The legal team of Ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas is praying an Accra High Court to sign judgment in default of defence against Saanie Daara, former Ghana Football Association (GFA) Spokesperson and two others in a GH₵25 million defamation suit.
It has been served on the defendants.
The decision follows the inability of Saanie Daara and his lawyer to file a statement of defence within the stipulated 14 days.
Anas, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tiger Eye PI sued Daara for using his website Ghanasoccernet.com to allegedly defame and publish untruths about him and his Tiger Eye firm since the Number12 undercover investigations which led to the normalization of the Ghana FA was screened.
Anas in November caused his lawyers to file a defamation action against Daara, Ridwan Ibrahim Asante and Mohammed Sabiru Sannie, all of Ghanasoccornet.com.
It took court bailiffs some time to locate and serve Daara the suit.
Court records show that Daara and his lawyer failed to file an appearance within the stipulated period causing lawyers for Anas and Tiger Eye PI to file for Judgment in default of appearance.
However, Daara caused appearance to be filed on his behalf to avoid judgment in default of appearance.
Anas and lawyers then withdrew the judgment in default of appearance application.
But, the Court awarded a cost of GH₵4,500 against Daara and the other two defendants.
Having entered appearance, Daara had the legal obligation to file his statement of defence within 14 days.
However, this window of opportunity is said to have eluded Daara and his lawyer who did not file the defence within the stipulated time.
Daara sues Anas
Daara has sued Tiger Eye PI, Anas and Attorney General for breach of privacy in relation to the Number12 documentary.
The Respondents have responded to the suit and accordingly filed their witness statement opposing the relics being sought by Daara.
Daara prayed the Court to dismiss the witness statement tendered on behalf of the Respondents (Anas and Tiger Eye PI) by their lawyers as hearsay.
Lawyers for Daara also pleaded with the Court to allow his lawyers to cross-examine the lawyer for the Respondents who swore to the witness statement.
They also asked the Court that if it strikes out the witness statement, it should go ahead and hear the case without any evidence from the Respondents.
The argument by lawyers for the Respondents was that due to the nature of death threats on the lives of the Respondents Tiger Eye PI, Anas, it was imperative that their lawyers are allowed to stand in their stead.
They went on further to argue that the information that the Respondents would tender in court is what they have told their lawyers.
The Court was of the opinion that although the lives of the respondents were at risk, it was not a good enough excuse to come under the exceptions allowed by CI 47 for a lawyer to stand in the stead of their clients treating the client as an unavailable witness.
The Court said it had taken judicial notice of the fact that a member of Tiger Eye PI has been killed and that by the nature of Human rights Court procedure, this case will be fought primarily on Affidavit.
The judge went on to say because it will be fought on Affidavit, there will be no need for any operative of the Respondent to appear in person to be cross-examined.
And since they will not be in Court, they must at least visit their lawyers and write their witness statements to be tendered in Court.
An associate of Tiger Eye will simply swear to the same affidavit to be tendered in court.
Anas will not be in Court neither will he make any personal statement in Court.
Source: Finder newspaper