The Member of Parliament for Assin Central and chairman of the Parliamentary select committee on Security, Defense, and Intelligence, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, has filed a defamatory suit against United States-based self-styled journalist, Kevin Taylor, and his Loud Silence Media (LLC) organisation, seeking US$9.5 million in damages.
According to a 15-page court document filed at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, Agyapong’s action “arises from the false and defamatory statements in a series of videos and an email correspondence published by Defendants (Keven Taylor and Loud Silence Media) via Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms about Plaintiff” (Kennedy Ohene Agyapong), a Member of Parliament (“MP”) of the Republic of Ghana, reputed entrepreneur, philanthropist, and well-known businessman”.
“With malice and reckless disregard, Defendants falsely ascribed Plaintiff on several occasions as a criminal.
Defendants falsely stated that Plaintiff is a “murderer,” “drug dealer” and “drug addict,” “thief,” and green card fraudster”.
“These false and defamatory statements have caused severe harm to Plaintiff’s personal, business, and political reputation. Plaintiff has also suffered severe embarrassment and personal humiliation due to Defendants’ defamatory statements,” the nature of the action section of the suit read.
The factual background given in support of the action states among others that the: Defendants till date continue to repeat these false and defamatory statements about Plaintiff on their social media platforms and other news outlets or platforms have also shared or republished Defendants’ false statements.
“As Defendants are aware, Plaintiff is not a murderer: Plaintiff has never been the prime suspect of any murder investigation, he has never been charged or been before any grand jury for murder, nor has he been convicted of murder in any jurisdiction”.
“As Defendants are aware, Plaintiff is not a “drug dealer:” Plaintiff has never been investigated for engaging in the business of illegal drugs, he has never been charged with engaging in illegal drugs, nor has he been convicted for engaging in illegal drugs in any jurisdiction”.
“As Defendants are aware, Plaintiff has not participated in immigration (green card) fraud. Plaintiff has never been investigated by the United States Center for Immigration Services (USCIS) or any law enforcement for engaging in green card fraud, he has never been charged with green card fraud, nor has he been convicted for engaging in green card fraud in any jurisdiction”.
“As Defendants are aware, Plaintiff is not a thief. Plaintiff has never been investigated for engaging in theft, he has never been charged with engaging in theft, nor has he been convicted for engaging in theft in any jurisdiction” Kennedy Agyapong’s suit stated as part on the facts in the court action.
Mr Agyepong’s suit further contends that “Defendants’ factual assertions to the contrary are false, offensive and damages the reputation of Plaintiff as an MP.
Their false factual assertions are offensive and damages the reputation of Plaintiff as a reputed entrepreneur and businessman. “Defendants published the false statements about Plaintiff maliciously and without regard to the truth or falsity of the statements made”.
“Defendants either knew the falsity of those statements or acted in reckless disregard of the truth and chose to peddle falsehood that Plaintiff is a murderer, “drug dealer,” immigration fraudster, and a thief”.
The Ghanaian lawmaker to this end, is seeking seven (7) reliefs from the commonwealth of Virginia court.
First, an injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants, and each of them, from posting on any media outlet any further defamatory remarks, per se or otherwise”.
Second, “an apology from Defendants’ via and through the same channels Defendants used to defame Plaintiff including LSM social media platforms and email correspondence sent to individuals, including the mayor of Worcester”.
Third, “compensatory damages, including economic and non-economic damages of at least $9,500,000.000 and fourthly, “punitive damages in the amount of $350,000.00 pursuant to Va. Code § 8.01-38.1.
The fifth, sixth and seventh reliefs Mr Agyapong is seeking are “Attorneys’ fees, or consideration of such fees in determining punitive damages, costs, of this action and disbursements, to the extent permitted by law, Pre- and post-judgment interest; and Such other or further relief as the court deems just”.