The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr has disclosed that he mediated an out-of-court settlement between his protégé Anas Aremeyaw Anas and the Multimedia Group Limited (MGL).
The settlement came to light last Tuesday after the media conglomerate issued a public apology to the investigative journalist over allegations which were made on its Adom TV television channel by the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Agyapong.
In an appearance on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana Thursday (August 13, 2020), Kweku Baako said the management of the Multimedia Group pleaded with him to intercede on their behalf last year.
He said: “The Multimedia people last year made an intervention, they came to me and pleaded for me to talk to Anas to let them off. That time Anas was in the UK, so I even called him in their presence at the base and they agreed that they would do a retraction and apology and Anas agreed.
“I was surprised that it took so long because it was last year that we did the negotiation. I have double-checked and I realised that the delay was on both sides in a way but more on the side of the Anas side, I think they were very strict and I have no problems with that in terms of the content and things. But, bottom line, I think the Multimedia people have done justice and done the retraction and apology, now the out-of-court settlement is a consent judgement which has the effect of a legal judgement”.
He, however, declined comment on the substantive defamatory suit between Anas and Mr Agyapong which is still before the court.
Apology and retraction
The apology signed by the Management of Adom TV said the allegations which suggested that Anas is a criminal who engages in illegal mining and the impersonation of army officers are false and should not have been broadcast on its Badwam Mpensenpensenmu television show.
“The said allegations have been found to be false and same should not have been on the programme. The publication of such words against Anas Aremeyaw Anas is most regrettable,” the apology published in the Daily Graphic said.
“The Management of the Multimedia Group, Benjamin Kwame Asante, Dominic Kissi Yeboah and Abdulai Awudu do hereby apologise and unconditionally and unreservedly retract the allegations and comments made against Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
“Management undertakes not to further publish or reproduce the said allegations and comments on any of its platforms”.
It will be recalled that in April 2019, Anas sued the Multimedia Group Limited and three of its staff for defamation.
In the suit, Anas had prayed the court for damages; costs, including lawyers fees over defamatory comments made by the Assin Central Member of Parliament, Mr Kennedy Agyapong on February 26, 2019, on Adom TV (a television channel of Multimedia) which he says injured his reputation as a lawyer and globally acclaimed investigative journalist.
The comments were made during what Anas’ suit described as a “one-sided conversation” about a then yet-to-be premiered investigative documentary on galamsey (illegal mining) produced by Anas.
The suit further argued that the three Multimedia staff Benjamin Kwabena Asante known as Omanhene (presenter of Adom TV and host of Badwam Mpensempensemu), Dominic Kissi Yeboah (television programme producer at Adom TV and producer of Badwam Mpensempensemu) and Abdulai Awudu (General Manager of Multi TV) allowed the defamatory material to be published about him by Mr Agyapong.