Martin Amidu On Anas: ‘Genuine Anti-corruption Crusaders Don’t Hide Behind Masks’
The High Court (General Jurisdiction 2) Accra, on 15 March 2023 after hearing the defamation action brought by Anas A. Anas against Kennedy Agyepong and considering the evidence adduced at the trial concluded that:
“I state in conclusion, that whereas all the statements founded on exhibits KOA1, KOA2, KOA3 and KOA4 were truthful and factual, thereby sustaining defendant’s defence of justification and fair comment, the statements in plaintiff’s exhibit C; though capable of defamatory meanings, were not proven to have actually defamed the plaintiff. I found the claims of plaintiff merit-less. It is hereby dismissed.”
ANAS A. ANAS AS THE PLAINTIFF
Anas A. Anas the Plaintiff dabbles both as a lawyer and an “internationally acclaimed investigative journalist”. Anas A. Anas knowingly and voluntarily caused his action to be commenced by one Listowell Bukarson on behalf of Anas A. Anas as the plaintiff. This was by virtue of a power of attorney authorizing him to bring the action in the name of the plaintiff, Anas A. Anas on 18 June 2018 for twenty-five million Ghana cedis (GHS25million) damages. The writ of summons was amended on 20 November 2018 after the defendant had filed his statement of defence on 13 November 2018. The Plaintiff then replied on 21 January 2019 to close the pleadings. The filing of the action through an attorney as an agent of a principal is not controversial and is enabled by law.
Any act in any court required or authorized by the law to be made or done by a party in such court may be done by an authorized agent. The question is whether the attorney can testify on behalf of the plaintiff on matters which are not within his personal knowledge. Did the attorney see or witness the transactions alleged? As far as the requirement that he should testify about what he actually did see or heard is concerned, the attorney could not testify about what the plaintiff himself witnessed or heard.
The rule against admissibility of hearsay evidence is statutory. Anas A. Anas, the plaintiff put himself in a situation of being incapable of giving relevant and primary evidence in person and be cross-examined because he lives in the fear of his own shadow as an anti-corruption entrepreneur and not as a genuine anti-corruption crusader. Anas A. Anas thus lost the only opportunity to publicly tell the court his version of the facts within his personal knowledge and to be cross-examined to establish his credibility. Genuine anti-corruption crusaders do not hide their faces behind masks.