Former CEO of COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Opuni has filed a suit against the Bono Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Kwame Baffoe popularly known as Abronye DC, seeking 10 million cedis in general damages for accusing him of embezzlement.
Also joined in the suit is U2 Company Limited owners of United Television (UTV), and the Despite Media Group, all based in Accra.
Abronye has alleged on UTV that the National Democratic Congress doesn’t like a private firm Kroll and Associate because its forensic audit discovered an amount of $106 million belonging to COCOBOD was with an NDC financier Seidu Agongo. The maverick politician further claimed that the firm found out that “an amount belonging to COCOBOD, an amount belonging to Ghanaians $420 million is with Opuni and is at the Court…
“So, if someone has done a clean investigation and had found two NDC members, the company that Nana Yaw Osafo brought that had led to the arrest of two NDC members who are in court…”
Dr. Opuni who is an internationally acclaimed trauma and reconstructive surgeon said since the utterance of these words by Abronye in November 2019, he has been inundated with numerous calls and has had to answer “very embarrassing and difficult questions and inquiries” from different persons, including associates, colleagues, friends and concerned family members in Ghana and abroad.
In his statement of claim filed in December 2019, the plaintiff asserted that the comments by Abronye suggested that the former was “corrupt, a thief, reckless” in the discharge of his financial and administrative duties and had engaged in some unlawful criminal enterprise to the financial detriment of his previous employers and the government of Ghana.
According to Dr. Opuni, what the NPP chairman said “are not only inaccurate, but highly malicious and defamatory and deliberately contrived to reduce the hard-earned reputation and good name of Plaintiff”.
The statement therefore noted, “plaintiff denies that he has ever stolen/embezzled and/or otherwise taken possession of an amount of $42O million or any other amount of money from the COCOBOD or the Government of Ghana and that he has never been involved in any way whatsoever in any such fraudulent conduct as falsely contained in the publication under reference”.
Dr. Opuni, among others, is seeking exemplary damages of GHC10,000,000.00 against the defendants as well as a retraction and apology on the 2nd defendant’s UTV AdekyNsroma programme with the same prominence.
He is also seeking perpetual injunction restraining the defendants jointly and/or severally either by themselves or their agents, associates or assigns from further publishing or causing to be printed, published and or distributed or otherwise circulated the said defamatory words and or any other similar words;
The former COCOBOD boss also wants an order of the Court directed at the 2nd Defendant to remove or cause to be removed, the said defamatory content from its media platforms particularly its Facebook page where the said program was streamed live.