The suit, according to lead counsel, Samson Lardy Anyenini, was necessitated by the failure of the Presidential Staffer and the conveyers of “his defamatory comments to comply with a 48-hour ultimatum and opportunity offered the Defendants to publicly retract and apologise for the comments said to be outright lies peddled to damage two decades of honest handwork reputation of the company.”
Lawyers for the Multimedia Group had written to Sam George and the two media outlets to “immediately retract and apologise unconditionally for your defamatory remarks on Radio Gold on Wednesday the 3rd of February 2016, also published by The Enquirer newspaper in its Thursday 4th February 2016 edition.”
Sam George’s comments on Radio Gold were published by The Enquirer newspaper with the banner headline: “Exposed! Exposed! Exposed! JOYFM BLEEDS SSNIT GHC 8M”
Sam George had alleged on the said Radio Gold broadcast that “Multimedia, the Multimedia network itself, took money, loan, about eight million from SSNIT. SSNIT, is it not Government money? SSNIT, look, the rest we are even talking taxpayer’s money, taxpayers are active people who are working and paying.
SSNIT is pensioners, old people who are who cannot work, their small money they will chop, the one they’ve saved from when they were working that they will live on, Multimedia has gone for a loan from it, from that money, and they have not been able to pay SSNIT.” He went on to allege that Multimedia also owed GBC which it refused to pay and alluded to acts of impropriety and corruption against the company.
In a letter demanding apology and retraction from Sam George and the media outlets, lawyers for Multimedia said, “Our clients, for the avoidance of doubt, DO NOT have any such financial obligations to the SSNIT or the GBC, and never been involved in, neither ever been administratively or judicially adjudged to have engaged in any corrupt transaction(s) with Government or any individual or entity howsoever described.”
Mr. Anyenini has confirmed that even though Sam George has privately conceded his corruption and other allegations of impropriety against Multimedia were false, he and the two media entities completely ignored the demand to publicly retract and apologise.
The 48-hour ultimatum was served on Sam George and the other two media houses on Friday February 12, 2016 but they failed to retract and apologise. Multimedia filed the suit on Monday February 22, 2016.
Manassehazure.com has learnt that Sam George admitted that he had lied about Multimedia but instead of gathering the courage and humility to retract and apologise, he sent some “elders” to beg the CEO of the company. They were asked to go and tell him to publicly retract and apologise but he did not do until he was sued on Monday February 22, 2016.
Sam George had earlier stated on Joy FM and Multi TV’s Newsfile programme that the AGAMS Group of Companies (RLG and Asongtaba) had finished paying “every money” it owed the state in respect of GYEEDA scandal.
Manasseh Azure Awuni, who uncovered the scandal said that could not be true. Manasseh sent a text message into the show and subsequently wrote on Facebook that if any money had been retrieved, then it was only the loan-component and not the entire amount. He said whoever said the company had paid everything was lying. Sam George replied with insults, insisting he was right.
Manasseh then went to the Attorney-General’s office and the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, Marrietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, corroborated Manasseh’s position. She said the company was paying only the interest-free component of the money it owed the state. But the bruised Sam “Dzata” George would not leave the GYEEDA subject without a fight. That led to the his attack on Multimedia when he appeared on Radio Gold that week.
After conceding privately that his claims against Multimedia were all false, it is unclear the defence he and his legal team would put up in court.
Below is the text of the letter from Multimedia’s lawyers demanding a retraction and unconditional apology from Sam George, Radio Gold and The Enquirer:
11TH FEBRUARY, 2016
SAMUEL GEORGE NETTEY
PRESIDENTIAL STAFFER &
NDC MP-ASPIRANT – NINGO-PRAMPRAM
C/O MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS
DEMAND NOTICE – IMMEDIATE RETRACTION OF AND UNCONDITIONAL APOLOGY FOR FALSE AND DEFAMATORY REMARKS
We hold the instructions of the management of Multimedia Group Limited to demand you immediately retract and apologise unconditionally for your defamatory remarks on Radio Gold on Wednesday the 3rd of February 2016, also published by The Enquirer newspaper in its Thursday 4th February 2016 edition.
The said publication was headed “Exposed! Exposed! Exposed! JOYFM BLEEDS SSNIT GHC 8M”, and carrying in essence your false and defamatory comments thus:
“One thing I’m going to say is this, the folks at Multimedia, especially management at Multimedia should rein in their loosed dogs, Manasseh and Kojo Yankson, because they are going to make some of us come after them. And when I say we will come after them, look, let me put it on record here that the work that they are doing here is not in the interest of Ghana.
It is simply a regime-change agenda they are pursuing. Ah, if they were really interested in helping the state retrieve monies, from people who owe the state and have not paid, Multimedia, the Multimedia network itself, took money, loan, about eight million from SSNIT. SSNIT, is it not Government money? SSNIT, look, the rest we are even talking taxpayer’s money, taxpayers are active people who are working and paying.
SSNIT is pensioners, old people who are who cannot work, their small money they will chop, the one they’ve saved from when they were working that they will live on, Multimedia has gone for a loan from it, from that money, and they have not been able to pay SSNIT. When was the last time Multimedia paid GBC for their frequency that they are using?
So if Manasseh and Kojo Yankson want us to start discussing those who owe the State, well, Multimedia owes the State. …Aha, so the SSNIT Director-General should start chasing them for that money, because it must be part of our fight against corruption. It is corruption when…… if there was a repayment time, and you have failed to meet your repayment time, and then you are dancing around and giving one excuse after the other, and nobody is coming after you, what is the difference between that and and and RLG who had said that okay, I will pay, but the debt, the the time frame within which they were supposed to pay, he did not meet his time frame and you are singing about him everyday? What about the Zoomlions that they are chasing around and saying that they should refund money? What about Woyome? Woyome had said I will pay.
He said he will pay by end of December. Why are they still chasing him? Is it not because he did not meet his timeline? So what is the difference between them and Multimedia, who have taken money and are supposed to have paid within a certain timeframe and have not paid, and are dancing around trying to use technicalities to avoid payment of that money? They will vomit the money!”
Our clients take a serious view of the above and require you and the conveyors of your defamatory and false statements to do as demanded separately and on same show and front page.
The retraction and unconditional apology must contain an undertaking NEVER to repeat said false claims, and same must be given same prominence as the complained broadcast/publication in two (2) separate editions of said show and newspaper within forty-eight (48) hours from Monday the 15th day of February 2016.
Our clients, for the avoidance of doubt, DO NOT have any such financial obligations to the SSNIT or the GBC, and never been involved in, neither ever been administratively or judicially adjudged to have engaged in any corrupt transaction(s) with Government or any individual or entity howsoever described.
We have firm instructions to, without further notice and upon your failure, neglect or refusal to fully satisfy our clients’ demands herein, take out a suit and hold all offending parties named herein jointly and severally liable for said defamatory broadcast/publication.
Editor of The Enquirer and Manager/Management of Radio Gold, for the avoidance of doubt, are by copy of this notice deemed duly requested and served separately to comply accordingly.
Be advised accordingly.
SAMSON LARDY ANYENINI, ESQ.
CURRENT SOL. LIC. NO. GAR 12310/16
A-PARTNERS @ LAW
SOLICITORS FOR MULTIMEDIA GROUP LTD.
THE CSR/LEGAL MANAGER, MGL
THE MANAGER, RADIO GOLD
THE EDITOR, THE ENQUIRER