Lawyers of Okobeng Mine CEO write to editors of Anchor and Inquisitor Newspapers over false publications… Demands retraction and apology
The Chief Executive Officer of Okoben Mining Company, Nana Okoben Amponsah, through his lawyers the Gaisie Zwennees Hughes & Co in Takoradi has written a strongly worded letter to the editors of The Anchor and The Inquisitor newspapers to retract and render an unqualified apology to him for publishing fabricated lies and libelous stories against him.
The two embattled private print media companies which are operating in Accra were served with the letter by Mr. Philip Fiifi Buckman, a lawyer for Nana Okobeng Amponsah on Wednesday, December 28, 2022.
This was after the two newspapers had published that Nana Okobeng Amponsah and his licensed gold mining company were involved in illegal mining activities which have polluted River Akonbra.
The two private newspapers have also published a series of libelous stories against the seasoned miner that he has fired gunshots at small-scale miners at the illegal gold site at Gwira-Ampasie in the Evalue-Ajomoro-Gwira Municipality of the Western Region.
Also cited in the Wednesday, December 28, 2022 letter are the two Editors-In-Chiefs of the Anchor and the Inquisitor newspapers.
The CEO of Okobeng Mining Company deems the publications in two newspapers defamatory hence his decision to sue his accusers (the two editors and the media houses) if they fail to comply with the instructions from his lawyers.
Nana Okobeng Amponsah wants the editors of the two media companies he has threatened to sue to retract and apologize for their role in spreading false claims.
According to the CEO of Okobeng Mining Company, the publications he complained of are absolutely false, products of the defendants’ imagination, and were mischievously designed by the defendants to disparage him, stain his hard-won reputation, court public disaffection for him and bring him into abhorrence in the eyes of right-thinking members of the public and the global community.
The Ghanaian business mogul, in an interview with some journalists, said his reputation has been “violently damaged” and stated the two media companies did not give him a chance to respond to the allegations.
However the letter of the demand notice to the editors of the two media companies which was intercepted by this news outlet equally reads in part;” We write as the lawyers for and on behalf of our client, Nana Okoben Amponsah, the Chief Executive Officer of Okoben Mines.
“Our client inform us that his attention has been drawn to a publication in your newspaper, published in the Friday 16, December- Sunday, 18 2022 edition with a banner story on its front page which has the caption “Okoben Mines Invades Akonbra River bank’ …” Water Bodies Heavily Polluted.”
The Anchor newspaper also published on Tuesday, December 20- Wednesday, December 21 2022 with the same caption “Okoben Mines Invades Akonbra River bank’ …” Water Bodies Heavily Polluted.”
It is an instruction that we with this do to bring to your attention that our client, Okoben Mines” is a law-abiding mining firm whose operations are guided by the tenets of the law covering the activity.
“Your publication, therefore, comes as a surprise and our client is at a great loss as to your motivation in the publication of the false news which has the tendency of bringing the client’s firm into dispute.
We have our client’s instructions to demand a retraction of the said publication in the manner the publication was made and also for you to render an unqualified apology to our client and you have not later than 31, 2022 so to do without more.
Take notice and notice is hereby given to that should you fail so to retract and render an unqualified apology to our client within the same time, we shall have no option than to take legal action against you and seek appropriate redress from the court,” the letter concluded.
It would be recalled that Nana Okobeng Amponsah, has debunked media reports which have gone viral on social and traditional media platforms to the effect that he has fired gunshots at small-scale miners at an illegal gold mining site at Gwira-Ampasie.
“I want to set the records straight today that these allegations leveled against him and my company are entirely false, unfounded, and cooked up. Having being a loyal and law-abiding citizen who has dully registered and secured the certified, necessary legal licenses or documents from the various state mining regulatory institutions including the Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and have been mining gold resource for the past twenty-five (25) years in Ghana, l would be the last person to do something to destroy River Akonbra and other water bodies. I respect the water bodies.
“I dare anyone who knows the concession to go and verify how my company carries out responsible gold mining activities and see if its mining activities are destroying water bodies as claimed by my detractors,” Nana Okobeng added.
While admitting that he fired a gun, he said it was to ward off illegal miners who at the time were pelting stones at him and Nana Adu who had visited the site of the illegal miners at Gwira-Ampasie.
He said it was part of their efforts to prevent illegal mining activities which have been polluting River Akonbra and other water bodies in the region.
Nana Okobeng Amponsah stated that he has legally acquired a 31.5-kilometer square gold mining concession at Dominase in the Evalue-Ajomoro-Gwira Municipality of the Western Region.
But he indicated that the recent allegations leveled against him that he fired gunshots to kill those two miners were completely untrue and unfounded.
Story: Kwadwo Buabeng