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Asamoah Gyan Loses Court Case Against Anthony Osarfo; Slapped With GH¢1 Million In Damages

It all started in 2015, when Asamoah Gyan, former Black Stars skipper and his personal manager, Samuel Anim Addo, caused the arrest of an entertainment news reporter, Anthony Osarfo, who had published the story of one Sarah Kwablah alleging that Asamoah Gyan had sex with her.

Gyan and his manager accused the reporter, Anthony Osarfo of extorting money from Gyan in relation to the Sarah Kwablah allegation.

Osaefo was then working for the Flex newspaper and a blog, GHBase and Kwablah had approached him with the story Gyan had sex with her in the anus.

Gyan and his manager subsequently reported Anthony Osarfo to the police and accused him of extortion.

Osarfo was arrested and even though he challenged the complaint, he was prosecuted with three others at the Circuit Court.

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, at the High Court in Accra for causing his arrest and subsequent prosecution.

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

Justice Dapaa, a Court of Appeal justice was sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge.

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

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

The court, additionally, awarded the plaintiff GH¢111,000 for 111 months, because the court agreed with Anthony Osarfo that he lost his job, which was paying him GH¢1,000 a month at the time.

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

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

While Asamoah Gyan was absent in court on Friday (Dec 8, 2023), his manager, Samuel Anim Addo, was present with their lawyers, reports Graphic Online / Graphic Showbiz’s Kofi Duah who was in the courtroom.

Anthony Osarfo and his lawyers led by Yaw Dankwah were also present in 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 defendants 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.

Court ruling

It is following this that on Friday, December 8, 2023, the High Court presided over by Justice Dr 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 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 court when the judgment was delivered.