Ghanaian lawyer and former Chief of Staff "for ex-President Jerry John Rawlings," Nana Ato Dadzie, may sue two media outlets and a politician for libel, the General News of Sunday reported.
The two media outlets published an article headlined "We blunt the NPP or we are in trouble." The article carried the byline of Ato Dadzie. NPP is Ghana political party the New Patriotic Party, one of the four main political parties in Ghana listed on the U.S. State Dept's country profile for Ghana. The current president of Ghana is a member of the National Democratic Congress.
The article, published first by peacefmonline and later re-published by Ghana newspaper the Ghanaian Chronicle on July 15, "aimed at encouraging members of the [National Democratic Congress] to hoot at the NPP flagbearer during his listening campaign." At the bottom of the Chronicle's publishing of the article, Ato Dadzie is identified as "chief of staff in the Rawlings administration."
As a result of the article carrying his byline, Nana Ato Dadzie claims " he and his family have come under a barrage of insults and attacks." He also called the article "dirty politics" because he has "never written any article, I have never posted any mail on peacefmonline.com."
Former Parliament member and current lawyer John Ndebrurgri repeated the claims made in the article attributed to Ato Dadzie on a Citi FM radio program. Ato Dadzie also wants Ndebugri to apologize.
However, the article was not written by Nana Ato Dadzie. It was written by another man named Ato Dadzie, who claims he wasn't trying to misrepresent himself.
In a July 18 story, the Chronicle reported Nana Ato Dadzie's denials of writing the article and apologized to Nana Ato Dadzie. The apology reads:
"The Chronicle would like to render its sincerest apology to Nana Ato Dadzie, former Chief of Staff, now a private legal practitioner, for linking his honourable name to the article. It was purely the work of the printer's devil."
The Chronicle added that the article's true author -- another man with the name Ato Dadzie -- apologized to the politician Nana Ato Dadzie on Peace FM's website. That apology reads:
"Dear Nana Ato Dadzie, I want to take this opportunity to say I am sorry for any inconvenience caused you. First, I want to set the records straight that never ever did I have in mind of impersonating you or Ato Kwamena Dadzie of JOY FM, like most readers are saying."
Ato Dadzie also retracted part of his story -- the part that called on readers to "hoot" at a rally.
StinkyJournalism has written to the Chronicle and Peace FM Online for comment and will update with any response