The former Inspector General of the Ghana Police Service, David Asante-Appeatu, has filed for discontinuance of his suit against Net-2 TV presenter, Justice Kwaku Annan.
Mr Appeatu, in a suit filed at an Accra High Court, claimed that the defendant in a broadcast had made mischievously calculated allegations in a manner to damage his reputation and cause him public disaffection.
According to the former IGP, Justice Kwaku Annan, during a broadcast on June 16, 2021, claimed he (Asante-Appeatu) is a fence for notorious Ghanaian and Nigerian criminals and harbours the criminals.
The defendant, in addition, is said to have alleged that Mr Asante-Apeatu was on the payroll of top criminals in Ghana and had refused to cause the arrest and prosecution of these criminals.
Describing the allegations as figments of the defendant's imagination and utterly false, Mr Appeatu sought relief from the court, including general damages, aggravated damages and costs, including lawyers' fees.
However, in the latest development, Mr David Asante-Appeatu has caused his lawyers to discontinue pursuing the matter.
A court document sighted by GhanaWeb, dated December 9, 2021, and signed by his lawyers, said, "PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the Plaintiff herein hereby discontinues his claim against the Defendant in the above-mentioned action with liberty."
It is not yet known the underlying cause for the discontinuance. However, reports from the court's last sitting on the matter on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, describe the day's event as dramatic.
As reported by the Daily Guide newspaper, counsel for Mr Appeatu on the day moved an application on notice for judgement in default of defence.
The presiding judge, Ekow Baiden, cautioned lawyer Sammy Darko against what he said was the lawyer's rushing motion.
The judge eventually told the former IGP's lawyer that he was a small boy at the bar and admonished him to slow down.
Referencing the defendant, the judge is also reported to have told counsel for the plaintiff that "he doesn't know the people he is dealing with."
Here is a transcription of some of the conversations that ensued in the courtroom between the judge and the former IGP's lawyer:
Here is a transcription of some of the conversations that ensued in the courtroom between the judge and the former IGP’s lawyer:
Judge: You seem to be in a hurry to finish this case.
Lawyer: Yes, my Lord. And today being my birthday, I would have loved to move the motion and get a judgment for my client.
Judge: Laughs, you are a young man, how old are you at the bar, you don’t know the people you are dealing with.
Lawyer: My Lord, I am in my 5th year. I know the people I am dealing with. I have other cases against them before your sisters and brothers.
Judge: Laughs, I don’t know them. But I don’t want my judgment to be set aside
Lawyer: But my lord we have complied with all the rules.
Judge: Counsel, this is what I want you to do, I want you to issue a hearing notice and serve it personally on the defendant.
Lawyer: My Lord, that will be difficult, if you look at the trajectory of this case, the defendant has been evading service from day one, it is difficult serving him, that is why we came before you previously for substituted service. But now, he has entered appearance through a lawyer.
Judge: Counsel, you say today s your birthday, if I were you, I will use my birthday to write a letter to the registry and let Clerk together with the court look for him and service him. You don’t know the people you are dealing with.
Lawyer: But my lord, we have already complied with all that.
In the end, the judge did not allow for the motion for judgment for default of defence to be moved although lawyers for the IGP have successfully served the defendant through his lawyers at Kwame Gyan and Associates and there is proof of service on the docket.
The judge insisted hearing notice should be served personally on justice Annan and adjourned the case to the 13th of December 2021.