A former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Stephen Opuni, has sued the publishers of the Daily Guide newspaper [Western Publications Limited], for defamation.
Dr. Opuni, who joined Fortune Alime, editor of the newspaper and one William Yaw Owusu, a columnist to the suit, is demanding an amount of GHc2 million as compensation.
The former COCOBOD CEO in his writ explained that the Daily Guide newspaper published a defamatory story against him titled: “Opuni, Gambles with GHc60m Cocoa cash” which was published in the April 9, 2018 edition of the newspaper.
He lamented that the claims made by the newspaper were intended to portray him [Mr. Opuni] as an “incompetent person who has caused COCOBOD to lose almost GHc60 million” and has also “engaged in acts that are in clear breach of policy, meaning he did not follow the policy of COCOBOD and therefore acted inappropriately.”
The former COCOBOD CEO also said the publication suggested that he “was reckless with the funds of COCOBOD and wasted COCOBOD’s money.”
Dr. Opuni, while denying the newspaper’s claims lamented that his reputation has been “seriously injured” by the publication , and thus prayed the court, through his writ, to first of all place “a perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants jointly and or severally either by themselves or their agents or assigns from further publishing or causing to be printed, published and or distributed the said defamatory words and or similar words.”
He is also pleading with the court to compel the defendants to pay the lump sum and also retract the story and render an apology to him “with the same prominence as the publications of the 9th day of April, 2018, together with 4 publications on the front and back pages of the Daily Graphic Newspaper for 4 consecutive weeks.”
Opuni, businessman charged with causing financial loss to Ghana
Dr. Opuni; CEO of Zeera Group of Companies, Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana, which also belongs to Mr. Agongo, are cumulatively facing some 27 charges, including causing financial loss to the state, abetment of crime and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Seidu Agongo is accused of being a beneficiary of a supposed fraudulent fertilizer contract worth over GH¢43 million.
The contract in question allegedly spanned the period 2013 to 2016.
Meanwhile, they have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.