Leaders of a pressure group in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region who have constantly dragged the name of the Tongraana in the mud have been slapped with a composite fine of GH¢40,000 in a defamation suit.
The circuit court in Bolgatanga presided over by His Honour Malcolm Bedzrah slapped in general damages an amount of GH¢30,000.00 and a cost of GH¢10,000 against the five leaders for defaming the Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area Tongraan Naab Kugbilson Nalebegtang.
The five are Samuel Sapark, Charles Boazor, Augustine Guure, Bismarck Zumah and Albert Naa.
The group called Concerned Citizens of Talensi between April and May 2019 accused the Tongraana of involvement in an alleged attempt to bribe Edward Adeti, a journalist through the then Upper East Regional Minister Rockson Bukari over the operations of a Chinese Mining company in the area, Shaanxi Mining.
The group in series of press statements and radio interviews advocated for the resignation or dismissal of the Tongraana from his position as Board Chairman of the Tema Oil Refinery and also a member of the Council of State and incessantly accused him of supporting illegal mining activities.
Though the Tongraana at the time indicated his innocence in the matters he was accused of, the group persistently accused him of wrongdoing and described him in unprintable terms in series of press statements. They further threatened to instigate a vote of no confidence against him if he failed to yield to their demand on him to relinquish his position as Board Chairman of the Tema Oil Refinery and Member of the Council of State.
The Tongraana subsequently decided to drag them to court, a decision which has resulted in the award of general damages of GH¢30,000.00 and a cost of GH¢10,000.
The defendants could not substantiate their allegations in court as demanded by the court and it also emerged that there were no records of the involvement of the Tongraana in the matters he was accused of.
The defendants were ordered to retract and apologize to the plaintiff personally and publish the same on major media outlets which they used to defame him.