Lawyer for Arts/Entertainment journalist Osarfo Anthony, Dr Maurice Ampaw, has advised everyone – both home and abroad to disregard all online stories about his client which sought to implicate him as an extortionist.
Accra Circuit Court 9 judge, Ms. Afia Agbanu Kumador, on Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, acquitted and discharged Arts/Entertainment Writer Osarfo Anthony, and others – Chris Handler (Blogger), Sarah Kwablah (Law Student), and Ekow Micah (Musician) over false allegation of conspiracy to extort money from Black star captain, Asamoah Gyan.
Summary of verdict
“PW1 (Asamoah Gyan’s manager) together with the police, planned and entrapped A1 (Osarfo Anthony), but he now stands vindicated. A1 did not threat Asamoah Gyan with his publications.
“Since there was no threat, there was no extortion. PW1 paid the money, knowing he will use it against A1. The court also concludes there was no conspiracy to extort money. Prosecution could not establish a prima facia case against A1. The court hereby acquit and discharges A1.”
“Osarfo has been innocent from day one. He did not commit the crime and so prosecution had nothing to prove in court agaiinst him. I am hereby telling the whole world to disregard, treat with contempt, and never believe in all online stories against him.”
He continued, “Those stories were all malicious publications to defame his hard earned reputaion as one of Ghana’s respected and hard working entertainment journalists. Now that he has been acquitted and discharged, I have all the right to sue anyone who may want to refer to him as a criminal, or may use those false allegations to deny him of any opportunity. Thank you.”
Osarfo Anthony’s words after verdict
He is happy that the court decision supersedes all media trials. Recounting his three (3) court experience after the verdict, Osarfo Anthony, in an interview with the press, expressed his delight as the court has dropped all charges against him amidst all conspiracy levelled against him in the media.
“But in all of these, it’s the courts that rules on cases and not the media. I am therefore delighted that, I have been vindicated by the court and not by any propaganda. My accusers only rely on media trial; somehow, they were able to win the case even before the court passed judgment,” he said.
“The court is a place for meticulous work in arriving at rulings. Every word counts in court. For us to go through all these for over 3 years, and the court has declared me acquitted and discharged gives me a lot of joy,” he added.
The entertainment journalist, Osarfo Anthony, used the opportunity to urge all who have heard and read the defamatory stories online about him conspiring to extort money from Asamoah Gyan and his manager, Samuel Annim Addo.
“There’s no iota of truth in that allegation. I have never planned such a thing. I am not perfect but anyone who knows me will attest that I, Osarfo Anthony, I am not that kind of person. I have never committed a crime before since I was born. I have never been arrested by the police before. This was the first time in my life that I have been arrested by the police. I have not faced any criminal offence before and this is the first time I have faced something of a sort,” he emphasized.
Background of case
Daily Guide newspaper, published a story in June, 2015, which alleged that Sarah Kwablah, a 21-year-old student, wants to blackmail Asamoah Gyan with a sex video involving the two parties. The story caught national attention and was met with mixed beliefs and fraught with several conspiracy theories.
Sarah Kwablah’s side of the story, was however not captured in the publication. According to the paper, though they reached out to her via SMS, she failed to respond at the time of going to press.
Just after the publication, Sarah Kwablah approached Osarfo Anthony – then a writer for online media GHbase.com and gave her side of the story, which had it that, Asamoah Gyan raped and sodomized her which was caught on a CCTV in her house, but Daily Guide twisted the narrative of the story as “consensual sex” (video) to favour Gyan.
Sarah furnished Osarfo with all WhatsApp chats between Gyan and her, still pictures of her bloody naked body after the rape and sodomy she sent to Gyan – which alarmed Gyan, making him apologize for what he did, and Gyan’s WhatsApp voice notes in which he can be heard loud and clear, pleading with the girl not to let anyone see or know about what happened between them.
The site (GHbase) investigated and published more revelations on the alleged rape and sodomy story. Asamoah Gyan’s team contacted the site’s Editor, Chris Handler and Osarfo, and pleaded with them to stop the publication.
The same Gyans, later, turned around to accuse Osarfo and 3 others, of conspiring to extort money from Gyan with their publications. Osarfo Anthony, Chris Handler, Sarah Kwablah, and Ekow Micah, were arrested, charged with conspiracy to extort money and arraigned before court.