An Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Jennifer Abena Dadzie, has awarded damages of one million cedis against controversial social media commentator Kelvin Taylor for defamatory statements he made against Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the Senior Partner of Accra-based corporate law firm Africa Legal Associates (ALA).
Kevin Taylor accused Mr Otchere-Darko of being a beneficiary of the PDS transaction, which was incidentally abrogated.
He also accused him of owning a property in the plushest part of London, Mayfair, with insinuations that the lawyer bought the property with proceeds from PDS or a transaction of a questionable nature.
Mr Otchere Darko, who denied owning a property in Mayfair, Central London, directed his lawyer, Kissi Agyebeng of Cromwell Grey LLP, to sue Kevin Taylor in respect of such defamatory statements made on the latter’s social media broadcast, “With All Due Respect”, and on his Facebook Wall.
Because Kevin Taylor is known to operate from the United States of America, on October 28, 2019, the High Court granted an application by the lawyers of Mr Otchere-Darko to issue a writ of summons and serve notice of same out of the jurisdiction on Kevin Taylor.
The order of the court specified that the notice of the writ should be served on Kevin Taylor by expedited courier service, DHL, through his own indicated address.
However, the DHL courier service could not serve him at his own indicated address.
The courier service tried all it could and even called Kevin Taylor on his own indicated telephone number, but he denied being the person on the other end of the line, though checks made by the lawyers confirmed otherwise.
Mr Agyebeng prayed the court to vary its earlier order for the notice of the writ against Kevin Taylor to be served out of the jurisdiction.
The court, being persuaded by the argument of Mr Kissi Agyebeng, on March 16, 2020, ordered that in the alternative, the notice of the writ be posted on the Facebook wall of Kevin Taylor and also same forwarded to his WhatsApp number.
Kevin Taylor, even upon service of the court processes on him, neither entered an appearance nor filed a statement of defence to substantiate the allegations he made against Mr Otchere-Darko.
The lawyers for Gabby however complied with all the orders of the court and even filed witness statements to support their case.
Unrepentant Kevin Taylor
Kevin Taylor then resorted to making disparaging comments on Facebook against an associate of Kissi Agyebeng who effected the service of the processes on him.
On October 12, 2020, Gabby mounted the witness box and gave his evidence. He then called Samuel Attah-Mensah, a former vice-president of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, to testify on his behalf.
The court yesterday gave judgment in favour of Mr Otchere-Darko, having found that Kevin Taylor had, without any basis, made very serious defamatory comments against him.
Though his lawyers did not specify an amount of damages in the writ, the court awarded damages in the sum of GHC1million in the favour of the plaintiff, citing the seriousness of the defamatory matter.