Defamation: Prof. Addae-Mensah apologises to William Fugar

Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, has apologised to Mr William Edem Fugar, a legal practitioner, for relying on a Daily Graphic report to write his autobiography, with portions said to be inaccurate and defamatory.

After the publication of Prof Addae-Mensah’s (defendant) autobiography titled: ‘My Life: A Historical Narrative’, Mr Fugar (plaintiff) in a demand notice dated December 21, 2023, accused the former Vice-Chancellor of defaming him, a claim the former Vice-Chancellor vehemently denied.

Per the court document available to the Ghana News Agency, after the settlement, Prof Addae-Mensah would delete the offending words from the next print/edition of the autobiography.

The former Vice-Chancellor rendered the apology after the parties reached an agreement to settle the matter amicably, which was adopted by the High Court presided over by Justice John Bosco Nabarase.

He said while conducting research prior to writing his biography of Hilla Limann, he came
across information in the Daily Graphic of April 12, 1979, with reference to the court case of Pennie and Datsomor versus Egala and Limann.

He said the headline of the story indicated that the Counsel for the plaintiff, Mr Fugar had ‘abandoned’ his clients during trial.

‘I was misled by that statement and, therefore, relied upon it in the Limann book, which l published in 2016.’

He said in writing his autobiography in 2023 titled: ‘ My Life, A Historical Narrative’, he again relied on the same statement, though Mr Fugar had continued to represent his clients until the successful determination of the substantive matter.

‘ l am able, therefore, without any hesitation to say that had l been aware that the headline in the Daily Graphic in 1979 was not an accurate reflection of what had transpired in court, l will not have repeated it in 2016 and again 2023,’ he said.

Prof Addae-Mensah said he acknowledged the integrity of Mr Fugar, and aware that he was a luminary in the practice of law, who had been respect
ed in his field by his clients, his peers and generally for more than 50 years and continued to this day to be so respected.

Per the settlement the defendant will publish a quarter page advertisement of the apology in the Daily Graphic within 10 days.

In consideration of the defendant’s compliance with the terms of the settlement, the plaintiff will release the defendant from the claims in the suit and waive any cause of action from the statements published by the defendant in his book.

Madam Marietta Agyeiwaa Brew, one of the Counsels for Mr Fugar, said they did not ask for cost during the period because the focus was on protecting the reputation of their client.

The plaintiff initially sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from further publicising the offending passage and an order of mandatory injunction requiring defendant to cause to be withdrawn from circulation the copies of the book containing the offending passages.

They also sought damages for libel, including aggrav
ated damages.

Source: Ghana News Agency