High court grants omanhen of Oguaa’s request to settle defamation case between MP and MCE out of court

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A Cape Coast High Court has granted the request of the Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, to resolve a misunderstanding between the Mayor of Cape Coast, Ernest Arthur, and the Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, out of court.

Osabarima Kwesi Atta II prayed for an out-of-court settlement of a defamation judgment against Mr. Ricketts-Hagan and to give him three weeks to resolve the matter.

The Court, presided over by Patience Mills-Tetteh, granted the wishes of the Chief and also granted Mr. Arthur, the Mayor of Cape Coast, GHC1,000.00 in general damages.

Background

On February 7, 2022, a Cape Coast High Court ordered Mr. Ricketts-Hagan to retract a defamatory comment he made, during a news conference, against the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Cape Coast and apologize to him within three weeks.

The Court also awarded Mr. Arthur general damages of GHC100,000.00 and a cost of GHC5,000.00 in his case against the MP.

The Cape Coast South MP used derogatory language to describe the MCE, claiming Mr. Arthur is unqualified to lead the Metropolis.

Consequently, Mr. Ernest Arthur, asked the Court to stop Mr. Ricketts-Hagan, his agents, and assigns from publishing further defamatory claims about him in the writ.

According to the statement of claim that accompanied the MCE’s writ, the defendant, Ricketts-Hagan, knew the statements he published about him were false but went ahead to do so.

Mr. Arthur also indicated in the writ that despite being unanimously approved as MCE by the Assembly members, the MP was hell-bent on ruining his reputation with unprintable words.

The aftermath of the Omanhen’s intervention

The Cape Coast South Constituency secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), George Justice Arthur, told the media after the Court’s decision, how excited they were about the two outcomes in court: the setting aside of the default judgment and the Omanhen’s intervention.

He explained that there was a default judgment against the MP for his inability to appear before the Court, and so, they came to court to file a motion to set the default judgment aside, only for the Omanhen to also intervene.

“As expected, the judge granted our appeal and set aside the default judgment so that we would be able to go through the normal process. Incidentally, the Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, came to court for the matter to be settled out of court. We are happy.”

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