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Twene Jonas can be sued for defamation but judgement cannot be enforced against him- Judge

Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ghana, and Judge of the African Court, Prof. Justice Sir Dennis Dominic Adjei, has stated that persons who feel injured by the alleged vituperative attacks of socialite, Twene Jonas, could initiate civil suit of defamation against him.

He however advised that it will be difficult for the Courts to enforce judgment against Twene Jonas should the Court find in favor of a complainant, since Twene Jonas is known not to reside in Ghana.

He made this remark in response to a question at the fifth Kwame Nkrumah University of Science (KNUST) Faculty of Law’s Eminent Legal Scholars and Lawyers Public Lecture series which was on the topic ‘Freedom of expression and its legal consequences in the era of social media’, of which he served as the keynote speaker.

Justice Sir Dennis Dominic Adjei, in responding to the question posed by an attendee of the program on the remedies available for people who have been subjected to various attacks by the socialite under the guise of free speech, said “Freedom of expression is not absolute, it is limited to the protection of rights and reputations of others, the protection of national security, public health, public order or morals.

Article 19 of the 1992 of Constitution of Ghana also imposes further restrictions.”

“They can sue him for defamation. But, if damages is given how are you going to enforce it?
The person is there, you cannot go there to enforce it.

Then, when it comes to criminality, it is outside the jurisdiction of our Courts, and it is not a treaty based offence. Therefore, even if he is hiding in Togo and he is insulting anybody, you can prepare a charge sheet here, but you cannot arraign him to Court until he comes to Ghana, and he will never come.” Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ghana and Judge of the African Court, Prof. Justice Sir Dennis Dominic Adjei stated.

He further recommended that the consequences of freedom of speech should be made universally justiciable to warrant extradition and prosecution of persons who infringe on the rights of nationals so as to protect and preserve the legal rights of others.

Eminent Legal Scholars and Lawyers Public Lecture Series is an annual event organized by the KNUST Faculty of Law.

Each year, they invite a legal luminary from the Bench to speak to a topic. This is the fifth in its series held at the KNUST’s Law Faculty Auditorium, and chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, who was represented by Prof. Charles Marfo (PROVOST of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences).

Other dignitaries who graced the event were the Ashanti Regional Ghana Bar Association President, Lawyer Kwame Owusu Sekyere, and various Justices of the High Court, Lower Courts and Members of the Bar fraternity.

Source: Purefmonline.com || Evans Osei-Bonsu || 2023

Evans Osei-Bonsu

Evans is a radio producer @PureFM (95.7MHz) under the Angel Broadcasting Network (ABN Ghana), writer, student of Law and Politics at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

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