Mr Edward Adeti an Upper East Regional Correspondent for Starr News is to cough out an amount GH¢33,000 cedis by orders of the Bolgatanga Magistrate Court, presided by Mr Osman Abdul-Hakeem, for defaming one Mrs Hajira Ibrahim, wife of the Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service.
The court ordered Starr’s Adeti to compensate the plaintiff, Madam Hajira Ibrahim in the sum of GH¢ 20,000, firstly, for “defamation caused the plaintiff based on the comments and publication of same comments around the 29th January 2017 on A1 Radio, (a local radio station based in the Bolgatanga Municipality) and affiliate stations across the country”.
The court secondly, ordered him to compensate the plaintiff for “natural damages for defamation in the sum of GH¢ 10,000.00” and thirdly, a “cost of GH¢ 3,000.00 was also awarded against the defendant.”
Mr Adeti, on January 29, 2017 published a story on the station’s website captioned “Missing Vehicles: UER health boss begs; car found at residence,” and a sub-headline “Starr investigates Ghana Essential Health Intervention Project (GEHIP) reportedly given to wife”, suggested that Mrs Ibrahim, wife of the Upper East Regional Director of Health Services at the time, Dr Kofi Issah was “unduly” given an official vehicle meant for GEHIP.
The said story said “Sources” within the Upper East Regional Health Directorate hinted Starr News in October 2016, that Dr Issah had unduly given out to his wife an official project vehicle, a grey pickup meant to ‘sustain the gains made’ under the Ghana Essential Health Intervention Project (GEHIP)”.
Mrs Ibrahim filed a suit against the reporter for defamation around the same time the publication was made.
The judge, presiding, said he found the defendant (Mr Adeti) liable of all reliefs sort by the plaintiff and ordered the reporter to retract the story within 72 hours and air same through the medium first used.
Mr Abdul Hakeem said “Understandably, the court came to this conclusion based on the facts established”.
Madam Ibrahim told the Ghana News Agency after the judgement that she was happy with the court’s