra high court on Wednesday dismissed a GHC25 million defamatory suit by the investigative journalist against the vociferous lawmaker for Assin Central in the Central Region.
Anas took the MP to court in 2018 for allegedly defaming him.
In his application, Anas prayed to the court to award aggravated damages of GHC25 million to compensate for alleged defamatory material published against him by Agyapong.
In a lengthy ruling delivered on Wednesday (15 March 2023), Justice Eric Baah held that the plaintiff, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, had failed to prove that Agyapong defamed him by airing the documentary Who Watches the Watchman?
The judge said that, on the contrary, the documentary exposed shady deals that Anas and his associates were involved in.
The court concluded that what Anas is engaged in is not investigative journalism, but rather investigative terrorism, and that Agyapong was justified to call him “a blackmailer, corrupt, an extortionist, and evil”.
“I find the claims by the plaintiff meritless and they are hereby dismissed,” Justice Baah ruled.
Reacting to the development on the Big Bulletin on Asaase 99.5 Accra, Fuseini said the judgement will stifle the progress of investigative journalism in Ghana.
“There are certain activities of humans that cannot be covered by just plain journalism,” the former NDC MP said. “People must go underground to be able to cover that.”
“Investigative journalism is important in uncovering crime that plain journalism cannot reach. Now that the judge has said that kind of journalism is terrorism, it will send investigative journalism many years back, people are going to be careful,” Fuseini said.
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