SML sues The Fourth Estate, Manasseh Azure Awuni, demands GHS 10 million damages



Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML) has sued The Fourth Estate and its founding Editor-In-Chief, Manasseh Azure Awuni, for what it claims to be “defamatory and reckless” reports about its contracts with the Ghana Revenue Authority.

This follows the release of an investigative report by The Fourth Estate, which exposed how SML, an offshoot of a timber company, had made false claims about potential revenue losses it had helped the state to avoid.

The report also raised questions about the circumstances surrounding the signing of the contract and its rationale as the services SML was contracted to provide were already being performed by other state agencies.

The investigative report prompted President Nana Akufo-Addo to suspend the contract and appoint KPMG to audit the agreement.

In its statement of claim, SML says the publication has caused irreparable damage to its reputation.

It is demanding one million Ghana cedis in general damages for defamation and nine million cedis in exemplary damages.

Writ – SML v The Fourth Estate by Evans Aziamor-Mensah on Scribd

The company is also pleading with the High Court for an apology from The Fourth Estate and a perpetual injunction to restrain The Fourth Estate and Manasseh Azure Awuni from “publishing any further defamatory material” about it.

“Consistent reportage and peddling of falsehood by the defendants against the plaintiff has evoked feelings of hatred and outrage towards the plaintiff in the eyes of the public and right-thinking members of the society worldwide,” SML says.

“The defendant’s false reportage on [the] contract with the Ghana Revenue Authority has also resulted in public reactions and backlash, which has further hurt, marred and damaged the reputation of [SML] in the eyes of Ghanaians, causing distrust and a lack of confidence in the [company’s] operations in the petroleum sector.”



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