Events outfit, Charter House, has sued Dancehall artiste, Nii Armah Mensah Jnr, popularly known on stage as Shatta Wale for GHc10 million.
The events outfit and Mr. Iyiola Ayoade, CEO of the company, are suing the reigning Ghana Music Awards Artiste of the Year over a series of what they said are defamatory videos he released on social media site, Facebook.
They are petitioning the court, inter alia, to award the amount as damages for defamatory comments, made in four videos, that the artiste uploaded to online social media platform, Facebook.
Charter House and Mr. Iyiola Ayoade filed the suit at the Fast Track Division of the High Court in Accra last week, October 2.
The suit, numbered APB/2015, prayed the court to declare that the artiste had defamed them with the four videos – uploaded on September 23 and September 24.
They are asking the court to order Shatta Wale to record and upload four different videos, rendering “an unqualified apology and retraction of each of the four videos, whose terms will be approved by the Plaintiffs prior to the recording and uploading on his Facebook page.
The videos, the suit added, are to remain on his Facebook page for one month and should be uploaded within a week of the judgment.
The Plaintiffs are also insisting that the Dancehall artiste, within a week of the judgment, sends the four apology videos to “all media houses and online publications that have aired the defamatory videos complained of and ensure that same and/or are published at his own expense.”
Charter House and Mr. Iyiola Ayoade are also asking the court to “order of perpetual injunction retraining the Defendant, his agents, hirelings, manager(s), privies and assigns or any person through him and howsoever described from making and/or repeating the defamatory statements or similar statements in the nature of the ones complained in the video recordings.”
Counsel for the plaintiffs, Egbert Faibille Jnr of Faibille & Faibille Constance Chambers told Myjoyonline.com in an interview that “we filed the writ sometime last week but he was served yesterday with the writ and an application for an order of injunction.”
According to him, Shatta Wale has eight days to respond after he was served Wednesday: “If you are served with a writ, you have eight days to enter appearance and 14 days after entry of appearance to file your defense.”
Asked what the outcome will be if the case goes to court, the lawyer explained that the artiste will not be thrown in jail if he loses because “this is a civil suit, it is not a criminal matter. He will be slapped with damages and cost which he has to pay. If he is not able to pay, we will go into execution of the judgment which entails selling his property to offset the judgment.”
The counsel for the plaintiffs stressed that Shatta Wale has to raise the money if the court rules in their favour. He wondered if the artiste realises the implications of defaming a company that is worth about GHc10 million, stating that the company could have lost its sponsors and business associates. “Do you know much Charter House will lose as a result of people pulling their sponsorship?” Mr Faibille quizzed.
This suit, the lawyer added, “will guide people… all of us that the fact that we are artistes, the fact that we are arts people doesn’t mean that in the interest of so call poetic license you can do what you like or say what you like.”
When Myjoyonline.com contacted Lawrence Nana Asiamah Hanson (Bulldog), manager of Shatta Wale for a reaction, he declined to comment.