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Court orders Asamoah Gyan to pay 50% of GH₵1 million judgment debt to journalist within 30 days

Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan, has been ordered by the High Court in  Accra to pay 50% of the over GHc1 million judgment debt awarded against him as compensation for malicious prosecution within 30 days.

This was after the Court presided over by Justice Ernest Owusu-Dapaa had granted his request for a stay of execution as he sought to appeal against the judgment.

On December 8, 2023, the Court while delivering a judgment in a case of malicious prosecution filed by entertainment journalist, Osarfo Anthony, ordered the former Black Stars captain to compensate him in damages in excess of GHc1M.

Almost five months after the judgment was served on Gyan, he and his lawyers filed a Stay Execution of the judgment, and also, filed a notice of appeal to challenge the judgment.

On May 8, 2024, Justice Owusu-Dapaa after listening to the legal arguments from the lawyers of both parties while granting Asamoah Gyan’s request for a stay of execution pending appeal, ordered Gyan to pay half of the over GHc1 million before the appeal.

The Court further directed that the money should be paid to the court’s registrar within 30 days from May 8 (excluding weekends and public holidays).

The Court ordered that the said sum should be invested by the Registrar of the Court in the government 182 days treasury bill pending the outcome of the appeal.

Bench ruling

Justice Owusu-Dapaa, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge in his bench ruling ordered the Registrar to invest the bond in the government of Ghana 182 days Treasury Bill on a rollover basis until the appeal is determined.

“I have internalized the submission made viva voce at Bar and also critically reflected on the depositions in the affidavit in support and affidavit in opposition the Court is satisfied that there are special or exceptional circumstances when both affidavits are globally considered and properly contextualized against the exhibits especially the notice of appeal, judgment, witness statement among others.

“I have internalized the submission made viva voce at Bar and also critically reflected on the depositions in the affidavit in support and affidavit in opposition the Court is satisfied that there are special or exceptional circumstances when both affidavits are globally considered and properly contextualized against the exhibits especially the notice of appeal, judgment, witness statement among others.

“I will grant the stay of execution of judgment dated 8th December 2023 on terms which are;

“That the 1st Applicant (Asamoah Gyan) should deposit fifty percent (50%) of the total judgment debt in Court through the registry and the registry is ordered to invest the fifty percent (50%) of the judgment debt in Government of Ghana 182 days Treasury Bill on rollover basis until the appeal is finally determined.

“It is a well-considered view of the Court that the grant of the stay on terms is fair to both parties.

“In the case of 1st Applicant, a world-class professional player who was earning excess of USD million, when he succeeds on appeal, he will not have to worry about inadequate means of Respondent who is said to earn GH¢1,000.00 when the incident occurred to refund the judgment debt were it to be executed.

“The Respondent on the other hand also is saved from the risk of the 1st Applicant, a world-class professional player who was earning excess of USD million, being unable to pay the judgment debt should he lose the appeal, particularly so when the Court has not been given his current state of inabilities and other encumbrances that may exist in respect of his assets,” the Court ordered.

30 days ultimatum

The Court also said, “Having heard counsel for Applicants and Respondent, the Court further orders the 1st Applicant (Asamoah Gyan) to comply with the order for paying fifty percent (50%) of the judgment debt aforesaid within thirty days (30) from today (May 8) excluding weekends and any public holiday.

The Court said, in the event of default, “Plaintiff/Respondent/Respondent may go into full execution of the judgment debt.”

Background

It would be recalled that Asamoah Gyan and his manager, Samuel Anim Addo, had caused the arrest and prosecution of Osarfo Anthony and others for extortion.

Following their acquittal and discharge, in action involving an alleged rape incident between the former Black Stars skipper and one Sarah Kwablah, Osarfo Anthony and his lawyers sued for malicious prosecution.

Osarfo Anthony in his civil action against Asamoah Gyan and his manager Anim Addo demanded compensation in the sum of GHc1 million.

On December 8, 2023, Justice Ernest Owusu Dapaa held that the Plaintiff had been able to prove his case that he was maliciously prosecuted.

The Court held that the report made by the Manager of Gyan, Samuel Anim Addo to the Airport Police was based on “falsehoods.”

The Court said that the 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.

Damages

Consequently, the Court entered judgment in the sum of GHc900,000 in damages to the Plaintiff.

The Court, additionally, awarded the plaintiff GHc111,000 for 111 months that he lost from his job which was paying him GHc1,000 at the time.

A cost of GHc60,000 was also awarded against Asamoah Gyan and his manager, bringing to a total sum of 1,071, 000 against the defendants (Asamoah Gyan and Samuel Anim Addo).



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