After filing processes of libel and obtaining an order of interlocutory injunction against Dubawa and its editor, Nathan Gadugah, over the publication of the Consuming Trash investigation, Far East Mercantile, one of Ghana’s largest wholesale and distributing companies, failed to show up when the case was called Thursday.
The presiding Judge, Charles E Baiden, therefore awarded a cost of Gh₵ 1,000 against the company on the request of the lead lawyer for the defendants, Samson Lardy Anyenini, pending hearing of arguments of the interlocutory injunction on the next adjourned date, July 26, 2022.
Far East Mercantile, had in a writ of summons accused the defendants, Mr Gadugah, and DUBAWA, of publishing “false and inaccurate” material in its consuming trash investigations.
Even though the company did not indicate which part of the Consuming Trash publications were false and inaccurate, it sought damages, and costs including legal costs against the defendants.
It also secured ex-parte, an order restraining the defendants from publishing its publicized Consuming Trash documentary detailing how Far East Mercantile had operationalized the selling of expired products and how one of its dealers, Edward Sarpong, had been arrested by the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) after he had bought and conveyed cartons of expired products from the company to the Central Business District for sale.
The case was originally called on July 8, 2022, but was adjourned to July 14 following the unavailability of the presiding judge.
On the morning of the hearing, the defendants and Anyenini were in court having already filed a motion seeking to dismiss the suit.
But when the case was called around 10:30 am the plaintiffs and their lawyers were absent.
The presiding Judge, Charles E Baiden, therefore, set a new adjourned date and awarded a cost against the plaintiffs.
DUBAWA had published in series the outcome of a three-months old investigation which captured how Far East Mercantile had sold expired products, consumables and non-consumables to unsuspecting consumers in contravention of the Public Health Act and the FDA Guidelines.
The publications included how a dealer in expired products was busted by the Police CID on March 31, 2022, following a joint operation with DUBAWA.
DUBAWA further submitted its evidence to the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for action to be taken against the company.
After its own investigations, the FDA says it has sent a docket to the Attorney Generals’ Department to begin its own prosecution of persons involved in the illegality captured in the Consuming Trash investigation.