For Using Fake Video To Defame Him
Kumawood actor, Lil Win, has apologized profusely to former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, for defaming him on his television show ,‘Don’t Think Far News’ on Adom TV with the use of a video footage, which has been condemned by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Lil Win, known in private life as Kojo Nkansah on March 24, 2018, showed numerous metal boxes in rooms which were filled to the brim with US$100 bundles.
Without any evidence, the actor cum TV host, stated as a fact that the metal boxes filled with the notes were found in the home of Dr Opuni, the former COCOBOD boss who was once head of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
Interestingly, some boxes of cash had been associated with some Nigerian governors, former US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary Clinton, Joseph Kabila, ex-Congo DR President, ex-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, ex-Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, among others.
But the Kumasi-based actor; had alleged that Dr Opuni, stole the money and stashed it in his house, and predicted a jail term for him.
“One individual has packed all this money in his room and is spending it, building big houses while our roads are in deplorable states and we’re experiencing instability in our energy sector. God is our helper,” Lil Win said in Twi.
He went further to suggest that, Dr Opuni, used part of the money to construct a plush tomb for his late mother. The actor was subsequently sued by Dr Opuni together with the Multimedia Group Limited (MGL), owners of Adom TV, for GHC10million for defaming him.
But before the determination of the case in court, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva –Switzerland, whose emblem was used on the storage trunks containing the so-called money, issued a disclaimer denying the obvious cooked video.
The ICRC denial was published as far back as January 18, 2018, while Dr. Opuni suit was filed at the Accra High Court on Tuesday, 24 April 2018 against, Multimedia Group Limited (MGL), owners of Adom TV for GHS10million for defaming him.
Also named in the suit were Daniel Nii Odoi Tutuwani, a producer at Adom TV and Kojo Nkansah, as second and third defendants, respectively.
The Red Cross International association, registered its displeasure at the attempts by faceless individuals or groups to defame a globally accepted brand that has supported people affected by conflict and war over a century.
Expressing disquiet, ICRC said “A video showing the illegitimate use of the ICRC emblem on storage trunks holding cash has popped up on social media periodically over the last two years, including in early 2018. We want the following to be understood clearly: The ICRC, has nothing whatsoever to do with the storage or transport of cash alleged by this video and we strongly condemn the misuse of our name and logo in this manner”, it said.
It described as dangerous abuse, the attempt to misuse the ICRC emblem in the video and the particular meaning and purpose of the Red Cross emblem, which is the visible sign of the protection conferred by the Geneva Conventions to the victims of armed conflicts.
Red Cross, said though it is not aware how far the video has gone to damage the reputation of innocent people, it was concerned about it impact as it could affect it staff saying “Such a blatant abuse of the emblem may have on the security of our staff and activities in the countries where we operate, where trust by all sides is essential to protect our staff and enable our humanitarian action towards those most in need”.
The disclaimer published on the website of the ICRC https://www.icrc.org/en/document/false-allegations-icrc-condemns-video-cash-trunksconcluded “The ICRC is a strictly neutral, independent and impartial humanitarian organization that seeks to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence”.
But as the case progressed in court, the Multimedia Group as well as Lil Win, beat a retreat, retracted the defamatory comments and pleaded for out of court settlement knowing the implication of their action.
As a result, Lil Win, has rendered an unqualified apology to Dr Stephen Opuni for those unfounded claims he made on the show.
He stated that claims he made about the boxes of money and how his mother’s tomb was financed were all “false” and therefore asked Dr Opuni, to forgive him for any pain or injury caused him by those pronouncements.
“Papa forgive us our sins and forgive all those who were part. We know you are a child of God and will give us the needed hearing, God bless you,” Lil Win prayed.
The apology has been aired on Adom TV, but it is not clear if it would be accepted by Dr Opuni.
The ICRC, in the disclaimer said the organization is a strictly neutral, independent and impartial humanitarian organization that seeks to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence.
The world is yet to know the actual owner of the boxes of cash as well as where the video was made.
Dr Opuni, in his GHS10million for defaming him, stated that on or about the 24th day of March 2018, on the prime evening hour of 7pm, MGL and Daniel Nii Odoi Tutuwani, caused to be broadcast and published; and Lilwin broadcast and published as part of the very popular programme entitled: ‘Don’t Think Far News’, defamatory words in a mixture of Twi and English languages.
The suit explained that the defendants, showed a recording of numerous metal boxes in rooms which were filled to the brim with US$100 bundles and stated as a fact that these said metal boxes filled with these said notes were found in the house of Dr. Opuni.
The suit indicated that when translated in English, the utterances of Lilwn states as follows: “The former COCOBOD boss has his ass on fire. One of the first government appointees to be socket by the Akufo-Addo administration has been hurled before the Accra High Court and charged with causing financial loss to the state.
Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni and Seidu Agongo, together, are facing 27 charges.
Dr Opuni was appointed as CEO of COCOBOD on November 30, 2013. He was the CEO till January 2017.
After his term of office, he intended to travel abroad but was stopped by immigration officials at the airport stating that there was ongoing investigation concerning him during his term of office as CEO of COCOBOD, and, therefore, was not permitted to leave the country till the matter has been solved. Also rumour has it that he is involved in some money scandal and building of a house.