Ghana Education News > Blog > Entertainment > Asamoah Gyan loses court case against Anthony Osarfo; stricken with GH¢1 million in damages

Asamoah Gyan loses court case against Anthony Osarfo; stricken with GH¢1 million in damages

Asamoah Gyan loses court case against Anthony Osarfo; stricken with GH¢1 million in damages

In 2019, Asamoah Gyan, the former Black Stars skipper, and Samuel Anim Addo, his private manager, got an entertainment news reporter, Anthony Osarfo, arrested for telling the story of Sarah Kwabla.

Gyan and his manager have accused the reporter, Anthony Osarfo, who was subsequently employed by the Flex newspaper, of following the story with the intention of extorting funds from Gyan.

They subsequently reported Anthony Osarfo to the police. Osarfo was arrested and even though he challenged the complaint, he was prosecuted with three others at the Circuit Court.

 

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Osarfo Anthony (Arts/Entertainment Writer) was arrested and prosecuted together with Chris Handler (Blogger), Sarah Kwablah (Law Student), and Ekow Micah (Musician) on charges of extortion and conspiracy to commit crime.

On March 20, 2019, before her honour Mrs Afi Agbanu Kudomor, Anthony Osarfo and the three others were acquitted and discharged following the submission of no case.

The Circuit Court said the prosecution was not able to establish prima facie evidence that all the accused persons/applicants committed the offences they were charged with.

The submission of no case by counsel for the accused persons was therefore upheld by the court, and they were each accordingly acquitted and discharged.

Now the suit against Asamoah Gyan and Anim Addo at the High Court and the statement of claim

Anthony Osarfo after being acquitted and discharged, decided to pursue a civil case against Asamoah Gyan and his manager, Samuel Anim Addo for causing his arrest and subsequent prosecution.

It is that case that judgment was delivered by the High Court presided over by Justice Ernest Owusu Dapaa on Friday, December 8, 2023.

Gyan has been slapped with a total sum of GH¢1,071, 000 to be paid to Anthony Osarfo.

The breakdown is judgment in the sum of, GH¢900, 000 in damages to the plaintiff.

The court, additionally, awarded the plaintiff GH¢111,000 for 111 months that he lost his job, which was paying him GH¢1,000 at the time.

A cost of GH¢60,000 was also awarded against Asamoah Gyan and his manager.

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This brought the total to the sum of GH¢1,071, 000 against the defendants (Asamoah Gyan and Samuel Anim Addo).

While Asamoah Gyan was absent in court, his manager, Samuel Anim Addo was present with their lawyers.

Anthony Osarfo and his lawyers led by Yaw Dankwah were also present in the court when the judgment was delivered.

Statement of claim

Anthony Osarfo in his suit claimed that Asamoah Gyan caused his personal manager, Samuel Anim Addo to have the police arrest and charge him with conspiracy to extort money from Gyan, “knowing very well that the allegation” against Osarfo “was false and without basis.”

He claimed that Gyan and Addo pressed upon the police to prosecute him for the alleged crime of extortion.

He said Anim Addo “provided the investigator with his witness statement, which he swore an oath of proof to suggest that his statement was true to the best of his ability and belief when he very well knew that the statement he was offering to the police was false and without foundation but went ahead with malice and provided the same.”

He added that upon the instructions of Gyan, Anim Addo offered to testify in court against him when “he knew that the plaintiff has no case to answer but with malice, offered to testify and indeed testified under oath against the plaintiff.

Osarfo added that there were various opportunities for Anim Addo to “tell the truth to end the malicious prosecution against the plaintiff but failed to take the opportunities presented to him.”

“The plaintiff states that as a result of the defendant’s malicious prosecution, the story was reported in various media outlets portraying the plaintiff as a venal and damaging his reputation and integrity in the community and as a professional journalist.”

In his particulars of malice, Anthony Osarfo stated that Gyan and Anim Addo wanted to save and preserve their career and reputation and therefore decided to make “false allegation against the plaintiff and pressed upon the prosecution to prosecute the plaintiff for an offence that they knew the plaintiff did not commit”.

Again, he stated that, “with malice, the defendants withheld information from the prosecutors, which would have ended the prosecution of the plaintiff and exonerate him, but intentionally failed to do so.”

He indicated that Anim Addo “intentionally bear false witness against the plaintiff with impunity when at all material times he knew the testimony and the evidence he was leading was false and without foundation.

Anthony Osarfo therefore asked for an order compelling the defendants to pay him general damages of GH¢1,000,000 and cost.

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Court ruling

It is following this that on Friday, December 8, 2023, the court presided over by Justice Ernest Owusu Dapaa ruled that Anthony Osarfo had been able to prove his case that he was maliciously prosecuted.

The court held that, the report made by the personal manager of Gyan, Samuel Anim Addo to the Airport Police was based on falsehoods.

The court said, that report to the Police was rather made to protect Asamoah Gyan’s image because at the time he was negotiating a transfer to a Chinese club.

The court said available evidence to the court showed that, the Plaintiff was never extorting money from Gyan when the report was made for his arrest over an alleged publication.

Justice Dapaa said, the Plaintiff discharged the burden of proof and held that the manager of Asamoah Gyan set the whole malicious prosecution in motion.

Consequently, the court entered judgment in the sum of GH¢900, 000 in damages to the plaintiff.

The court, additionally, awarded the plaintiff GH¢111,000 for 111 months that he lost his job, which was paying him GH¢1,000 at the time.

A cost of GH¢60,000 was also awarded against Asamoah Gyan and his manager.

This brought the total to the sum of GH¢1,071, 000 against the defendants (Asamoah Gyan and Samuel Anim Addo).

While Asamoah Gyan was absent in court, his manager, Samuel Anim Addo was present with their lawyers.

Anthony Osarfo and his lawyers led by Yaw Dankwah were also present in the court when the judgment was delivered.

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Background to the case, the Circuit Court

At the Circuit Court, the four accused persons namely; Osarfo Anthony (Arts/Entertainment Writer), Chris Handler (Blogger), Sarah Kwablah (Law Student), and Ekow Micah (Musician) were prosecuted on charges of extortion and conspiracy to commit crime.

The prosecution at the Circuit Court followed an alleged sex and sodomy story linked to Asamoah Gyan, which was published by some media houses.

Sarah Kwablah had alleged that Gyan had sexual intercourse and anal sex with her, and she became pregnant.

According to the prosecutor of the case in the circuit court, Sarah Kwablah discussed the issue with Micah and met Anthony and Handler to discuss the issue and to publish the story on their website. The prosecution said it was their plan to scare Gyan, who will in turn give them money.

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The prosecution at the circuit court said Anthony and Handler published the first story on their website and promised to release the sex tape in their subsequent editions.

Prosecution said a witness in the case read the story on their website known as Ghanabase.com and alerted the complainant [Samuel Anim Addo].

The complainant [Samuel Anim Addo] contacted Anthony Osarfo on phone and Osarfo reportedly with the others threatened to release the sex tape unless a colossal amount was paid or a house was bought for Sarah Kwablah, the prosecution said in court.

The prosecution added that in the complainant’s bid to protect the image of Gyan asked Anthony and Handler to hold on with the publication.

The prosecution said Anthony and Handler threatened to defame the Skipper, and they called for an urgent payment of the money.

The complainant, the prosecution said, feigned interest to pay. When Handler was contacted, they charged GH¢30,000.00.

The complainant bargained, and they settled on GH¢25,000.00.

The complainant, Anthony and Handler agreed to meet at the London Restaurant, the prosecution added in the facts at the Circuit Court.

The complainant reported the matter to the Police and on July 29, 2019, Anthony met complainant at the London Restaurant and US$1,000, GH¢6,000.00 and a cheque for GH¢15,000.00 was given to him.

Anthony was however arrested by the police when he received the money. The rest of the accused persons were arrested later.

When the case went through court, the accused persons were acquitted and discharged after a submission of no case.

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