Senior Partner of Accra-based Corporate Law firm, Africa Legal Associates (ALA), Gabby Otchere-Darko has won a defamatory suit against freelance journalist Kelvin Taylor.
The journalist is to pay ¢1 million for damages caused by his defamatory comments about the terminated Power Distribution Service (PDS) deal.
This was in a ruling by the Commercial Court 10 Division of the High Court presided over by Jennifer Abena Dadzie.
The PDS deal which was a 20-year concession agreement between government and PDS was expected to improve the country’s power distribution.
The deal was, however, terminated for what government communication described as fundamental and material breaches of PDS’ obligation in the provision of payment securities (demand guarantees).
Commenting on the controversial deal in one of his social media broadcast titled “With All Due Respect”, the US-based critic alleged that Mr. Otchere-Darko had financially benefited from the contract since he rendered legal consultancy on the transaction.
Mr Taylor also alledged that Mr Otchere-Darko bought a property in Mayfair, London (United Kingdom) with proceeds from PDS or a similar transaction of a questionable nature.
Mr Otchere-Darko aggrieved by what such falsehood could do to his reputation, sued the freelancer in October 2019 and a year later, the court has ruled in his favour.
Mr Taylor neither entered appearance nor filed a statement of defence to substantiate the allegations.
This was notwithstanding a March 16, 2020, varied order of service the court issued following what Mr Otchere-Darko’s lawyers say were difficulties in serving the defendant with the suit.
This order was for Mr Taylor to be served via his advertised Facebook wall and WhatsApp number.
The Court in its judgment on Tuesday said that Mr Taylor had, without any basis, whatsoever, made very serious defamatory comments against Mr Otchere-Darko.
Justice Jennifer Dadzie said her full judgment on the matter will be made available on Tuesday, 3 November 2020.