Ampaw Runs Away Over Castro

The hearing of the GH¢5,000,000 defamation suit against popular lawyer Maurice Ampaw took a dramatic turn yesterday when the outspoken lawyer failed to show up in court.

The lawyer who had been dragged to the High Court over public comments which sought to indict the Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan over the disappearance of hip-life musician Castro was neither represented by any lawyer nor any other person.

Prior to yesterday, Ampaw had called the bluff of the Gyans and bragged publicly that he was ready for a showdown with them in court.

When the case was due for hearing in a court presided over by Justice Amoo Yartey, the lawyer was nowhere to be found, compelling Kissi Agyabeng to tell the court that Dr Ampaw was aware of the date for hearing.

He argued that although the case had been moved from its original court to a new one, Dr Ampaw could have been informed of the new court if he had gone to the previous court.

According to Agyabeng, the business for the day was for the court to direct the parties in respect of how the case would be heard, days and the issues expected to be raised during the trial.

Justice Yartey, adjourning the case to December 27, stated that Dr Ampaw had been ‘absent for no apparent reason.’    

Asamoah Gyan, through his lawful representative, Sam Anin Addo, sued Dr Ampaw demanding, among other reliefs, a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from repeating such comments.

The writ filed by Lawyer Agyabeng said Dr Ampaw, in a series of interviews with several media houses across Ghana, had insisted consistently that he knew where to find the missing musician and also called for the arrest of Asamoah Gyan, as though the Black Stars captain had something to hide in the missing Castro saga.

It said Maurice Ampaw had also alleged that there were attempts by close associates of Asamoah Gyan to bribe Castro’s mother with an amount of GH¢10,000 so she would stop searching for her missing son and that attempts were also made to gag media discussions on the running story of the missing musician.

The writ mentioned Kumasi-based radio station Metro 94.1 Fm, Accra-based Radio XYZ 93.1 Fm, Starr 103.5 Fm, Adom 106.3 Fm, Sky Power 93.5 Fm and Citi 97.3 Fm as the radio stations on which Dr Ampaw made the libellous statements.

It stated for instance that on September 10, 2014 the defendant in an interview with Accra based Starr 103.5 Fm said: ‘I think I have done a little bit of investigation. I was following the police to do further investigations and intelligent works on the disappearance of Castro but I think the police did not actually take my advice seriously. I personally decided to go down there to find out a lot about what actually happened and I’ve learnt a lot of information and I think I have gathered a lot that by the end of the month I’ve decided to make it public for people to know that Castro is not dead; but Jane we might not find…’

On July 17 last year Dr Ampaw is again reported to have told Metro 94.1 FM among other things that ‘If Ghana were a serious nation, we wouldn’t have allowed marine police to go and have fun on the sea with the intention of searching for Castro’s body. Then Asamoah Gyan also picked up a boat saying he was going to search for Castro.’

He added: “This will not happen in a serious country. For Christ’s sake, Castro is a celebrity, a star. Anybody who was involved should be arrested to enable the person write his statement. We are in a country where people do not know their rights and that’s why they are walking freely. I am therefore calling for the arrest of Asamoah Gyan and anybody who went with them to Ada.’

Castro and Jane were reported missing on July 6 while cruising on the Volta Lake at Ada after they had gone there as part of an entourage Asamoah Gyan was making merry and holidaying with.

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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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