One of Ghana’s sports leaning radio stations Asempa FM has called a crisis meeting for today after the company and two of their presenters were slapped with a defamation and libel lawsuit of $3m by the Ghana Football Association president.
A meeting of the CEO of the company Kwesi Twum, sports director Sammy Yirenkyi, sports presenters Patrick Osei-Agyemang affectionately called ‘Songo’ and Kofi Asare-Braako aka ‘Abatay’ and other high ranking officials has been scheduled for this afternoon.
Pressure from the board is mounting on the company to sack sports director Sammy Yirenkyi for overseeing recent broadcasts which has been condemned as one-sided yet he failed to rein in his presenters.
An e-mail circulated by Twum just two weeks ago complaining about the shambolic standards on the radio station was not actioned which might also lead to serious sanctions.
While the crisis is mounting with serious consequences for presenters, Brako is secretly negotiating an exit from the radio station to Vision FM – new radio station to be set by a pharmaceutical tycoon.
Songo’s career with Asempa FM is also on the line following the legal suit which some supporters of the Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi have described as ‘long overdue’.
Nyantakyi has filed a defamation and libel lawsuit against Asempa FM and two of its sports presenters on Friday for labelling him as a thief after ‘years of consistent lies and negative campaigns’ against him.
Multimedia Group Limited, the holding company of Asempa FM, and Songo and Abatay have been served the writs of defamation.
The lawsuit claims that false reports about him were “broadcasted by Asempa FM throughout the world” via the internet and has severely damaged his reputation good name.
Lawyers for Nyantakyi are seeking punitive damages for libellous statements calculated at damaging his reputation in the eyes of the public.
Ghana’s leading football official says Asempa FM and its reporters damaged his reputation and he is seeking 10 million GhC10m ($3m) in the suit.
The lawsuit comes two weeks after the Ghana FA announced a public boycott of Asempa FM for the ‘consistent lies calculated to demonize the federation in the eyes of Ghanaians with false and one-sided reports’.
The lawsuit, filled at the Fast Track court in Accra, said the reports on him by the radio station were “false and malicious” and he is armed with over 100 recordings of the programmes which have been marked as slanderous.
Nyantakyi said their claims have caused him “humiliation” and “distress” and that he “has been subjected to unfathomable amounts of ridicule and public scorn”.
The legal challenge has got wide implications for Asempa FM as Nyantakyi holds international positions on Swiss-based organisation FIFA, CAF and he is also the leader of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU).
Nyantakyi had previously warned that he would consider filing a defamation lawsuit against the two reporters and their radio station for repeatedly making slanderous and libellous statements and claims about him.
Watch video of Songo on Nyantakyi
Despite complaints to the owners and manager of the radio the reports went on unabated as it reached its apex last week when Brako called Nyantakyi ‘a thief’ and ‘has defrauded Ghanaians for far loo long’.
Under Ghanaian law, damaging someone’s reputation with false information is a crime that can carry a huge fine which was recently witnessed between a newspaper and a high-ranking official of the ruling government.
Songo’s Fire for Fire programme has mainly been modelled on Nyantakyi who has been the subject of discussion on his sports show for the past four years.
The CAF Executive Committee member wants an end to the bad-mouthing and unprofessional conduct of the above-mentioned journalists to end.
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