A SELF-claimed medical doctor, Richard Kwadwo Owusu Nyarko, has been directed to pay six members of the Kumasi Club an amount of GH¢600,000 in legal fees after a Kumasi High Court rejected his defamation lawsuit.
The plaintiff, who was seeking damages of GH¢5 million against the defendants for defamation, ended up with a fine of GH¢100,000 to be paid to each of the six defendants, namely Kwabena Brenya, Norman Owusu Barnie, Henry Asumadu, Kofi Owusu Ansah, Andy Arhin and Kojo Sarpong, all trustees of the club.
He was seeking an order from the court, presided over Justice George Krofa Addae, to declare that the defendants had defamed him and harmed his reputation as a medical doctor, claiming damages in a sum of GH¢5 million in the suit filed on May 26, 2020.
But it turned out during the trial of the case that indeed Richard Kwadwo Owusu Nyarko made a misrepresentation to the members of the Kumasi Club by claiming that he is a Senior Medical Officer at the Patasi South Hospital, among others.
It was the case of the plaintiff that he was a registered licensed senior health practitioner, a member of the European Health Association, a trainee doctor with the Accra College of Medicine and also current Chairman of the Kumasi Club with qualification certificates such as bachelor’s degree and dual master’s degree, among others.
The plaintiff said he acquired a training certificate in occupational health from the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons and started a part-time doctoral degree (PhD) in health care programme with the Ghana Technology College.
According to him, he is also a renowned health research scientist, who published many academic and professional journals, locally and internationally.
But the defendants argued they were justified in calling the plaintiff a fake medical doctor on grounds that he misrepresented himself to them in his application form sent to the Kumasi Club, while applying to join it in 2012.
It was the case of the defendants that the plaintiff, after becoming the chairman of the club, made boastful comments about his qualifications as a medical doctor and wrote letters to change signatories to the club’s bank accounts.
The defendants said they became suspicious of the plaintiff’s qualification as a medical doctor, by his constant reference to it, and describing himself as the Director of Health Services at Family Tree Medical Centre.
As a result, a section of the members of the club petitioned the trustees to investigate the veracity of the information Owusu Nyarko provided to the club, following which it was established from investigations that he was not a medical doctor.
They stated that the investigations were done at the Kuntenase Hospital where the plaintiff claimed he practised medicine, and at the Ghana Medical and Dental Council.
The defendants indicated that the plaintiff’s name could not be traced in the register of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council, adding that it was discovered that the plaintiff was arrested in 2014 by the police and charged with the offence of impersonation, forgery and false pretenses for claiming to be a medical officer.
The defendants said following the outcome of the investigations, the trustees convened a meeting to inform the club members that the plaintiff was not a medical doctor, but a fake one, and that there was the need to remove him as chairman of the club.
According to the defendants, they also called for his membership with the club to be revoked, and accordingly told members not to deal with the plaintiff as a medical doctor.
The court, after hearing both parties, concluded that the plaintiff’s use of the title doctor in applying for membership to the Kumasi Club was a misrepresentation.
It contended that whatever words used by the defendants to describe the plaintiff were true because he mispresented himself to them (defendants) and they were justified in the circumstance.
The court, accordingly dismissed the suit and awarded a cost of GH¢100,000 to each of the defendants.