Former COCOBOD Chief Executive, Dr. Stephen Opuni has sued private-owned newspaper, Daily Guide to the tune of GHc2,000,000.00 (Two million Ghana Cedis) for some defamatory words used to describe his persona which he alleges is intended to cause hatred, ridicule and also tarnish his hard earned reputation in Ghana and abroad.
The suit further stated that, Daily Guide as the defendants deliberately published the defamatory story on Monday, April 9th 2018 to whip up public sentiments against the Plaintiff (Dr. Opuni) knowing very well that he has a criminal trial slated for hearing on Wednesday the 11th of April, 2018.
Dr. Opuni together with private businessman, Seidu Agongo, is currently facing some 27 charges including causing financial loss to the state, conspiracy to commit crime, defrauding by false pretense, and abetment of crime, amongst others.
The defamatory publication by Daily Guide is quoted as saying “it is turning out that the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni allegedly gave authorization for subsidiaries of the Board to invest huge amounts of cocoa cash into what looks like unprofitable ventures.
One of the subsidiaries of COCOBOD, Cocoa Marketing Company Limited (CMC), whose board was chaired by Dr. Opuni, invested heavily in private financial institutions, as well as micro-finance institutions in clear breach of its policy where almost GH60 million appears to have gone down the drain.”
An assertion, the former CEO says describes him as an incompetent person who has caused COCOBOD to lose almost GH60 million Ghana Cedis, while acting reckless with the funds of COCOBOD.
Dr. Opuni is also asking the court to order a retraction and apology in the newspaper for four consecutive weeks, an injunction against a repeat of the allegations; as well as the payment of the fees of the plaintiff’s counsel.
The defendants have eight (8) days to respond to the suit.